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The Line: Sorting Out the Presidential Playing Field

Less than five months remain before the November election and slowly but surely the outlines of the national playing field are coming into focus.

Roll over a state to see its 2004 presidential election result.

To wit:

*Barack Obama is showing that his pledge to broaden the traditional playing field is more than just rhetoric, airing his first ad of the general election -- a 60-second commercial re-introducing him to voters -- in 18 states, including states like Alaska, North Carolina and Georgia that have been long left off of Democratic target lists at the presidential level. Obama's decision to forego public financing in the general election means that, in theory, he will have the money necessary to run sustained television and grassroots campaigns in 18 to 24 states in the fall.

* John McCain envisions a smaller and more traditional playing field, and is launching ads in 10 states -- including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan -- that have been at the center of the Republican fight for the White House in the last several presidential elections.

* New battleground surveys conducted for washingtonpost.com by Quinnipiac University seem to suggest that Wisconsin, which John Kerry won with 50 percent in 2004, and Minnesota, which Kerry won with 51 percent, may not be nearly as competitive this fall. Obama leads McCain by 17 points in Minnesota and 13 points in Wisconsin -- substantial gaps that the Arizona senator will likely whittle down but struggle to erase.

These recent developments suggest that McCain has a single path to the presidency, while Obama has several different routes he could take to the White House.

For McCain, the battleground states must remain essentially unchanged from 2004. On that limited playing field, McCain must win a state or two -- Michigan and Pennsylvania being the best options -- that Kerry carried in 2004 while not losing any other large state that was in the Bush column in 2004.

For Obama, he has the potential to win the race with either a traditional or non traditional playing field. In a traditional state-by-state fight, Obama must replicate the Kerry victories in 2004 and add states like Iowa, New Mexico and maybe even Ohio to his side of the ledger. In a less traditional battle, Obama can cobble together the 270 votes through a combination of wins in reliably Democratic territory and victories in unexpected places like Montana and North Carolina.

The fact that Obama has more paths to victory does not mean he is assured of it, however. There's no telling at the moment how wide or narrow the final playing field will be in the fall or which states will emerge as the most competitive.

The states Line is below. The number one ranked state is the most likely to switch its presidential voting preference.

As always, this list is meant as a conversation-starter. Agree or disagree with these picks? Have a Line of your own? The comments section below awaits.

To the Line!

10. Florida (President Bush won with 52 percent in 2004): On its face, McCain's support for opening up the possibility of drilling off of the coast of the United States seems like a major blunder in the Sunshine State. But, the decision of many of Florida's top Republicans -- including Gov. Charlie Crist -- to get behind McCain's proposal suggests that the rising cost of gas may be changing the political calculus of the issue. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe made clear earlier this week that no one state like Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004 would decide his candidate's chances for the presidency. Does that mean Obama doesn't think he needs Florida to get to 270? (Previous ranking: 9)

9. Virginia (Bush, 54 percent): Living inside the Beltway as most political journalists (including The Fix) do, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that the Commonwealth is rapidly changing into a Democratic stronghold. But, Virginia is more than just its northern reaches, and history suggests that it is a much tougher state for Democrats than conventional wisdom holds. Republicans haven't lost the state at the presidential level since 1964 and McCain should run strong in the military-heavy area in the state's southeastern reaches. Obama is sure to run well in northern Virginia but McCain should have some appeal in that region as well. (Previous ranking: 8)

8. Pennsylvania (Kerry, 51 percent): Republicans are increasingly optimistic about their chances in the Keystone State despite the massive voter registration influx for Democrats in advance of their April 22 presidential primary. McCain, GOP strategists argue, will run far stronger in suburban Philadelphia and Pittsburgh than did President Bush in 2004 when he lost the state by just three points. The crux of Republicans' argument, though, is that the so-called Reagan Democrats who helped Ronald Reagan carry the state in 1980 and 1984 will find McCain a more viable option than Obama. Maybe. (Previous ranking: 10)

7. New Hampshire (Sen. John Kerry won with 50 percent in 2004): It's not an accident that Obama's campaign chose New Hampshire as the site of the first public appearance by the Illinois Senator and Hillary Rodham Clinton since the protracted primary fight ended earlier this month. Kerry, despite representing a neighboring state for two decades, eked out a win over Bush in 2004. And McCain's maverick sensibilities should appeal to the flinty independents who comprise the swing vote in the Granite State. But, New Hampshire was at the center of anti-Republican sentiment in 2006 and the political environment has only gotten worse for the GOP since then. (Previous ranking: 6)

6. Colorado (Bush, 52 percent): A look at the post.com battleground survey in Colorado provides some interesting context to the debate over just how much the Rocky Mountain State has shifted politically over the past four years. Obama leads McCain 49 percent to 44 percent -- a lead largely hinged independent voters among whom the Illinois senator holds a 51 percent to 39 percent edge. Self-identified independents comprise 38 percent of the poll sample, 9 points more than self identified Republicans and ten points higher than self-identified Democrats. It doesn't take a brain surgeon, then, to divine that these independents will determine who carries Colorado in the fall. Obama is winning them now but McCain has shown a capacity to appeal to independents during his time in the national spotlight. (Previous ranking: 3)

5. Michigan (Kerry, 51 percent): There's a reason that the endorsements of Obama by former senator John Edwards (N.C.) and former Vice President Al Gore both happened in Michigan. Obama's campaign knows that their candidate's decision to skip the state's primary (and all of the agita that ensued from that choice) coupled with the fact that McCain has shown strength in Michigan (witness his 2000 primary victory there) make the Wolverine State a major problem for them. For Obama to win he must run extremely well in Detroit and Ann Arbor and avoid being swamped in the more Republican-friendly territory covered by the 2nd and 3rd congressional districts. (Previous ranking: 5)

4. Ohio (Bush, 51 percent): Obama's chance to lock down Ohio went by the boards when Gov. Ted Strickland oddly removed himself from the veepstakes days after he secured the number one slot on The Fix's Veepstakes Line. (Who says the Fix doesn't have power?). With Strickland out of the running, it's clear that Obama will have to put in the time to convince Ohio voters -- particularly the working class voters who supported Clinton in the state's primary --that he shares their values and concerns. Still, Republicans hit something close to rock-bottom in 2006 and it's not clear whether the party can recover in time for this November. National Republican strategists are not optimistic. (Previous ranking: 7)

3. Nevada (Bush, 50 percent): Having recently spent time in Las Vegas, it's clear from chatting with political strategists in the state that they expect the race to be extremely close in the Silver State. The growth in Nevada is largely in and around Vegas (Clark County) and tends to favor Democrats but there remains a substantial conservative vote in the rural reaches. Both McCain and Obama have made appearances in the state in the past week --a sign that both believe it is up for grabs. Watch how Obama and McCain address the issue of Yucca Mountain -- the proposed permanent dump for nuclear waste -- that is strongly opposed by Nevadans. During a stop in the state earlier this week, Obama blasted McCain for his proposal to build a series of new nuclear plants, a not-so-subtle attempt to remind voters that he opposes Yucca while McCain supports it. (Previous ranking: 4)

2. New Mexico (Bush, 50 percent): Bush's victory in the Land of Enchantment was the first by a Republican presidential candidate since 1988. It looks likely that New Mexico will return to its Democratic roots in 2008. Popular Gov. Bill Richardson is interested in a spot either on the ticket or in an Obama cabinet and will work his heart out to make sure the Illinois senator runs well in his home state. The swing voters in the state are Hispanics; they comprise 42 percent of the state's population and will be hotly sought after by both Obama and McCain. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Iowa (Bush, 50 percent): At the start of the 2008 election, Iowa was widely seen as the truest of toss-ups -- Bush won the state by just 10,000 votes of out more than 1.5 million cast in the last presidential election. The emergence of Obama, however, and the centrality of the Hawkeye State to the launching of his candidacy has turned the state into the best pickup opportunity in the country for Democrats this fall. The massive amount of money Obama spent to identify, organize and turnout voters in advance of the Jan. 3 caucuses looks like a good long term investment heading into the general election. In neither of McCain's presidential primary bids did he run an active campaign in Iowa -- a major disadvantage in the fall. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 27, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Next: The Case Against Hillary Rodham Clinton

Comments

In most elections, the vice-presidential nominee makes little difference in the outcome, 1960 being the most notable exception in recent history. I do not thnk McCain's choice will make any discernible difference. However, I believe Barack could significantly help his chances if he chose Bill Richardson to be his vice-presidential nominee.

An Obama-Richardson ticket would help Barack win New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. He could also be more competitive in Texas, although McCain will still probably win there.

I think Barack needs to win the above three states and Virginia to offset his likely losses in Ohio and Florida.

