SUMMARY: Empirically measuring the political clout potential of the 10 states, this empirical study finds the order to be as follow:

1)DE 2) ID 3) ME 4) VT 5) NH 6) MT 7) SD 8 ) WY 9) ND 10) AK

Spreadsheet attached for review.

FINDINGS: We need to measure empirically which state is our best option for success. This means, which state can draw the most people and have the greatest impact in that state.

We are asking people to move to another state. So, this assumes we're much more likely get FSP movers from closer distances, all else equal. This empirical analysis assumes the chosen state will draw from either adjacent states and/or within a 4-hour drive, which is assumed a reasonable distance. (4 hours is also used as a reasonable distance for the smaller subset of people who may become weekend or part-time FSP participants, such as retirees or vacation home owners.)

There are 2 factors here that are difficult to quantify: in the larger, Western states, a preference is given to adjacency. No consideration for actual driving time is given, nor where population centers are within states. In the smaller, Eastern states, "bad traffic" is not factored in. Yahoo Maps was used for estimating, and this assumes lighter traffic. All states, then, are given the benefit of the doubt. In certain states, both measures were used, giving large benefits of the doubt to that candidate state. For ex., ID gets credit for ALL of CO, which is not adjacent, even though most of CO and its population are not within a 4-hour drive, although parts are. Were time permitting, driving time could be the ONLY factor, but would likely skew the results to those states closer to highly populated areas, generally Eastern states.

We want "clout." In this case, we need to measure the relative ease to move to a state, and, once we get there, how much electoral clout can we have. A spreadsheet is attached for your viewing convenience and further analysis

Here's the stats:

Sort by:

Adjacent Pop./ 4 hour drive (MMs)

DE 44.9

VT 30.4

ID 26.6

ME 13.8

NH 13.8

MT 11.9

SD 11.6

WY 11.4

ND 7.2

This simply measures the total population nearby the candidate state.

Sort by:

% of Adjacent needed to reach 20K

DE 0.045%

VT 0.066%

ID 0.075%

ME 0.145%

NH 0.145%

MT 0.168%

SD 0.172%

WY 0.175%

ND 0.279%

This measures what percentage the adjacent population represents of 20,000, FSPs stated goal. The lower the number, the lower the lifestyle change is for the first 20,000. Further research could be done on dispersion of those inclined to join FSP, but data is currently unavailable.

Sort by:

Clout Index at 20K and

Clout Scale at 20K

DE 737 1.0

ID 649 1.1

ME 446 1.7

VT 442 1.7

NH 391 1.9

MT 245 3.0

SD 184 4.0

WY 122 6.1

ND 104 7.1

Clout, then, is the number of voters currently in state multiplied by the percentage needed from adjacent states to reach 20,000. The next column is this information presented as a scale. For ex., DE has 1.1 times more clout vs. ID if we choose DE.

Under the 20,000 FSP participant scenario, DE produces more clout. Balancing the nearby populations and the indigenous voting base, DE ranks better than the next-best state, ID, by 1.1 times.

From this model, note that DE gets FSP to 20,000 more efficiently, and likely faster. WY, however, tops the list WHEN it reaches 20,000, which would represent 9% of the voting public, due to its smaller voter base. However, since the states around WY are relatively sparsely populated, it ranks 8th in clout.

Also note that AK is excluded from this analysis, due to the fact that it is not adjacent to any other state. AK represents the largest lifestyle change. DE the least, ID, next least.

As an indicator of potential success, clout is the best empirical measure available.

From a empirical point of view, DE represents the FSPs optimal option for future electoral success. Should it be able to draw 20,000 FSPers there, WY represents the greatest potential voting bloc.