Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Quick Look at the Electoral College

I know this blog is about policy and I attempt to shy away from politics, but policy and politics are forever linked. So I thought a quick run down of the 2008 Presidential Election wouldn't be the worst thing in the world...

Things really don't look good for John McCain. Not is he running out of time what has to be more worrisome for his campaign is that the Electoral College is working against him at this point. Looking quickly at the 2004 map, Obama only needed to pick up 18 electoral votes. He has had a very safe lead in every single Kerry state but two—Maine and New Hampshire—however, Obama has opened up a ten point lead in New Hampshire and holds about a 5 point lead in Maine so he can probably count those eight electoral votes.

As for the Bush states, Obama is up by over ten points in Iowa. Those seven electoral votes now means he only needs 11 to win.

Obama is up about nine or ten points in New Mexico, also a Bush state. He can probably safely put those five electoral votes in his column. That means Obama only needs 6 to win.

Before, I move on, I should note that if Obama wins either Florida or Ohio he no longer needs to win Iowa or New Mexico—all he would have to do is hang on to all the Kerry states—and the election is over.

At this point, of all the Bush states that would considered a swing state this time around Obama would only need to win ONE of these states to secure the nomination:

North Carolina

And here is a quick run down of how Obama is currently faring in all these states (all figures are approx, though I erred on the side of McCain seeing that these states did go for Bush in 2004. All the polling information I looked up and found from

Colarado (Obama +8ish)
Virgina (Obama +5ish)
Florida (Obama + 4ish)
Ohio (Obama +3ish)
Missouri (Obama + 2ish)
North Carolina (Obama +2ish)
Indiana (Obama -2ish)

McCain has to win all seven of these states. No almost or maybe's, he has to win all seven states. If he doesn't, Obama will be President. And for that reason alone, even if McCain makes up the six or seven point points in national polls, I think we should all prepare ourselves for, what I believe, will be the first minatory elected to be head of state in a democracy. All Obama has to do is play it cool and not make a mistake—and seeing that he hasn't this entire campaign going back nearly two years—McCain can't really even hope for that. The only wild card that remains out there is catching/killing bin Laden in the next two weeks. However, I'm not sure that would be enough and maybe be viewed as highly cynical—or even a conspiracy theory—by many voters.

Of course there are always outside forces at play. The financial meltdown and credit crunch has tipped this election to Obama (along with strong Obama performances in the debates). Is there one out there? Time will tell, but things don't look good for John McCain.

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