Posted by: Independent | June 29, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

A new poll from Arizona suggests that McCain could actually be in danger there, as well as in the Omaha region of Nebraska, whereas Democrats continue gaining an edge in registration in Pennsylvania. Full roundup of battleground news: http://campaigndiaries.com/2008/06/29/battleground-watch-pennsylvania-arizona-iowa-and-perhaps-nebraska/

Posted by: Dan | June 29, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

This will never happen in this election. A "block of wood" could run as the democratic candidate and carry NJ. Sorry, its just that crazy.
Posted by: vcsmith | June 27, 2008 11:29 AM

Ever hear of Christie Todd Whitman ???
Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 27, 2008 12:26 PM
**********************

Yes - Did she carry NJ when she ran for president? Mass and Cali have had Republican governors, the presidency is different.

Posted by: aleks | June 29, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Notice the almost total news blackout by the MSM over the Retzko-Obama payoffs and their criminal ties.
Also notice the complete MSM news blackout over Democrat's Banking Chairman Cris Dodd and Konrad's sweetheart deal and payoffs from Countrywide, the very same company Barack Obama used in his speech as an example of corruption.
The MSM it seems is very selective when reporting corruption going on. Democrats get a free pass, with Republicans though the do-do hits the fan and it's headline news for months and even years.

Posted by: truthbetold | June 28, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Politico posted a link to the Federal Papers filed in Federal Court in Chicago linking Obama to the $112,000 transaction in the Tony Rezko Federal Corruption Trial - apparently in the $112,000 transactions $10,000 of that amount was Obama's cut and the $10,000 found its way into Obama's Campaign Treasury.


Is this appearing to be a Surprise in September ???


Check out the link below.


The Chicago Sun-Times also ran an article on this on Friday June 27.


http://www.politico.com/static/PPM104_080627_obamarez_pdf.html


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 28, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Politico posted a link to the Federal Papers filed in Federal Court in Chicago linking Obama to the $112,000 transaction in the Tony Rezko Federal Corruption Trial - apparently in the $112,000 transactions $10,000 of that amount was Obama's cut and the $10,000 found its way into Obama's Campaign Treasury.


Is this appearing to be a Surprise in September ???


Check out the link below.


The Chicago Sun-Times also ran an article on this on Friday June 27.


http://www.politico.com/static/PPM104_080627_obamarez_pdf.html


.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 28, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Chris

McCain won the week again - Obama looks so bad.


Obama corruption in Chicago - more details coming out.


Today's Chicago Sun-Times:


**********************************


REZKO TRIAL | Feds reveal he denied pay-to-play remarks described by 2 in court

June 27, 2008Recommend (17)

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com
Newly unsealed court files in the Tony Rezko corruption case show that federal agents interviewed Gov. Blagojevich "on multiple occasions" and that the governor denied having conversations described in court by two key prosecution witnesses.

That raises the possibility that either the witnesses lied under oath or that Blagojevich lied to federal agents about statements he was said to have made, tying state business to support for his campaign.


**********************************


Later in the article, the paper reports Governor's office confirms "discussions" with federal authorities.


Obama is linked in the papers - Resko had a deal involving $112,000 - the funds were distributed around - Obama's cut in all the transactions was the Obama campaign ended up with $10,000.


.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 28, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that McCain narrowed his choice of states to concentrate on. From where I sit, if he takes Montana for granted, he will be in trouble here. Will our three electoral college votes make a big difference? One wouldn't think so. But if Al Gore had them in 2000, Florida and the hanging chads would only have been a minor footnote in the election.

Montana illustrates a bigger problem for McCain: States Republicans have taken for granted for years are in play this year. Obama's intitial release of ads has had a lot of play in Montana. McCain has had just a few.

Part of this is a matter of money. The GOP, strangley is struggling for it this year, while Obama remains flush.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | June 28, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

McCain won the week


Obama gets SLAMMED again in the FEDERAL CORRUPTION TRIAL


PROSECUTOR'S HOLDING BACK FOR FALL SURPRISE ???


From yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times:


***************************************


Prosecutors held back on using Obama's name

June 27, 2008

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com

Barack Obama's name could have been invoked more at the corruption trial of his former fund-raiser Tony Rezko.

But it appears prosecutors opted against bringing Obama into the mix during the two-month trial.

Newly unsealed documents show that prosecutors sought to call witnesses to testify about Rezko's ties to Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

The Illinois senator was the recipient of "straw" campaign contributions made by others on behalf of Rezko -- money that Obama has since given to charities.

The documents indicate that prosecutors considered offering witnesses to explore why Rezko used others to contribute to Obama and also to Blagojevich, and U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve ruled that they could. But they did not end up offering any such testimony during the trial.

"Witnesses will testify that Rezko was a long-standing supporter and fund-raiser of Barack Obama," prosecutors wrote.

Later, St. Eve ruled that Obama references would be allowed into the trial, but prosecutors apparently opted not to invoke Obama's name.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/1027788,CST-NWS-rezkoside27.stng

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 28, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"To name Clinton as vice president then would run directly counter to the core message that Obama used to win the primary. If Clinton lost the primary at least in part because Democratic voters didn't want to extend the Bush-Clinton-Bush dynasty, then installing her on the ticket makes no sense. Her presence would muddy the Obama brand and allow McCain to further his argument that Obama is a typical politician beneath his rhetoric of hope and change."

This passage negates all the "positives" I've heard recently about having Hillary Clinton on the ticket. I have dug deep into my heart to determine if my "no on Clinton for V.P." is based on my dislike for Clinton. My conclusion is, "No, I like the Clintons. I just don't trust them. I want a change from them, as well as a change from the Bushs."

Another realization came to me. When you get Hillary, you also get Bill. And, a former President of the United States, can be heavy baggage. That is exacerbated when he's not exactly trustworthy.

In addition, having Hillary on the ticket would seem to me like pandering to a certain segment of the population who have become obsessed with the notion that THIS woman, and only this woman, is the one required to break the glass ceiling. As much as I want to see that "historical first", I believe we would be sending the wrong message if we cave in to the desires to select her.

Hillary Clinton is too tied in to the past that we want Change from. Bill and Hillary Clinton along with Bush I and Bush II are the part of that same past. You're absolutely right, then, this would violate the very core of Barack Obam's stirring message of Hope and Change.

Just words....not at all....

Posted by: Hank Wilfong | June 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"To name Clinton as vice president then would run directly counter to the core message that Obama used to win the primary. If Clinton lost the primary at least in part because Democratic voters didn't want to extend the Bush-Clinton-Bush dynasty, then installing her on the ticket makes no sense. Her presence would muddy the Obama brand and allow McCain to further his argument that Obama is a typical politician beneath his rhetoric of hope and change."

This passage negates all the "positives" I've heard recently about having Hillary Clinton on the ticket. I have dug deep into my heart to determine if my "no on Clinton for V.P." is based on my dislike for Clinton. My conclusion is, "No, I like the Clintons. I just don't trust them. I want a change from them, as well as a change from the Bushs."

Another realization came to me. When you get Hillary, you also get Bill. And, a former President of the United States, can be heavy baggage. That is exacerbated when he's not exactly trustworthy.

In addition, having Hillary on the ticket would seem to me like pandering to a certain segment of the population who have become obsessed with the notion that THIS woman, and only this woman, is the one required to break the glass ceiling. As much as I want to see that "historical first", I believe we would be sending the wrong message if we cave in to the desires to select her.

Hillary Clinton is too tied in to the past that we want Change from. Bill and Hillary Clinton along with Bush I and Bush II are the part of that same past. You're absolutely right, then, this would violate the very core of Barack Obam's stirring message of Hope and Change.

Just words....not at all....

Posted by: Anonymous | June 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

To Arlington Voter:

"How about it plays out a little differently. Suppose, just suppose, that Bush & Co. find bin Laden. What do you suppose would be the impact on McCain's candidacy?"

Sorry for the late replay (I have to work some time!). I think you hit on a VERY interesting third option. I think this probably helps McCain a little in that it will help Bush a LOT. However, it also *might* hurt McCain's 'national security' campaign theme by removing the big bad wolf Osama as a boogey man. People might then simply vote their wallet and bring Obama to the White House. It'd definitely do something, but it's hard to say what.

Now, if you're asking whether BushCo would actually hold back on a capture until late in the election cycle in order to use it to maximum advantage, well, I suppose that could happen. It frankly doesn't seem like they're competent enough to manage this to me. However, if I give them credit enough to assume this is possible, then I would expect it ONLY in the case where McCain is way down and the GOP is looking to lose huge in down ticket races. It's sort of a hail Mary play, don't you think?

Politics and perception sure are funny beasts though, which is why I framed my post based on current events. Attacks (against or BY the US), gaffes, and the capture of people like Osama will all change the game. Will something like this happen before November? Most likely. I'm just not sure how much it will change the narrative though, unless it's HUGE. Opinions seem to be getting set in stone.

