Friday, September 12, 2008

The Electoral College Map (9/13/08)

It appears to have been another good day of polling for McCain. Tighter margins in New Jersey and Washington go nicely with yet another switch in Ohio -- this time back into McCain's column. The resulting 273-265 electoral vote tally is the closest it has been since late May and early June.

New Polls (Sept. 12)
StatePollMargin
Missouri
Rasmussen
+5
New Jersey
Marist
+3
Ohio
University of Cinncinati
+4
Oklahoma
Rasmussen
+31
Oregon
Hoffman
+7
Washington
Rasmussen
+2

Washington ends up going the way of Minnesota: one more state that had hovered around the ten point mark for most of this cycle, yet has suddenly appeared more competitive. New Jersey just feels like another tease for the Republicans. I could be wrong but this is just what the Garden state did four years ago. Then again, there is a difference between Bush and McCain, at least from the McCain campaign's perspective. The Obama folks may wish to disagree.

Changes (Sept. 12)
StateBeforeAfter
OhioToss Up ObamaToss Up McCain
WashingtonStrong ObamaObama lean

And once again Ohio flips back to McCain. Those twenty electoral votes are the ones most up for grabs at this point. Nevada is a close second. However, if you are looking for the state to decide this election, Ohio is looking like it is attempting to reprise its role from 2004. But Florida looked that way too in 2004 before that series of of hurricanes ripped across the state. I'll let our loyal readers decide if that was a decisive factor in Bush's victory there. I will say this, though, it gave Bush an opportunity to look presidential just prior to the election.

[Click Map to Enlarge]

So should Obama sit on an eight electoral vote advantage? Or more importantly, will he and his campaign? My guess is no. But just as was the case during the primaries, the campaign is hugely confident in its ground game, and even though money isn't everything, that $10 million dollar response to Palin's speech, indicates that there is still a well that can be tapped from here until election day.

The Electoral College Spectrum*
HI-4
(7)**
MN-10
(164)
CO-9***
(269/278)
ND-3
(160)
KS-6
(64)
VT-3
(10)
WA-11
(175)
NH-4***
(273/269)
SC-8
(157)
NE-5
(58)
RI-4
(14)
DE-3
(178)
OH-20
(293/265)
SD-3
(149)
AR-6
(53)
IL-21
(35)
OR-7
(185)
NV-5
(298/245)
TX-34
(146)
TN-11
(47)
CT-7
(42)
IA-7
(192)
VA-13
(311/240)
WV-5
(112)
KY-8
(36)
MD-10
(52)
NJ-15
(207)
IN-11
(322/227)
AK-3
(107)
AL-9
(28)
ME-4
(56)
WI-10
(217)
FL-27
(349/216)
GA-15
(104)
WY-3
(19)
NY-31
(87)
NM-5
(222/321)
MO-11
(360/189)
AZ-10
(89)
ID-4
(16)
CA-55
(142)
MI-17
(239/316)
NC-15
(178)
MS-6
(79)
OK-7
(12)
MA-12
(154)
PA-21
(260/299)
MT-3
(163)
LA-9
(73)
UT-5
(5)
*Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.
**The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, McCain won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (all Obama's toss up states, but Michigan and New Mexico), he would have 299 electoral votes. Both candidates numbers are only totaled through their rival's toss up states. In those cases, Obama's number is on the left and McCain's is on the right in italics.

***The line between Colorado and New Hampshire is the where Obama crosses (or McCain would cross) the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line.

There is a whole lot of different shades of red on the Electoral College Spectrum now, though. With both Ohio and Nevada now pink, Colorado now looks a whole lot more important. I'd still like to see some more polling out of New Hampshire to see the Palin effect there (perceived to be negative among indepedents there), but we could just as easily see Michigan and New Hampshire switch places. And that would really put the pressure on the Obama campaign.

The Watch List*
StateSwitch
Floridafrom Toss Up McCain
to McCain lean
Georgiafrom Strong McCainto McCain lean
Minnesotafrom Obama leanto Strong Obama
Montanafrom McCain leanto Toss Up McCain
Nevadafrom Toss Up McCainto Toss Up Obama
New Mexicofrom Toss Up Obamato Obama lean
North Carolinafrom McCain lean
to Toss Up McCain
North Dakotafrom McCain lean
to Toss Up McCain
Ohiofrom Toss Up McCain
to Toss Up Obama
Washingtonfrom Obama lean
to Strong Obama
Wisconsinfrom Obama leanto Toss Up Obama
*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.

For the time being, though, Michigan is safe from the Watch List. In fact, though it is a toss up, it is still just more than three points in Obama's favor. Washington stays on but changes positions. Now, instead of being on the line between staying strongly in the Obama column and changing to an Obama lean, the opposite is true. The end result is that most states on the list now are on the line between staying where they are and moving away from McCain -- whether to a less solidly McCain category or a more intensely Obama category. In the current environment though some of those moves just seem very unlikely.


Recent Posts:
Questions About the Current State of the Presidential Race

The Electoral College Map (9/12/08)

The Electoral College Map (9/11/08)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think by election time Nevada will vote for Obama.
Other than that I think this will be the result.
The most closest states in my opinion are Nevada, Colorado, and Ohio.
Those 3 can go any way.

By the way I'm a life long Republican but I'm voting for Constitution Party Chuck Baldwin.

Robert said...

Josh,

In the last post you ask if Obama should sit on his lead. Scott is trying to calm me down, but I don't think Obama can sit on it. The consensus at yesterday's meeting was that Palin was like a flare, burning bright but she will begin to fizzle and make a major error. I am not so sure. Paul pointed out that she only needs to keep burning bright for 51 more days. Sitting on such a narrow lead (although no longer a lead at fivethirtyeight) would be like sitting on a 3-point lead in the third quarter against the Jets. There is not enough margin for error.

SarahLawrenceScott said...

I don't think he should sit on the lead. To use your analogy, the question is, when your opponent ties the game by throwing a couple of long bombs, do you respond by abandoning the running game? The Obama campaign likes to stick with its game plan. That plan does have a few razzle-dazzle plays and long passes mixed in, but it's a balanced attack.

Robert said...

Scott,

I can live with that, but I am getting nervous. Both campaigns will be spinning the increase in gas prices (in Georgia we went up $1.00 overnight). Those whom I have talked about blame big oil and the government. On the whole, this should be a minus for McCain, but the drill-baby-drill mantra apparently gives him a plus when prices go up.

Josh Putnam said...

Scott,
I think this is the perfect extension of Rob's analogy. Obama's is definitely a stick with your gameplan kind of campaign. They are confident in it, but more and more party leaders aren't -- at least not behind the scenes. There's been a lot of talk about Democratic jitters of late.

And I'm sure that's just the kind of thing that will play well with independents.

Josh Putnam said...

Also, I should say at least something about my absence. Seven year old birthday parties and family visits with limited internet time are the things blog killers are made of. Fear not though, loyal FHQ readers, I'll be playing catch up in the coming days and will attempt to make it up to you.

Robert said...

Josh,

It's good to have you back!