Move over BCS, here comes the inaugural PSI

I’m proud to announce the creation of the greatest thing since stale bread. As I’ve said before, give my mind enough time to wander and it’s downright scary what can happen. This time, the catalyst was a late night bout of flipping back and forth between ESPN’s College Game Day and a CNN Election 2008 special. Michigan falling from the polls, Hillary rising in the polls, Appalachian State is eligible for ranking, Dennis Kucinich, apparently, is not…

Anyway, just when I was set to abandon both channels, I had the following thought; is there anyone more annoying than the person who tries to rank teams in the first couple of weeks of the season or the person who tries to track a candidate’s popularity more than a year before an election? The answer is yes, and I’m proud to say, that person is me! Hey, God gave me a gift. (well, gift or maybe curse, it depends on who you ask). Regardless, I decided to put my skills to task.

Lo and behold, after many long minutes of research and many sleepless workdays, I’ve come up with the perfect system. While it might be the bane of the college football world, I believe a BCS-type ranking system becomes the perfect non-partisan tool for determining who is truly leading the race for the 2008 presidency.

Far superior than polls alone, my system takes into account a plethora of statistical details, that when weighted in the proper proportions leads to a sure fire mathematical prognostication of political success.

DISCLAIMER: The Lakewood Observer wishes to remind the public that the views and opinions expressed in this publication, and especially this article, do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Publisher, Editors, Advisory Board or for that matter, any clear thinking, intelligent or sane individual.

Without further adieu, here is your Presidential Standings Index through September, 2007…

POLLSCASHPRESSSOC AVGRANKINDEXFACTORINDEX PSI Hillary Clinton0.41510.0000.5150.1110.191 3.961 Rudy Giuliani0.28010.0000.2430.1670.182 3.508Barack Obama0.2279.0000.4410.1480.286 3.234 Fred Thompson0.2389.0000.0000.2040.100 2.935 John Edwards0.1378.0000.1670.0000.052 2.919John McCain0.1488.0000.1070.3150.392 2.215 Mitt Romney0.0956.0000.2310.1110.151 2.063Bill Richardson0.0386.0000.0930.1110.150 1.870 Sam Brownback0.0005.0000.0140.0560.064 1.561J oe Biden0.0005.0000.0400.2040.135 1.368Mike Huckabee0.0004.0000.0070.0370.082 1.221Dennis Kucinich0.0004.0000.0050.1300.121 1.088 Chris Dodd0.0003.0000.0830.1670.123 0.793 Tom Tancredo0.0003.0000.0130.1480.076 0.789 Ron Paul0.0002.0000.0260.3330.050 0.309


As you can see, it must be scientific, because there’s no way I would voluntarily rank Hillary Clinton in the lead. While I won’t divulge all of the proprietary information that goes into this unique formula, the columns are made up of the following leading indicators:

POLLS: The first column is a statistical average taken from several different independent polling services including (but not limited to) Reuters, CNN, Fox News and the Associated Press. And, since there is such a discrepancy when polling numbers cross political lines, I’ve added an additional column to show where the results pit each candidate within their own political party.

CASH: Regardless of whether or not we like to admit it, and despite the fact that it shouldn’t mean as much as it does, a political run in today’s world requires lots and lots of cold, hard cash. The third column is a numerical representation of each candidate’s ability to raise money for their respective political machine. Please note that for this first installment, information was not yet available for Fred Thompson, who only recently threw his name into the hat and, as such, has yet to open his books to the public. With that in mind, if everything else stays relatively the same, I would expect his numbers to jump considerably in the near future.

PRESS: Here’s where I had a little fun. Knowing that we are creatures of habit, I took into account how closely each candidate compares to the historical average of those who were elected President in the past. And before you ask, the answer is no, I did not artificially adjust the numbers to handicap for sex, race or religious affiliation. The way that I figure it, at least at this stage, is that there are just as many people rooting both for and against candidates based on those categories, which would negate the need for additional weighting. Any discrepancy should shake itself out in the overall margin of error. And yes, the .000 that you see in the John Edwards row does suggest that he is, in fact, an almost perfect example of an average elected president. (kind of scary isn’t it?)

S.O.C.: NCAA basketball has it’s “strength of schedule,” so I’m going with something I’m calling “Strength of Character.” How is such a thing measured? No Clue. But I thought it would be important so here’s what I came up with. Once again trying to be absolutely unbiased, I think I’ve hit on something worthwhile. For each calculation of the index, I will attempt to show the general consensus of each candidate’s personality and moral fiber by using Google. That’s right, Google. The numerical valuation you see in the second to last column represents the approximate number of ‘hits’ that result from a simple search using the person’s first name, last name and a descriptive term (such as “crook” or “moron”) divided by the total number of hits just using the person’s name. I will use different terms each time and I will not disclose the exact term or even whether or not it is a positive or negative, so that individuals can’t artificially inflate the numbers.

The final column is the result. The number itself does not carry any meaning, only it’s comparison to the value of another competitor is what’s important. So there you have it. If the election were held today, my prediction is that Hillary Clinton would win comfortably with Rudy Giuliani finishing second. Now I know how Robert Oppenheimer must have felt. I’m proud of my scientific accomplishments, but I’m left with a feeling of nausea when I see the results, and an impending sense of remorse that someone might actually put it them to use.

Read More on Perspective
Volume 3, Issue 20, Posted 3:43 PM, 09.21.2007