Posted by: Cometboy | June 27, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"Why a Texas stop would not be out of the question. First, they are advertising his campaign as a '50-State Campaign' right now."

That and, while Obama might not get himself elected, his showing up might turn a seat or two in the House Democratic, also a good reason for him to campaign there.

Posted by: ceflynline @ msn.com | June 27, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"How about it plays out a little differently. Suppose, just suppose, that Bush & Co. find bin Laden. What do you suppose would be the impact on McCain's candidacy?

Posted by: Arlington Voter |"

Given the generally feckless behavior of this administration, having found him they would screw up and let him go, and John would have to support his President on that.

They aren't even looking, and haven't been for six years.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Kevrobb: Isn't it Minnesota that has the senator with a wide stance? SWING state!

At least Swinger Senator.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"actually bonjedi oil analysts at CNBC and the D party have confirmed that market manipulation by Oil Speculators has more to do with oil prices exploding then demand"

That may be true (though I doubt it, since you never source your nonsense), but what you said is that American demand for gas has absolutely no effect on prices.

Try again, Leichtman.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 27, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Quentin Langley: Obama beat McCain in every one of those states except Florida, by significant pluralities. Hillary also out polled McCain is all of those states. Florida doesn't properly count for Obama because while he didn't run, he STILL got close to McCain's numbers. Obama wasn't running and got 569061 votes, McCain was running for his life, and only got 693508 votes. Total Republican vote, in the single most important contest of the cycle, was 1925911, while the Dems sent 1725264 voters to the poll in an election that at the time had exactly zero significance.

There are lots of registerred democrat voted republicans out there who will declare that since Hillary isn't the candidate they will vote McCain, but the Democrats who lean that way will have to not only hold their noses an McCain and whoever to vote against Obama, they will do it while remembering that John could easily renominate Bush holdovers to their current cabinet positions, like Mukasey, Chertoff, and where he doesn't keep the incumbent, his nominee will still likely be a totally unpalatable Reaganite, or unreconstructed free marketer, or generally incompetent Liberty U alumn.

Go get the vote totals from the primaries, give ten percent of hillary's vote to John, give seventy percent of it to Obama and look at what states John gets close in. NONE, to be precise. If John doesn't significantly change the Primary results ratios in the General election, he does well to win six states and sixteen electoral votes. Bob Barr might take all six of those states away from John and give them to Barack.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | June 27, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

If we were smart, we'll vote for the best candidate. I'm sure not going to vote for my party after watching this: Check it out and see if you feel the same.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y395Tftgz0E

http://youtube.com/watch?v=u-R5Vh5tOWk

http://youtube.com/watch?v=u-R5Vh5tOWk

Posted by: Bill | June 27, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

bradcpa:

Maybe your comment should be addressed to Nor'easter? I didn't post about BHO campaigning in TX, but as long as I'm here ...

I agree with MarkInAustin that TX is a longshot for BHO to win, but a visit to Austin, Houston, and somewhere in the DFW metro area could pay off down ticket for the D's in the TX-10, TX-22, and Senate races. I think it would be an upset for BHO to lose by less than 5 percent in TX, but spending at least a day there could reap some rewards for the D's. Sending Richardson in to court the Hispanic vote might help too.

Posted by: mnteng | June 27, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

There is a well documented set of polls that ought to be taken into account, and those are the Primary elections this year.

If you divide the Partisan vote in the primaries (with certain exceptions) by the same party's vote in 2004, you get a result I call the enthusiasm constant. Divide the Democratic enthusiasm constant by the Republican Enthusiasm constant, you get an enthusiasm constant ratio that is greater than one for states likely to vote Democratic, and less than one for states likely to vote Republican.

Because Iowa's Partisan primaries were totally incomparable, one being caucusses and the other being something of an election, and Michigan's primaries are difficult to interpret because the republicans had every reason to go to the Polls and the democrats had every reason to stay away, Michigan's results are also hard to quantify.

Of the states where both parties held primary elections, the top ten states likely to change parties are all Republican. In everyone of these states the Democratic voter turn out was at least three times as high as the Republican turn out when compared with party voting in 2004.

First to last (backwards of CC's order)
Indiana
Kentucky
West Virginia
Mississippi
South Dakota
North Carolina
Kansas
Wyoming
Texas
North Dakota

Voting statistics were taken from the Washington Post's election results page.

Texas is particularly instructive because Republicans had every reason to turn out and vote, either to put John McCain over the top, or to derail his nomination as long as possible. The EC ratio there was 3 in favor of the Democrats.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | June 27, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Throw away all the charts and estimates of who carries what state. The bottom line is people will vote their wallets. The full wallet will try and keep the status quo while the empty wallet will go for change.

The questions is who represents business as usual. So far I've heard alot of talk and posturing. I'm still waiting for the meat.

Posted by: Capt Howard | June 27, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

mnteng....

I know they say Austin really is not in Texas but Texas is close by.... but why leave Austin out of this trip. Obama could fill the Erwin Center (15k) .... maybe even Royal-Memorial (70k) and have Willie warm up the crowd.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 27, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Please delete the first comment by madhatter. It's irrational.

Posted by: Erik | June 27, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't count on Ohio going for Barack Obama-as your graph shows Cris. Ohio and Pa. are a lot alike in who the voters support, and there aren't enough blacks and academia wine-sipping pansy white liberals to off-set the working-class Reagan-Democrat vote that's bound to go to McCain. Dream on though libs. Without Ohio and Pa. the racist white and America--hater Barack Obama can't win.

Posted by: madhatter | June 27, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Dean:

We so much supported and contributed to the best candidate to be president, no matter what parties that person is. Hillary is the one, we all think best represent us as Commander in Chief. But the DNC, again make a big mistake in choosing a best qualified candidate for Democratic Party. Our family members , friends, co- workers are still come up with the only issue that we will contribute to the BEST candidate for now. AND we think John McCain is BEST FOR NOW.

Regards,

Posted by: USAmastermind | June 27, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

thanks for setting us straight about campaigning in Texas. Could you imagine what would be said if they campaign here for a day or two rather than in Ohio or Florida? Erwin was as bad as they get and his firing of John Silber was handled poorly. Incidentally Dogherty is getting good press in Houston but the party's handling of ending the caucus at the state convention was inexplicable. Kicking that can down the road for future disruption made no sense at all.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 27, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Local political reporter / columnist Eric Black takes a look at the Quinnipiac polls & how they reflect the race in MN - both for Pres & Senate:

http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2008/06/26/2387/observations_on_the_latest_obama-mccain_poll_numbers_for_minnesota

"But perhaps the key factor among them all is that independents, who make up 31 percent of all Minnesotans, favor Obama over McCain by a crushing 55-38 percent, while they favor Coleman by an even bigger 55-35 percent margin. If Franken doesn't figure out how to appeal to independents, he will be toast."

mnteng writes
"If I wanted "fair and balanced", I'd watch Fox News."

Zing!

Posted by: bsimon | June 27, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Sure, The Line is only 10 entries and is supposedly a snapshot of where we are now. But if you take a look at recent polls, PA is +4 for BHO (Rasmussen, 6/22) while IN is +1 for BHO, or basically a toss-up (Survey USA, 6/23). Also, NH is +12 for BHO (Rasmussen/ARG, 6/18), while MO is +7 for McC (SurveyUSA, 6/21).

If you look at the regressions at http://fivethirtyeight.com, The Line should look something like:
10. North Carolina
9. Missouri
8. Indiana
7. Nevada
6. Florida
5. Virginia
4. Colorado
3. New Mexico
2. Ohio
1. Iowa

By those measures, McC would have as much of a chance to pick up NH or PA as BHO winning LA or GA.

I like the regressions better, but if you just look at the electoral-vote.com map, the top ten would include CO, FL, GA, IA, IN, NC, NV, NM, OH, and VA -- which still doesn't include PA, MI or NH.

Maybe you're right that CC is going for balance by including possible D-to-R switches, but I prefer realistic projections. If I wanted "fair and balanced", I'd watch Fox News.

Posted by: mnteng | June 27, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I think that leichtman, bradcpa [in Austin] and I all agree that while we would like BHO and HRC and Bill Richardson to campaign like crazy in TX it ain't gonna happen, b/c if it did, it would still not win the state for BHO.

Leichtman's mention of George Strong reminded me that it was from Strong's web page that I learned of Joe Allen's death and that he had suffered Alzheimer's. In '66, Joe Allen, glenn Vickery, and Curtis Graves were all new D legislators and I was their law clerk. They had me working on an Admin Proc Act that took up all my time and never got out of committee. I used the experience in my third year of law school when Luke Soules and I were assigned to draft a uniform student procedure handbook for UT to blunt the arbitrary power of Frank Erwin. That went nowhere too. That 1966 session cost me dearly in one respect - I missed Stanley Johansen's class 12 times, and he was the best law prof ever.

