The Election: Religion, Simulation and Prediction

From the sputtering economy and health care to the disastrous Iraq war and the erosion of civil liberties (including the right not to be tortured), it seems that we're at a crossroads. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll, 80 percent of Americans say that we're heading down the wrong track. This poll is robust and unlikely to oscillate nearly as much as the daily polls of the candidates.

So who's going to win? Being a pundit and not a prophet, I can only predict the past, so ask me on Nov. 5. My guess (and hope) is that it will be Sen. Obama.

John Allen Paulos, a professor of mathematics at Temple University, is the author of the best-sellers "Innumeracy" and "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper," as well as of the just-released "Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why The Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up." His "Who's Counting?" column on ABCNEWS.com appears the first weekend of every month.

LINKS:

Princeton Election Consortium

FiveThirtyEight - an electoral predictions Web site

Sciencedebate2008 - a consortium of scientists, engineers and concerned citizens

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