Electoral College Analysis – August
Posted by sanityinjection on August 7, 2008
Most of what I said in my July analysis still holds true, I think. The same states are still the key, though I might add Minnesota as an additional factor. I am increasingly thinking Minnesota is likely to tip over into the Republican column this year, with Republican voters motivated to turn out against Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken who seems to have an amazing ability to alienate almost everybody. Also, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is a top prospect for McCain’s running mate. I think Pawlenty would be a good choice for McCain and would probably carry the state for the GOP.
This raises the interesting prospect that McCain could win even if Obama wins in both Michigan and Ohio. Here’s how this scenario could happen. First, McCain has to hold all the southern and western states that the Republicans usually win. Very doable. Second, he has to prevail in all three of the key Western toss-up states of Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. This will require some work. Nevada seems favorable, but Colorado less so, and New Mexico will depend on the success of the campaign’s outreach to Hispanics. Finally, McCain has to win Minnesota (as discussed above) and New Hampshire, a state where he enjoys strong popularity.
Of course, the McCain folks would be well advised to continue to work hard in Ohio and Michigan, since winning there will make for a much easier time of it.
As for Obama, I don’t think his strategy needs to change much. Michigan and Ohio are still the keys for him. He needs to avoid a surprise in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania if McCain makes an effort there. I would put a lot of effort into Colorado if I were him. He should have a little advantage there because of the Democratic National Convention being in Denver and the changing demographics there. If Obama holds these states, he can afford to lose Minnesota and New Hampshire and will still win.