And Joe Aleen was the kind of vigorous jock who you thought of as indestructable - not someone who would get Alzheimer's in his 60s.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | June 27, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

actually bonjedi oil analysts at CNBC and the D party have confirmed that market manipulation by Oil Speculators has more to do with oil prices exploding then demand, which outside of Asia has been falling exactly as I posted in May. But don't bother to let facts get in your way or bother to follow D legislation dealing with market manipulation as you know better than oil analyst and D Congresspeople.

As to a Texas campaign, Bill Clinton, Gov Richards and Tommy Lee Jones did a 2 day bus tour starting here in Houston, to San Antonio,Waco and Dallas in '92 that was enormously sucesful for the state party, I just don't see that happening again unless in Oct it looks like a 10% point blowout. Traditionally we are here to fill the coffers of Presidential campaigns.Brief stops in Ela Paso and the Valley are the best we should reasonably expect as a head fake and overture to hispanics in Colorado and new Mexico only.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 27, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

mnteng writes
"PA, but not IN? NH, but not MO? Methinks The Line needs some "Fix"ing."

Well... Firstly, The Fix limits itself to 10 entries. Secondly, I suspect some of the states are thrown in to appear balanced. For instance, the following comment by The Fix is a stretch, at best:

"Obama's campaign knows that their candidate's decision to skip the state's primary (and all of the agita that ensued from that choice) coupled with the fact that McCain has shown strength in Michigan (witness his 2000 primary victory there) make the Wolverine State a major problem for them."

This 'major' problem is currently polling in has favor. I consider the theory that the Dem primary debacle in MI will hurt Obama is bunk, until data is provided that shows otherwise.

Posted by: bsimon | June 27, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Why a Texas stop would not be out of the question.

First, they are advertising his campaign as a '50-State Campaign' right now.

Second, although a campaign's #1 priority is always the current election, other considerations do come into play. If the Democrats want to get Texas back, they will have to do it incrementally. The time to start would be now.

Third, no candidate can afford to ignore Texas even if they wanted to. The question is, How many trips to Texas will a candidate make and to which cities?

Agenda for a one-day trip to Texas (relatively early in the campaign):
Breakfast event in Fort Worth
Drive the 30 miles to Dallas
Late morning/Lunch event in Dallas
Fly the one-hour to San Antonio
Mid-afternoon event in San Antonio
Fly the one-hour to Houston
Evening event in Houston
Fly to either Albuquerque, New Orleans or Oklahoma City to begin the next day.

The combined Census Bureau County Populations for that four city swing in Texas is slightly under 10,000,000.

That would seem politically and cost effective to me. If polls show it worth going back for Obama, he can. I wouldn't rule out a trip such as going to El Paso, The Valley, San Antonio and Houston, specifically to court Hispanic voters.

I give Texas to McCain, but see Obama campaigning there at least once; and probably more.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | June 27, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Cometboy thanks for that informed analysis.

"One final note. There are two ways that this can all be upset. One is for there to be a HUGE revelation or screwup by Obama. That's possible, though unlikely given the paces Clinton put him through. The other is what I think (ghoulishly) that McCain might be secretly counting on...a major terrorist attack."

How about it plays out a little differently. Suppose, just suppose, that Bush & Co. find bin Laden. What do you suppose would be the impact on McCain's candidacy?

Posted by: Arlington Voter | June 27, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Stonecreek 5. Virginia. Looks like a rout for Mark Warner. It will take a huge number of split tickets for McCain to pull this one out."

Warner is very strong against Gilmore, but I wouldn't be quite so enthusiastic about BHO having an *overwhelming* advantage. As leichtman has pointed out McCain has strong support in the Tidewater area of southeast VA, Obama has northern VA to himself. Evangelicals are the significant voting block in southwest VA although Warner and BHO have already visited there. Call it a tossup (in my opinion) at this point in the race.

Posted by: Arlington Voter | June 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"incidentally since you are so knowledgable about Texas politics do you have any idea who Richard Murray, Bob Stein,and George Strong are and what they say about Texas politics? I am certain mark does."

I'm sure he does. I bet Mark can also correctly tell me what effect the demand of gasoline in America has on its price.

Keep trying, Leichtman.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 27, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ever hear of Christie Todd Whitman ???
--------------------------
Yea, she is the one who told people it was safe to work down at the Trade center right after the Towers were attacked, her name isn't worth much now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

While the polls look good for Obama in many states, I think its going to change alot. Many of the polls have 8-12% points of undecided voters. And there are clearly alot of people who have only been paying peripheral attention, not like us junkies.

What I think Obama has going for him is the previously disinterested voters that he is bringing in. I think its clear to many previously non-voting citizens that leaving politics up to the self annointed 'we know how to run things' Republicans has been a big mistake.

Its high time to take back our country! I don't think there will be many on the sidelines in 2008.

The results will show that this is a progressive, liberal, thoughtful country made up of citizens who demand change in policies on energy, healthcare, emissions, voting fairness, global cooperation, protecting our jobs, consumer protections.

Tired of: Iraq, falling incomes, oil companies dictating policy, EPA and DOJ run by political hacks, self dealing politicians and lobbyists, pork spending.

We are going to take this country back with our votes and our money. Goodbye Party of Bush.

Posted by: Its-not-2004-anymore | June 27, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

incidentally since you are so knowledgable about Texas politics do you have any idea who Richard Murray, Bob Stein,and George Strong are and what they say about Texas politics? I am certain mark does.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

as usual bonjedi is incapable of a civil discussion without becoming personal. As I thought, communicating with you is a total waste of everyone's time.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

patrick why in the world would McCain want to remind voters of W? Selecting Jeb would be political suicide.
McCain is toast in Ca 1. Antiabortion 2. Offshore Drilling. His competing in Ca is as likely as Obama competing in Texas.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"I am a lifelong Texan, how about you since you seem to know everything about Texas politics how is it that you know more about our state's politics then either mark in Austin or I"

Because you're completely clueless, that's how.

And don't put yourself in Mark's league - His comments are genuinely thoughtful.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 27, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Mark - I never expected to Barack to visit Texas .... unless we do our work well. The best way to help Obama is ot get out the vote.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Ever hear of Christie Todd Whitman ???

****************************************

To: VJ Machiavelli | June 27, 2008 8:43 AM
------------------------------------------
"...McCain is going to play much better in NJ, NY, and even CA..."

This will never happen in this election. A "block of wood" could run as the democratic candidate and carry NJ. Sorry, its just that crazy.

Posted by: vcsmith | June 27, 2008 11:29 AM

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Interesting choice of Jeb Bush for VP, never thought of it but it would put him in line for 2012 either way, McOld will probably be dead by then.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | June 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

McCain will win because:
He is white.
He is republican, and
Republicans control the electoral machinery.
Republicans know how to cheat better.
VP Jeb Bush (miami mafia) will assure a Florida and Ohio victory.
Another nine-eleven conspiracy IS very likely.

Posted by: Barba BLanca | June 27, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

PA, but not IN? NH, but not MO? Methinks The Line needs some "Fix"ing.

Posted by: mnteng | June 27, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Good analysis as usual Chris, but a few things.

Florida: Just seems to be slowly, but surely, moving into the Republican column. There might be a few upsets on the congressional level, but I would think this state might move off the list soon. Unlike Michigan, Florida does not have as strong a Dem base to start from, and the primary set Obama behind McCain here in introducing and defining himself to the voters. Although poll movement has been in Obama's direction recently in Florida, that will probably recede as the end of the primary fades into ancient memory.

Pennsylvania: A state that also seems to be moving off this list. It seems like there is a "generals always fight the last war" effect happening in the media for Penn. and Florida. They have been close for recent memory, but polls show Obama starting to pull away. Maybe this state will also lay waste to the idea that primary demographics match exactly to general elections (i.e. Obama is going to have a tough time with women and working class voters in Pennsylvania, which is clearly not happening here).

Michigan: seems to be moving away from Florida. Despite the primary fiasco, Obama appears to be consolidating a lead here, and he started from a very strong position in the first place, considering he was not even on the ballot. I think Michigan will move in a similar direction as Wisconsin, instead of an approaching possible deadlock in Ohio, again. Polls show steady movement to Obama, and the as th economy stagnates or worsens it will drive may economically minded voters back to the Democratic Party, despite the absence of campaigning in the primary.

Nevada: I live here, and this will be a dogfight (of course this is only anecdotal). People seem very decided, at least in Reno where I live. Undecideds seem few and far between, but I think much of the support is very soft, and people will change their minds a few times over the course of the election. However, Obama starts out with lea in organizing on the ground, in fact I would say he starts out with a massive lead in this state on that front. I got to know personally the Obama, Clinton, Edwards, and Kucinich precinct captains in January during the caususes, which demonstrates that there is a huge infrastructure in place for Obama, clearly not as strong as Iowa, but still significant. But McCain had almost no structural presence here, got thwomped by Romney and beaten by Ron Paul, who did very well in the rural areas of the state. Some of those Paulites in the rural areas McCain is counting on will not be overly psyched to jump on the good ship McCain.

