Sunday, September 07, 2008

Electoral Map for Obama/McCain: Predicting November 5th

Ok, time to make my prediction.

The way this election is shaking up, I think we're going to end up with a basic map pretty much starting in a place identical to the Gore/Bush election of 2000. All the Gore states seem to be pretty safely in Obama's camp right now with at least a 5% Obama margin.

However, according to Rassmussen, it looks like there are three Bush states seriously in play for Obama, even after McCain's election bounce (that is, the polls are tied or within one point). That's not counting Ohio and Florida, either of which would seal the election for him and Obama could pick up, but right now favor McCain by three or four points, so will take some hard work from Obama. There's also Nevada - a state that has grown more Democratic over the past four years, also at a three point McCain margin and which could become a tipping point state and make the calculus even more Obama friendly. But looking only at the low-hanging fruit of states in statistical dead-heats right now, these are the three tipping point states for Obama:

New Hampshire

If Obama wins any TWO of those three states he wins the election.

If Obama wins Virginia alone, he wins the election.

If Obama wins New Hampshire alone (and doesn't pick up a winning card like Ohio, Nevada, or Florida), he loses the election.

If Obama wins Colorado alone - guess what. The election is a TIE!

A tie, you say? WTF? What would happen next?

It would go to Congress for a vote. The House elects the President and the Senate elects the Vice President. Each state delegation gets 1 vote. So we could end up in a bizzarre situation with McCain as President and Biden as Vice President (but odds are, Nancy Pelosi would wrangle enough votes for Obama).

Right now, looks like those three states are going to decide the elction. But things could change quickly after the debates. And there's at least a small chance that Nancy Pelosi will pick our next President. Talk about an historical election....

On Election Night, I'm going to be keeping my eye on Virginia. If Obama carries VA after the polls close, well, odds are pretty good that he's won.

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