CNN reports popular votes in whole percentages, and by using their results we were unable to detemine a winner. Therefore the crack contest staff (some would say "cracked") of Laughton.org decided to switch to the results published by The New York Times, which records tenths of percents. The fractional difference awards the win to G. Gordon Riggy, whom we certify as the winner of this contest with no further ado, undo, or redo. Congratulations, and expect all future contests to be based on sporting competitions where the contestants have a reasonable chance of winning and the contest staff has a reasonable chance of tallying the final scores just once.
Official Results from The New York Times
Vote Purchases by Player and State
|Richard the Canuck||Obama||37||9||27||$73 million||195,740,965|
|Karl Rove||McCain||3||7||5||5||5||5||5||$35 million||137,000,000|
|Polly Pollster||McCain||10||6||4||6||6||6||$38 million||99,999,999|
|Anxious Agonizer||McCain||8||4||4||7||4||5||$32 million||75,000,000|
|G. Gordon Riggy||McCain||13||6||3||3||4||5||$34 million||131,461,209|
|M. F. Leith||McCain||9||5||5||5||5||5||5||$39 million||100,000,000|
|Mr. Potatoe Head*||McCain||2||3||2||4||4||3||$18 million||128,576,912|
|States in which no player has purchased votes are not displayed in the table.|
*Mr. Potatoe Head is an employee of Laughton.org and is ineligible to receive a prize.
Abbreviations: AL-Alabama AK-Alaska AZ-Arizona AR-Arkansas CA-California CO-Colorado CT-Connecticut DE-Delaware DC-Washington, D.C. FL-Florida GA-Georgia HI-Hawaii ID-Idaho IL-Illinois IN-Indiana IA-Iowa KS-Kansas KY-Kentucky LA-Louisiana ME-Maine MD-Maryland MA-Massachusetts MI-Michigan MN-Minnesota MS-Mississippi MO-Missouri MT-Montana NE-Nebraska NV-Nevada NH-New Hampshire NJ-New Jersey NM-New Mexico NY-New York NC-North Carolina ND-North Dakota OH-Ohio OK-Oklahoma OR-Oregon PA-Pennsylvania RI-Rhode Island SC-South Carolina SD-South Dakota TN-Tennessee TX-Texas UT-Utah VT-Vermont VA-Virginia WA-Washington WV-West Virginia WI-Wisconsin WY-Wyoming
The object is simple: buy enough votes to change the result of the upcoming presidential election. You have unlimited funds, and you can buy votes in as many states as you like. There are only a few restrictions:
How to Enter
Use the convenient form at the bottom of this page to enter the contest. Fill in the identifying fields, then use the menus to select how many votes you want to buy in each state. All states are set to zero by default; you only need to change the ones where you want to buy votes. Finally, fill in your tiebreaker prediction and click "submit." All entries must be received no later than midnight on Sunday, November 2, 2008.
Anyone with an e-mail account is welcome to play. There is no charge. You may send only one entry from an e-mail address. If you have more than one address, you may send one entry from each. You may use the same address to enter this contest and any other contest running concurrently at Laughton.org.
Results will be calculated using CNN's online election results. In past elections, CNN has always reported the percentage of each state's popular vote won by each candidate, and the crack contest staff of Laughton.org trusts that they will do so again this year. If the unlikely event that they do not, we'll substitute the online results of a popular newspaper.
To determine a player's results, the official percentages will be adjusted by the amounts in the player's entry. Every percent added to one candidate's total is deducted from the other's. Then the electoral college votes will be recalculated on a winner-take-all basis. In order to change a state's vote, a candidate must win more than 50% of the total. If a player's adjustment only raises his candidate's total to 50%, he does not change the state's electoral result.
For example, let's say that California officially reports 51% of its total votes for McCain, 48% for Obama, and 1% for other. A player who buys 3% of the vote for Obama would change the percentages to 48% McCain, 51% Obama, 1% other, thus awarding all of California's electoral votes to Obama. A player who only bought 2% of the vote for Obama would change the result to 49% McCain, 50% Obama, 1% other, and because the adjustment did not award Obama more than 50%, the electoral votes remain McCain's.
CNN has previously reported popular-vote percentages as whole numbers. We will use the numbers exactly as reported by CNN on their main election results page. If they use fractional percentages for the 2008 election, we'll use the fractions. If a player's purchase of votes gives his candidate 50.1% of a state's popular vote, he will have successfully changed the electoral outcome of the state.
The winner of this contest will be the player whose "purchased" votes would have reversed the actual outcome of the election held on November 4, 2008. If more than one player meets this condition, a series of tiebreakers will be used to determine the prizewinner. If multiple players are tied for first place after all tiebreakers have been exhausted, duplicate prizes will be awarded. Tiebreakers will be applied in the order shown here:
Because the outcome of the election and the percentage of votes won by each candidate in each state may not be known immediately, Laughton.org will not announce an official winner until the results are no longer in doubt. Tentative results will be posted when practical.
Seeking Professional Help
Where and how you do your research is entirely your decision. For those of you who aren't sure where to start, we suggest CNN. They summarize the results of all the latest polls in their Electoral Map Calculator, which not only tells you which way each state is leaning but also lets you see the impact of changing the preference of any state.
|Percent of |
Popular Vote Purchased
|District of Columbia||3|