Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

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.


5 Responses to “Electoral College Analysis – August”

  1. sanityinjection said

    Addendum: Here is a superb and detailed analysis of the state of Pennsylvania by Jay Cost. Political junkies will feast on the details, but the summary is that Obama should be able to hold the state with a proper defensive effort, though there is an opportunity here for McCain to exploit if Obama does not devote enough resources here:

  2. sanityinjection said

    With the news that Ohio is implementing instant voting, but only for counties that support Obama, you can write off Ohio for the GOP and color it blue. That means everything is probably going to come down to Michigan. Whoever wins Michigan will almost certainly be the next President.

  3. sanityinjection said

    I am struck by how similar this year’s electoral map is likely to be to the 2000 Bush-Gore election. Starting with the 2000 map, all you have to do is swap Minnesota and Colorado, and possibly Ohio and Michigan, and you’ve got the most likely outcome. The fundamental political leanings of most states have not changed dramatically in the past 8 years.

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