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McCain's Blue State Problem

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, the only blue states that John McCain was targeting in the final week of the campaign have gone for Barack Obama, according to the exit poll consortium tasked with calling races for the television networks and major newspapers. (New Hampshire has been confirmed for Obama by the Associated Press.)

The Keystone State has long been coveted by Republicans who liked to point out in the runup to today's vote that their party had closed the gap at the presidential level in each of the last four presidential elections.


The Obama campaign has remained resolutely confident about its Pennsylvania prospects, insisting that the massive surge in Democratic voter registration -- the result of a high-profile presidential primary in the state -- had made it nearly impossible for McCain to win.

Should Pennsylvania join New Hampshire in the Obama column, it would join Democratic strongholds Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, which have already gone for the Illinois senator. (Oklahoma and Tennessee have been called for McCain.)

As the county by county results trickle in, watch to see how big a margin Obama takes out of the city of Philadelphia as well as the four suburban counties that ring the City of Brotherly Love.

New Hampshire had long expressed a warmth for McCain, launching his presidential bid during the 2000 primary season and saving it in the 2008 campaign. But, New Hampshire was the epicenter of anti-war (and anti-Bush Administration) sentiment in 2006 and in the closing weeks of this campaign even the most ardent McCain supporters had acknowledged the state would not go there way.

With Pennsylvania and New Hampshire now seemingly off the map, McCain must run a tricky gauntlet -- winning a handful of states that Bush carried in 2004 but are closely contested this time around.

Make no mistake: McCain now has almost zero margin for error.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 4, 2008; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Presidential Update: Red America


I'm an American living in France and voted 3rd party for the first time in my life instead of voting Democrat. I've just gotten off the phone with a friend who told me that voting 3rd party was like "fartin' in the wind". My reply was that three young guys in my building had been sent off to Afghanistan by the French president with a little nudging from Obama. She replied that Obama had no power yet but I remembered his statements during his visit to France this summer. My friend voted for Obama on the bogus speech of way back when and was "unaware" that he intended to crank up military activity in Afghanistan. She voted after a steady diet of Chris Matthews and his two sidekicks over there on MSNBC, Olberman and Maddox. She never visited any conservative blogs, didn't even know the names of the 3rd party candidates but she didn't even know what her chosen candidate was about. That's what's wrong with this election. Some people have voted for Obama like a kid buying a Japanese toy. They have voted as the marketing dictated. It's sad. They only consult the media they agree with. They don't compare. They're college-educated but media-softened. No curiosity, no critical mechanism. The Obama campaign knew just how to process such voters.

Posted by: Karegi | November 5, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Enough now with that rat and COCKY WACKO VOICE McCAIN AND PALIN

Posted by: fu_buki | November 4, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: fu_buki | November 4, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

..." had acknowledged the state would not go there way." ?? THERE way? Is this current press literacy? Maybe whoever wins the presidency can establish a remedial literacy program for reporters.

Posted by: chaszzzzz | November 4, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I think most commentators know the election is over for McCain, they're just afraid of the small chance that they could be wrong and are trying to avoid the Bush-Gore humiliation of 2000. So the rest of the night we will hear about all the possible but unlikely ways McCain could still win. Just in case.

Posted by: Kristen2 | November 4, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Hello Michelle! Buh-bye Sarah!

Yes We Did!

Posted by: wpost4112 | November 4, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Why are the networks/newspapers relying on exit polls? Didn't they get burned by doing that in Fla. in 2000?

Posted by: PhilliePhanatic | November 4, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Senator-elect Kay Hagan. A great pickup for the state and the Party. Maybe they'll start to realize calling Democrats godless won't work anymore.
Perhaps the best campaign run by a Democrat in the Senate in the country.

Posted by: jdunph1 | November 4, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

How about McCain lost Pennsylvania?

What happened to the Joe-the-Plumbers in PA?

Why did McCain WASTE a week of his campaign in PA when he was so far behind. Who were his advisers.

Posted by: el_barto | November 4, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

How about McCain's red states problem? That's the real story...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 4, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

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