After months, and months of voting, it is finally upon us. After following this story for months, and month, I have put together a very AUDACIOUS electoral map preview. John McCain had best HOPE that I am wrong on this one, or he may be looking for a CHANGE of careers. It may be a bit to Obamistic, but allow me to explain the swing states.
In using the exceptionally cool Electoral Map generator at Real Clear Politics, the final numbers that I am predicting are:
Wasn't this race supposed to be close? Wasn't John McCain going to give hope an audacious battle to the top? Wasn't Sarah Palin supposed to energize the Republican base and discontented Clinton supporters enough to put more red states on the map?
As we stand on the brink of the most exciting election in generations, clearly none of these things happened. Obama is poised for an absolute landslide victory, and the United States is set to have yet another dramatic shifts in direction.
For starters, let me get something out of the way. John McCain will not win the election. It would take either on act of God or an act of fraud to get him into the win column. Obama is securely in the lead in all of the Kerry states from 2004, plus Iowa and New Mexico. This puts him at 264 electoral votes, when he needs 270 to win. Meaning he only needs either Virginia or Colorado to win the election, and he has enough of a lead in both states, to put them securely in the blue column. This of course says nothing for Ohio, Florida, Nevada, and a multitude of other states poised to switch colours today. The numbers simply do not lie at this point, and the McCain camp can not put enough red on the map to push him over 270, thinking anything else at this point is simply delusional.
Looking at the map that I generated, you will notice that I give Obama/Biden far more than the 270 needed. Worth noting, they take both Florida and Ohio, which are just for insurance at this point, and not quite so crucial as they have been in recent elections. Also, I switched Nevada and Colorado, given Obama's strong enough lead in both states.
Of real interest though are the traditional "Bible Belt" Midwest/Southern states of Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, and North Carolina all going Democrat. The polls in all of these states have been essentially statistical ties. However, the Obama camp has been very proactive with their "Get Out and Vote" campaigns, as has been demonstrated with the massive turnouts all over the United States for early voting. North Carolina and Georgia have shown absolute surges in African American voting, and for both racial and ideological reasons, those should massively favour Obama. At the end of the day, ballots in the box are more important than polling numbers. Indiana and Missouri are so close to Obama's homestate of Illinois that they should be flooded with Democrat volunteers who can help the state switch sides.
That ultimately leaves Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia as the other toss-up states. The mere fact that these states, all of which Bush carried by double digits in 2004, are competitive is a huge Obama victory. I think that McCain should carry both his homestate of Arizona, and the traditional Republican stronghold of West Virginia in races that should not be as close as they are, however that is where I see his luck running out. While McCain has almost a 4% lead in Montana, I think that Obama is going to take this one. Ron Paul, mega-right wing Libertarian is on the ballot in Montana, and should take about 5% of McCain's vote, and coupled with Obama's vastly superior ground game, he should be able to pull out an upset. North Dakota is very close, and polling data suggests a dead heat, I'm going to give this one to Obama, since he has the superior ground game, and in cases of a tie, one can never underestimate the enthusiasm of Obama's supporters, who are far more likely to go and vote than McCain's supporters at this point, people like to back a winner after all.
All of this adds up to 396, which you don't need to be a math expert to understand that is a bigger number than 270, and translates into three simple words. Yes, we did.
Until next time,
Post Script: If you are interested in a variety of different electoral previews taking different things into account check out the following sites:
McNutt Against the Music
Real Clear Politics
Post-Post Script: Obligatory comment: If you are American be sure to vote. It's not often that the entire world wants to take part in the democratic process of a single day, so please go and cast your ballots.
Post-Post-Post Script: Feel like reliving/reeducating yourself? Check out This. Fucking. Election. You won't be disappointed.