Posted by: bradleyhirsh | June 27, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Get ready for a BIG surprise in the general election. Gallop and others poll REGISTERED voters (whoops!) Clinton and Obama have registered tens of thousands of NEW voters, the Republicans have not. Many new Blacks whom have never voted...a new group of young voters may for the first time since the 60's actually vote. And guess what pollsters, young voters DON'T HAVE LANDLINES... all they use are their cell phones! The result they are not polled. Totally skewed results are to be expected. It may not be a landslide for Obama... but we should not be surprised if it turns out that way.

Posted by: Jersey John | June 27, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with bsimon below about Fla. Obama will not cede the state; and will spend to make sure McCain has to as well.

Posted by: chadibuins | June 27, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Cometboy - good analysis.

certainly better than the idiot pundits hogging tv/newspapers

Posted by: jack | June 27, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

While I DO NOT want or think Obama, his campaign or supporters should get too "sure of themselves"--see NH of 1/08.

I think this LINE overstates McCain's strength. Maybe I am too literal; but it seemed to me like the LINE seemed to give McCain an edge he hasn't shown he deserves--especially after the Qinnipiac poll this week. I do not believe Florida is as solid as #10. Not that it will neccessarily change, but it is definitely "up for grabs". I also think Montana should be listed on the LINE; Mich, Penn, Ohio and Fla will not all be McCain's to win in the Fall.

Posted by: chadibuins | June 27, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

About Iowa, I wonder if FEMA's competent handling of the recent floods (as well as the federal rebuilding efforts to follow) might make voters there more favorably disposed toward Bush, and by association, McCain.

Posted by: D | June 27, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Northern Virginia, especially Fairfax, may surprise everyone and vote for McCain, not so much in support of McCain but as a contrarian vote against the liberal fascism of Gerry Connolly and Tim Kaine."

Highly unlikely.

Posted by: Arlington Voter | June 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I would put Missouri on the list. Senator McCaskill is an important Obama supporter and will use her influence. Jay Nixon will be running for Governor pretty much unopposed on the Democratic side, while Governor Matt Blunt is a lame duck while State Treasurer Steelman, Congressman Hulsholf, and Lt. Governor Kinder are running for the GOP nod to run for governor. Senator Kit Bond was a Romney supporter who has had clashes with McCain in the past. I see a united Democratic ticket that will win MO in November.

Posted by: afam 212 | June 27, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Florida will be the equivalent of Ca for Obama, likely no effort will be spent there."

At a minimum, Obama will spend enough time & money there to force McCain to do the same. I doubt he will concede the state, particularly if he raises as much money as the pundits seem to think he will.

Posted by: bsimon | June 27, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama does indeed have many paths to the White House and he is apparently determined to take any and all of them if it will get him elected.
He speaks out against the death penalty but when it becomes politically advantageous he decides he's for it.
He supported the Washington DC ban on hand guns but since he wants the votes of gunowners he is now opposed to it and favors the Supreme Court ruling.
He was for the ten town hall debates but is now against it, perhaps realizing that the questions will be asked by the people and not by a biased media.
He was for the Rev. Wright sermons for twenty years and even took his children once a week to hear them but now he is against them.
He was for the Rev. Wright being appointed as an advisor to his campaign on race but is now against that since the internet-not the press-showed that the Rev. Wright gave racially divisive sermons.
He may have many paths to the White House but they all seem to go through a revolving door.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | June 27, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: June 27, 2008 11:46 AM

"Read Cometboy's 11:26 post. There's analysis worth reading in there. I particularly enjoy the categories where 'candidate X is not doing as well as he thinks he is'."

___________________________________________

Thanks for the kind words! I'm sure others will take issue though.

Posted by: Cometboy | June 27, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, Florida will be the equivalent of Ca for Obama, likely no effort will be spent there. The Jewish and elderly community in Fla are not pleased with Sen Obama's comments effectively stereotyping them as racists. My curiosity, since I have spent time in Ohio politics is why the heck McCain would support NAFTA so vocally. It seems that NAFTA is toxic in Ohio politics and should be McCain's achilles heel there. An Obama win in Ohio and its game set match and I am not an Obama supporter by any stretch.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 27, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

anonymous writes
"no sane person wants the house, senate and presidency in one party's hand... make the house and senate more democratic.
let McCain have the presidency and try to fix bush's problems."

Theoretically, I agree. However, reality intrudes. The GOP needs to lose & lose big in order to wake up & realize they have lost their way, ideologically speaking. While the Dems are likely to overstep, if they win single party rule, there will be another round of House/Senate elections in 2 short years, then a chance for the GOP to retake the Presidency in 2 more. The Dems will need at least those 4 years to repair the disasters of the Bush admin. By 2012 perhaps the GOP will be ready to talk sense & have a real plan for the 21st century, instead of longing for the 19th.

Posted by: bsimon | June 27, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Read Cometboy's 11:26 post. There's analysis worth reading in there. I particularly enjoy the categories where 'candidate X is not doing as well as he thinks he is'.

The executive summary (from his post):
"As far as strategy goes, I think McCain really has no choice but to gamble he can win FL with almost no effort while simultaneously putting ALL his resources (including picking Romney as VP) into MI, VA, and OH. If he wins these 3 states and holds FL, he'll be the President. If he loses ANY of them, he'll be a Senator."

Posted by: bsimon | June 27, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

curious bonjedi, I am a lifelong Texan, how about you since you seem to know everything about Texas politics how is it that you know more about our state's politics then either mark in Austin or I. Seriously? and not interested in your usual ugly rants just some honesty,
for a change?? How much time have you actually spent here and precisely how many Texas campaigns have you actually worked on lets say in the last 10 years since you are such an expert on Texas politics and know more than Richard Murray, Bob Stein,and George Strong who disagree with you. Don't know who those folks are?

Posted by: Leichtman | June 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Chris is still anxious to preserve the excitement of election season, by presenting Michigan as a "big problem" for Obama.
Obama leads by nearly seven points in Mich, and is still getting stronger, as McCain's numbers continue to fall away.

http://www.pollster.com/08-MI-Pres-GE-MvO.php

PS The price of a barrel of oil is widely forecast to hit $170 this summer.

Obama's criticism of Detroit automakers was dead on, and the people of Michigan know it.

Posted by: Kevrobb | June 27, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"New battleground surveys conducted for washingtonpost.com by Quinnipiac University seem to suggest that Wisconsin, which John Kerry won with 50 percent in 2004, and Minnesota, which Kerry won with 51 percent, may not be nearly as competitive this fall."

I wonder if the WaPost/Quinnipiac are missing the real story by focusing on states that might not be as close battles as was once thought. It will be interesting to see if they change the states in their 'battleground' mix. For my money, I'd drop MN & WI, and replace with the Carolinas & Georgia.

Posted by: bsimon | June 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"New battleground surveys conducted for washingtonpost.com by Quinnipiac University seem to suggest that Wisconsin, which John Kerry won with 50 percent in 2004, and Minnesota, which Kerry won with 51 percent, may not be nearly as competitive this fall. Obama leads McCain by 17 points in Minnesota and 13 points in Wisconsin..."

Nyaah, nyaah. Yesterday Cillizza wrote that these were swing states, and I wrote that the only sense in which Wisconsin and Minnesota were swing states was that Republicans would be swinging from lampposts there this November.

So here I am to gloat. Nyaah nyaah nyaah. Told you so.

Posted by: kevrobb | June 27, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

To: VJ Machiavelli | June 27, 2008 8:43 AM
------------------------------------------
"...McCain is going to play much better in NJ, NY, and even CA..."

This will never happen in this election. A "block of wood" could run as the democratic candidate and carry NJ. Sorry, its just that crazy.

Posted by: vcsmith | June 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

This list seems odd in several ways, but there's no reason to quibble about its order this early. However, just taking out the numbering and looking state by state, it seems clear that McCain is in big trouble.

You can break these states down into a several categories.

Group 1: The no chance states:

First, there are the McCain no chance states. I see no chance for McCain in Iowa or Pennsylvania. McCain is not well regarded in Iowa and has never had any kind of lead there. It's next door to IL. In PA, Obama has been consistently in front by high single digits for some time now. That race looks set and keep in mind that it went democrat in 2000 AND 2004. There is also a democratic governor there who knows how to GOTV. The final nail is that both candidates are VERY well known in PA from the primaries. Opinions are set. Obama wins.

Florida is the opposite. Obama WILL lose FL, it's only a question of margin. The state has be sprinting toward the GOP in recent years and the only two groups there who MIGHT be more liberal (seniors and Jewish voters) are suspicious of Obama. Game. Set. Match. By the way, the posts suggesting that NJ will be in play are delusional. New Jersey is where GOP dreams go to die.

