Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2008 Campaign

Richard Baehr takes a look at the 2008 Presidential race, which is pretty even right now nationally. However, due to the Electoral College, what really matters is the individual state races, which are currently trending towards McCain.

"The state polls, which tend to lag the national tracking polls by a few days, have been more favorable for John McCain the last few days, reflecting his slightly stronger position since the convention and the Palin pick. But even if the latest state polls overstate McCain's numbers a bit due to the lag, they do reflect the new shape of the race."

Things look up for McCain in battleground states Florida and Ohio, which carry 47 electoral votes. Obama faces a pretty uphill cultural battle in Ohio, which went for Hillary in 83 of 88 counties. Obama needs to pick up 18 electoral votes from the 2004 Kerry states, the likeliest of which is Iowa, which has 7. Obama is targeting Colorado (9), Nevada and New Mexico (5 each) and Virginia (13), but is slightly behind in all except Virginia, which is even, but has not gone Democratic since 1964 (although the demographics there have changes substantially).

Obama once targetted as many as 18 red states, then 14, but now appears vulnerable to McCain in several 2004 Kerry states once thought unquestionably blue. The Rasmussen Pennsylvania poll taken this weekend shows the state (and its 21 electoral votes) even. There is almost no scenario for an Obama victory without Pennsylvania, and it gets worse. McCain is within 3 points in New Jersey and Washington, and also within strking distance in Minnesota and Wisconsin (10 votes apiece), Michigan (17) and New Hampshire (4). Red states now appearing safe for McCain include Montana, North Dakota, and Alaska (3 each) as well as Georgia and North Carolina (both 15) and Missouri and Indiana (both 11) are both trending Republican as well.

"The race is close to a national tie in the popular vote, in the number of safe electoral college votes for each side, and in the number of tossup electoral college votes that are blue or red. We have in other words, a 50-50 race."

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