So, that leaves 7 on the list. Of those, I don't see McCain with many bright spots. Which leads me to group 2.

Group 2. States where McCain is in more trouble than the thinks.

NH: This state is sprinting left even faster than FL is sprinting right. There is a high profile senate race where the democrat has a solid lead. And yet, the GOP seems to think that, since people there have always liked McCain and voted for him in the primaries, the polling showing a significant (and stable) Obama lead there is an illusion. Maybe, but I think it's closer to magical thinking. The trend lines are close to set. McCain is in BIG trouble here.

Ohio is another state where I think the GOP overestimates their chances. It's certainly closer than NH, PA, and IA, but 2006 took ALL of the bloom off the GOP rose here. Bush's victories in OH were small even with an ascendant GOP brand and a state machinery tilted in every legal way possible to help him win. Does the McCain camp *really* think that they haven't lost at LEAST 3-4 points there relative to Bush's numbers given the national GOP reputation tanking and the governor's mansion switching to democratic hands? Polling now supports the notion that Ohio is trending slightly democratic. Moreover, just like in PA, this isn't a case of the public not knowing Obama. He campaigned very heavily here in the primaries. Once again, he's a known quantity. I don't see much room for movement over the long term, and that's bad news for McCain. He MUST win OH, but doesn't seem to realize it.

Group 3: True tossups.

Michigan and Virgina are tossups that could go either way at this point, though pretty much all of the current momentum is for Obama. Each are similar in that they've belonged to one party or the other for a while, but there's some dissatisfaction with how that's turned out. The most likely outcome is Obama taking MI and McCain winning VA, but Obama *could* win both. With current polling trends, democratic governors in both states, and given Obama's HUGE win in VA during the primaries, I don't see how McCain wins both. He will need to fight like mad just for VA. So, slight edge to Obama.

Group 4: The mercurial mountain west.

Nevada is a state where I think Obama is worse off than HE thinks he is. It seems close, but, then again, it always does. The longer trends all auger for a democratic takeover down the line, but for now, a GOP governor and a still strong conservative base will combine with an AZ candidate to give the state (narrowly) to McCain. If Obama wins here, I think we'll be seeing a landslide.

That leaves Colorado and New Mexico.

History suggests that Obama should win NM. It's been whisker close for two elections now and the GOP brand is tarnished. The democrats are in line to pick up the open senate seat and they hold the governor's mansion. HOWEVER, McCain is a 'local' boy and that will carry some weight. It's close, but most polling shows Obama ahead. It's his to lose I think.

All of the same points describing NM hold true in CO, except that Bush did better there in both 2000 and 2004. However, the democratic momentum there *feels* more profound than in NM. That's borne out in the polls, which give Obama a comparable lead to his one in NM. Now, McCain *can* win here, but not without waging a hard fight that I don't see him able to afford unless the race boils down to the same state breakdown as 2004 with IA, NM, and CO as the ONLY game changers. I think McCain needs his money to defend VA and OH more than he needs it here.

OK. So that's where we are today!

Now I know that there are wishful thinkers on both sides who believe their candidate will win all 10 of these states. Right now I'd say Obama is more likely to win them all than McCain. However, if you're in one of these camps think about it this way. If someone put a gun to your head and said 'pick a winner', I think most people who want to live would give Obama PA, NH, IA, MI, OH, CO, and NM and McCain, VA, FL, and NV. If that's what happens, say hello to President Obama.

As far as strategy goes, I think McCain really has no choice but to gamble he can win FL with almost no effort while simultaneously putting ALL his resources (including picking Romney as VP) into MI, VA, and OH. If he wins these 3 states and holds FL, he'll be the President. If he loses ANY of them, he'll be a Senator.

One final note. There are two ways that this can all be upset. One is for there to be a HUGE revelation or screwup by Obama. That's possible, though unlikely given the paces Clinton put him through. The other is what I think (ghoulishly) that McCain might be secretly counting on...a major terrorist attack. Charlie Black's comment felt to many like one of those rare moments where a politician says what they're REALLY thinking. (Kinda scary actually) Of course, both of these are out of McCain's control (unless you're a conspiracy theorist), which means he's the presidential equivalent of a football team that gets into the playoffs only if other teams lose. He might win, but it's not really up to him. Not enviable!

Posted by: Cometboy | June 27, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Mccain will NOT carry PA.

Posted by: MikeW | June 27, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama already won Texas once, snatching it from Clinton during the primaries. It is no stretch to think he will take it again from McCain.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 27, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

clever John to slam not only Hillary but a very popular Ted Strickland.

Lets see how those comments work out for you in Ohio.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 27, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Since I live in Florida I got no further than your top of the list of Florida. Let me give some insight into Florida. First off Florida has been moving more Republican for years. We have had three Republican governor terms and the legislature is run by the Republicans. Florida is a Republican state. That said Charlie Crist is not as popular as the media makes him out to be. Most Floridians Democrat and Republican are against drilling of the florida coast for one reason TOURISM. People come to Florida to vacation on the sunny beaches to relax and enjoy the tropical scenery. It creates jobs. Will people still come to the Florida beaches and spend money when they lookout and see an oil rig? If there is an oil spill and the oil blackens the Florida beach coastline how many billions of dollars and lost jobs will be effected from the loss of tourism? Smart Floridans of both parties don't want to know and will stay away from drilling off the coastline. As for Charlie Crist he will do anything for McCain because Crist is the typical politician that is motivated by how it helps him personally and a VP spot is what he wants. Crist is not a popular governor, he did little to help with the homeowners insurance crisis and gave away money to the Seminoles in a bad casino deal. Crist would have a hard time getting reelected. Florida is a Republican state but McCain being for drilling off the coast will cost him Florida in November, with or without Crist on the ticket. All Obama has to do is show a commercial of oil covering a Florida beach asking where the jobs and tourism went after McCain allowed offshore drilling and McCain will lose Florida.

Posted by: Scott | June 27, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

sorry mark but Obama would be nuts to spend 1 minute in Tx much less your suggestion of Austin, Houston and McAllen. Aint goin to happen unless he is ahead by 10% in October.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 27, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

Obama never needed Strickland to win Ohio, and he would NEVER have selected him after his blind support for HRC during the primaries--especially when HRC blasted Obama and Strickland stood in the background shaking his head like a lap dog. Also, why would Obama have picked someone who has only been in office for less than 2 years and has little foreign policy experience? In Congress, he was never an international affairs heavyweight. Plus, they would have no chemistry together. I think Obama would feel more comfortable with someone who actually supported him over HRC and didn't spin the insipid Clinton talking points during the campaign.

Colorado should be ranked higher than Michigan. Obama can win Michigan, but he has been consistently strong all year in Colorado and his standing there should only improve after the convention in Denver.

Virginia should also be placed on the list, as well as North Carolina, a state where Obama has been running close to McCain in the polls. That is a true battleground. Pennsylvania shouldn't even be on the list--Obama will win there by 3-6 points or more.

Thanks for not including Oregon, Minnesota, and Wisconsin--because Obama really has them locked up already, even though the media still wants a horse race.

Posted by: John | June 27, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

10. North Carolina. Lots of African American and high-tech voters, coupled with low enthusiasm for the Republican brand could swing this state.

9. Alaska. Don't forget that this is a populist stronghold which voted solidly Democratic in its early years of statehood. Both Young and Stevens are a huge drag on the ticket.

8. Montana. Also a state where prairie populism is not dead. Now has two D senators and a D governor. Likes the attention Obama has given it.

7. North Dakota. How can a state that established its own State Bank to counter the robber barons be all that conservative? McCain's opposition to the farm bill, a critical lifeline for ND, creates a big opening for Obama.

6. Missouri. Diebold might save this one for the R's, but if the voting machines in St. Louis actually work, it could fall to Obama.

5. Virginia. Looks like a rout for Mark Warner. It will take a huge number of split tickets for McCain to pull this one out.

4. Nevada. Just because.

1. (Three way tie, as all are certain to fall to Obama.) Iowa, Colorado, and New Mexico. Iowa is where it all started for Obama, and they still love him there; another "farm bill" state. New Mexico and Colorado both have run-away Democratic Senate races that will lift Obama. New Mexico's falling in the R column in 2004 was purely incompetence on Kerry's part, and Colorado is trending strongly Democratic. It has a D governor and will have two D senators after this election. The combination of urban voters and rural Hispanic and native voters will move it into the D column.

As to Florida, well global warming and the rise in sea levels will take most of it off of the map shortly anyway, so the Dems will only use it as a flogging post to force McCain to spend scarce resources holding it, so it doesn't make my list.

Without a nuclear strike by Iran on Philadelphia, I don't see any of the Kerry states flipping to the R column.

Posted by: Stonecreek | June 27, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama is only down 5 points in Texas. Now that would be sweet if Obama won Texas.

Posted by: TexasDem | June 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Tom Bradley ran in 1982 and never enjoyed the poll numbers we're seeing for Obama.
The support for Obama is wildly energetic especially among young people who are very difficult to poll.
Any potential Bradley effect is also canceled by white voters who are eager to lance the boil of racism by voting for Obama.

Posted by: jedwards | June 27, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

By contrast McCain won and Obama lost in Florida, Virginia,
Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 27, 2008 7:30 AM

FYI- Obama won the Virginia Democratic Primary.

Maybe you mean West Virginia?

Posted by: JNoel002 | June 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

You gringos should go home when we take over. Obama and Mcain promise us amnesty and Spanish as national language and more welfare. And Obama promise less tax on us and health care. And Presidenete Obama lets us bring our families from Mexico. My nieces and nephes, my cousins, mother and father and my wifes mother and padre will vote all for Obama and the Democrats for ever. We will have our own shools and we will have Cinco De Mayo as nationale holliday. This is change Obama promises for us. Si, cue puedo.

Posted by: Jose | June 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

no sane person wants the house, senate and presidency in one party's hand.
-----------------------
No sane person wants a 72 year old fraud in the White House with his hand on the button when he feels like 'Bomb Bomb Bombing Iran'.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | June 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

McCain fix Bush's problems? That sounds like a wonderful plan.
Like Bush, McCain sees the world only through the military prism. Perpetual war.

Posted by: jedwards | June 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Is there any particular reason that pundits, and others, continually describe Senator McCain as a "maverick." It seems with his down the line voting record that mirrors Bush (I seem to recall stats that have him at between 95% and 100% - depending on the year - in support of Bush administration legislative proposals) that he is far from being a "maverick."

Posted by: CS | June 27, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Based on a weighted average of all the polls available on realclearpolitics.com as of this morning, here are the two campaigns top 10 targets.

Obama best "red" states:
1. Iowa (7 electoral votes, Obama up by 5%)
2. New Mexico (5 ev, Obama +5)
3. Ohio (20 ev, Obama +4)
4. Colorado (9 ev, Obama +3)
5. Virginia (13 ev, tied)
6. Indiana (11 ev, tied)
7. Nevada (5 ev, McCain +3)
8. Florida (27 ev, McCain +4)
9. North Carolina (15 ev, McCain +5)
10. Missouri (11 ev, McCain +6)

McCain's best "blue" states:
1. Connecticut (7 electoral votes, Obama leads by 5%)
2. Michigan (17 ev, Obama +5)
3. New Hampshire (4 ev, Obama +6)
4. Pennsylvania (21 ev, Obama +7)
5. Oregon (7 ev, Obama +7)
6. New Jersey (15 ev, Obama +9)
7. Wisconsin (10 ev, Obama +9)
8. Delaware (3 ev, Obama +10)
9. Minnesota (10 ev, Obama +11)
10. Maryland (10 ev, Obama +14)

Note that (1) these numbers are as of today; the election is still more than 4 months off, (2) remember that McCain does not need to pick up any "blue" states, just hold on to the states Bush won in 2004, (or at least most of them)(3) there may end up being a "Bradley effect" that could make Obama's polling numbers over-stated relative to actual election results.

Posted by: pjf0226 | June 27, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

U.S. CONSTITUTION - WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES


DEMOCRAT $24 BARREL OF OIL
DEMOCRAT $1.50 A GALLON OF GASOLINE


OIL WAS $24 A BARREL WHEN DEMOCRATS LEFT OFFICE
OIL WAS $24 A BARREL WHEN DEMOCRATS LEFT OFFICE
OIL WAS $24 A BARREL WHEN DEMOCRATS LEFT OFFICE


A GALLON OF GASOLINE WAS $1.50 WHEN DEMOCRATS LEFT OFFICE
A GALLON OF GASOLINE WAS $1.50 WHEN DEMOCRATS LEFT OFFICE
A GALLON OF GASOLINE WAS $1.50 WHEN DEMOCRATS LEFT OFFICE

GOP REPUBLICANS TOOK OFFICE TO CHANGE OIL TO $145 A BARREL
GOP REPUBLICANS TOOK OFFICE TO CHANGE GASOLINE TO $4.50 A GALLON


GOP REPUBLICAN $145 BARREL OF OIL
GOP REPUBLICAN $145 BARREL OF OIL
GOP REPUBLICAN $145 BARREL OF OIL

A GALLON OF GASOLINE IS $4.50 UNDER THE GOP REPUBLICANS
A GALLON OF GASOLINE IS $4.50 UNDER THE GOP REPUBLICANS
A GALLON OF GASOLINE IS $4.50 UNDER THE GOP REPUBLICANS

YOU DO THE MATH AND DECIDE IF TEXAS OIL MILLIONAIRES WARRANT INVESTIGATIONS TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE


GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND STEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES TREASURY.


GOP REPUBLICANS ARE MANIPULATING THE MARKET SYSTEM TO MAKE THE MANY (95 PERCENT OF AMERICAN CITIZENS) SUFFER AND SERVE THE SUPERWEALTHY FEW (5 PERCENT WALL STREET SUPERCAPITALISTS).


GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET MILLIONAIRES ARE PAYING THEMSELVES $10,000,000 BONUSES FROM MONEY STOLEN FROM THE U.S. TREASURY, WHILE SENDING OUR AMERCAN JOBS OVERSEAS. RECKLESS OUTSOURCING IS DESTROYING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING AND THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.


NO MORE GOP REPUBLICAN LIES, CONSPIRACIES, AND GRAND LARCENIES.


GOP REPUBLICAN $155 BARREL OF OIL SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $175 BARREL OF OIL SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $195 BARREL OF OIL SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $215 BARREL OF OIL SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $235 BARREL OF OIL SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $255 BARREL OF OIL SPECULATIONS


GOP REPUBLICAN $4.50 A GALLON GASOLINE SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $5.00 A GALLON GASOLINE SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $5.50 A GALLON GASOLINE SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $6.00 A GALLON GASOLINE SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $6.50 A GALLON GASOLINE SPECULATIONS
GOP REPUBLICAN $7.00 A GALLON GASOLINE SPECULATIONS


WHEN DOES IT STOP IF EVER?


GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET GREED SPECULATION DOES NOT WORK.
GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET GREED SPECULATION IS HURTING AMERICA.
GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET GREED SPECULATION IS HURTING OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.


STOP GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET OIL SPECULATIONS TODAY
STOP GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET OIL SPECULATIONS TODAY
STOP GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET OIL SPECULATIONS TODAY


GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET MILLIONAIRES ARE PAYING THEMSELVES $10,000,000 BONUSES FROM MONEY STOLEN FROM THE U.S. TREASURY, WHILE SENDING OUR AMERCAN JOBS OVERSEAS. RECKLESS AMERICAN JOB OUTSOURCING IS DESTROYING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING AND THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.


NATIONALIZE U.S. OIL FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE.
NATIONALIZE U.S. OIL FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE.
NATIONALIZE U.S. OIL FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE.


CLEAN NUCLEAR ELECTRIC ENERGY IS THE ANSWER


WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.


BARACK OBAMA WILL BRING BACK OUR UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND RIGHTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.


GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET MILLIONAIRES ARE PAYING THEMSELVES $10,000,000 BONUSES FROM MONEY STOLEN FROM THE U.S. TREASURY, WHILE SENDING OUR AMERCAN JOBS OVERSEAS. RECKLESS OUTSOURCING IS DESTROYING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING AND THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.


STOP GOP REPUBLICAN MCCAIN FROM SELLING OUR AMERICA.


This remarkable unleashing of deep Democratic energies went hand in hand with clever GOP Republican efforts to subvert the will of the American People, whether by overt corruption or covert manipulation. This corruption or manipulation resulted from the widespread market activity that was incompatible with the good of the American Public. American Citizens were well aware that the voices of the People could be offset by powerful GOP Republican market elites bending the system to serve the interests of the few. The economic power of the GOP Republicans were recognized to be the primary source of Wall Street speculators' corruptions.

Democratic dialogue was motivated by opposition to the market-driven greedy GOP Republicans obsessed with obscene quantity of moneymaking with little regard for the quality of the Public's Democracy. Democratic love of wisdom was contrasted sharply against the GOP Republicans love of money.

Posted by: GOP Republican Destructive Wall Street Greed | June 27, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Northern Virginia, especially Fairfax, may surprise everyone and vote for McCain, not so much in support of McCain but as a contrarian vote against the liberal fascism of Gerry Connolly and Tim Kaine.

Posted by: Thom Jefferson | June 27, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

no sane person wants the house, senate and presidency in one party's hand.

make the house and senate more democratic.
let McCain have the presidency and try to fix bush's problems.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"Dwight" wrote:

contemporaries. To this day, he carries on his person, among other things, a small metal figure of Hanuman, having become familiar with the Ramayana during his days in Indonesia."

since when does a christian worship the monkey GOD...

My Comment: Could it be that he carries it as a good luck charm? After all lots of Irish Catholics carried Four Leaf Clover as good luck pieces. There is not a single comment that he "worships" it. Frankly, Hanuman is kind of cute, although I prefer Ganesh. And, of course, you realize that Hanuman is a Hindu figure. So now, I guess the Right Wing is going to claim that he is a Hindu Muslim liberal sect Christian....

Posted by: Still Confused? | June 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Please add number of electoral votes for each state on the line - Thanks!

Posted by: Suggestion | June 27, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Chris--

How can one say that McCain is more likely to win Michigan than Obama is to win Colorado? Obama leads in both by 5-6 points in recent polls. Huh?

Posted by: mts | June 27, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks McNasty will take either NY or NJ is on drugs. It is not just the large number of African Americans, even my conservative catholic republican family hates McCain, my sister said she was won over to Obama by her kids, even asking about his stance on abortion. That is a first and I'm sure my family is not in any way an exception.

While I am no big fan of Obama, there is no way in hell I'd vote for McSame.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | June 27, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I apologize for the repeated comment.

Posted by: nclwtk | June 27, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

If the economy looms large as the biggest problem and the American people continue to believe we are headed to hell in a handbasket than all of these nice rational arguments about particular states is going to hell in a handbasket along with the economy. Right now Obama shows signs of having a comprehensive vision for improving the mess we are in, McCain is just a mess of meaningless(in the big picture) points. If he cant do better than continuing Bush's tax cuts as an answer to our problems than he has the bigger problem in every state

Posted by: nclwtk | June 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

If the economy looms large as the biggest problem and the American people continue to believe we are headed to hell in a handbasket than all of these nice rational arguments about particular states is going to hell in a handbasket along with the economy. Right now Obama shows signs of having a comprehensive vision for improving the mess we are in, McCain is just a mess of meaningless(in the big picture) points. If he cant do better than continuing Bush's tax cuts as an answer to our problems than he has the bigger problem in every state

Posted by: nclwtk | June 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

If the economy looms large as the biggest problem and the American people continue to believe we are headed to hell in a handbasket than all of these nice rational arguments about particular states is going to hell in a handbasket along with the economy. Right now Obama shows signs of having a comprehensive vision for improving the mess we are in, McCain is just a mess of meaningless(in the big picture) points. If he cant do better than continuing Bush's tax cuts as an answer to our problems than he has the bigger problem in every state

Posted by: nclwtk | June 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

All these different news organizations (CNN, Washington Post and others) are electoral map predicting based on polls that typical represent less than 0.5% of a state's voting age population.

Pre-election Polls are best at qualitatively stating the general electorate sentiment (for example, polling in Michigan would be indicative that the electorate is leaning-Obama).

Polls change with the news cycles. Crude oil and gasoline prices are their highest typically in the months of July, August, September and October. Iraqi and Afghanistan violence will go up between July and October. All economic indicators will get worse between July and October as the price oil reaches it's peak.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 27, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

VJ Machiavelli...the problem with your analysis is that you assume that a John McCain is equivalent to Ronald Reagan. McCain has only a fraction of the charisma that Ronald Reagan had.

Democratic turnout in the primaries has been huge relative to the Republican turnout. If the Obama campaign and Democratic Party are even more successful at voter registration in 2008, some 2004 Bush states could be for Obama (i.e. states like North Carolina, Georgia, & Alabama, maybe South Carolina).

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 27, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Brad, Don't get carried away just yet. BHO will have to campaign heavily in TX to reach 45% and while that would be good for Col. Rick I do not believe we will see BHO more than three times - once in Austin, once in Houston, and once in, say, Arlington. Maybe if HRC and BR stump the LRGV, and SA, and EP for him it could even get closer.

The state is too big and there are too many other fish to fry for the dreams of TX Ds to be realized.

Hook 'em.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | June 27, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Wisdom... I think you're posting on the wrong blog (3 times and counting). And if you think McCain will take Jersey, there's something stronger than koolaid in your mug.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | June 27, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

" Such empathy and "connection" to immigrants from the subcontinent is only one part of Obama's plural multi-ethnic background and wide-ranging eclectic education (American, African, even part-Asian) that makes him arguably the most unusual and exciting presidential candidate in US history -- more universalist than American. In his first book, Dreams from My Father, written nearly a decade ago even before he came to Washington DC as a senator, Obama recalls the wanderlust of his mother (a white woman from Kansas who married a Kenyan exchange student) that took her to marketplaces as far apart as Marrakesh and New Delhi. He recounts his own experiences in Kenya and Indonesia, home of his biological father and stepfather respectively, including the turbulent politics of these boiling Third World countries he saw during his visits. His worldview even in those days was imbued with travels and exposures to such Third World hotspots, a clear departure from the more Atlanticist upbringing of his white contemporaries. To this day, he carries on his person, among other things, a small metal figure of Hanuman, having become familiar with the Ramayana during his days in Indonesia."

since when does a christian worship the monkey GOD...

the source for this was the times of india...

Posted by: Dwight | June 27, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

The two polls taken in New Hampshire in June have Obama up by 11 and 12 points. In the primary, Democratic turnout was significantly higher than Republican turnout. It's hard to argue that McCain will win NH.

Michigan is less of a lock for Obama, but he still has the lead. Obama leads by several points in all three polls taken in June. McCain lost the primary in 2004, so his 2000 primary strength means very little. It's hard to compare turnout directly because the Democratic Michigan primary didn't matter, but Uncommitted got nearly as many votes as McCain.

McCain hasn't led a Pennsylvania poll since April. And with record Democratic turnout in the primary, there's no way that more Republicans will vote than Democrats. I don't see how he stands a chance.

Posted by: Blarg | June 27, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

This election is going to very different, than 2004. McCain is going to play much better in NJ, NY, and even CA. Yes early polling is not showing that as yet. But who would have thought that in 1980 Ron Reagan would have carried all THREE, and a whole lot more. McCain may be able to do the same again. Remember Obama lost the voters who made up their mind in the last few days to Hillary Soprano. Keep your eye on the Undecided percentage.

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com

Posted by: VJ Machiavelli | June 27, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Texas might be 12 on this list. The latest poll shows that McCain is only up by 5%. Senator Cornyn is not even breaking 50% and is only 2% up on Noriega. The key in Texas is the changing demographics. Hispanics are now 36% of the population and the afro-Americans are 13%. The only problem is that Hispanics traditionally do not vote. Don't look for TV from Obama but look for those 25 paid staffers Obama is sending in to organize the tens of thousand Obama volunteers in this state to start registering this sleeping giant and getting them to the polls. While I do not expect to win here McCain and the RNC will have to play defense here. That means people and money meant for the states below will be tied down trying to hang on to Texas. I think that means scratching Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan off of that list. As for Colorado, I predict that McCain and the RNC will be out of there before October 15th.

Posted by: bradcpa | June 27, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I would think that Obama has a better chance of switching NC then McCain does of switching Pennsylvania. All the polls out there support the Obama take overs that you mention and go against the pickups for McCain. Taken with the 4 to 1 money advantage that Obama will have I would expect a wooping.

Posted by: Andy R | June 27, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't see NH being all that close given the results in 2006. I'd add MO, NC, GA and AK to the list. MS may be the biggest surprise of all, depending on how Obama's voter registration drive goes.

Posted by: LouisXIV | June 27, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting, if only the top 3 states switch we're at 269-269 and it goes to the house.

Posted by: craig | June 27, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Obama needs to stop gambling on obscure red states and focus on the time-tested battlegrounds. Colorado and Alaska are fun, but not at the expense of Florida and Pennsylvania.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | June 27, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

By my count there are two states on the list (both on the small side), namely Iowa and Colorado which Obama won in the primaries and McCain lost. By contrast McCain won and Obama lost in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, and New Mexico. Granted, Pennsylvania was contested after McCain's opponents had dropped out and Obama famously did not contest Florida.

Does this matter? Not sure. Larry Sabato has written on the record of candidates in 'converting' states they lost in the primaries, and it is not all that good. Bush certainly won New Hampshire and Arizona, but not the more critical Michigan. Clinton won states like Vermont which he lost to Jerry Brown in the primaries.

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 27, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I do not see if the Wall Street guys are making 4 million instead of 5 million how that is a recession - the rest of the economy is good.
-----------
You are either an idiot or a Wall Street Broker. 350 drop yesterday and everything is good?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't see New Hampshire as a tossup at all. For the last 4 years, it has move solidly to the Blue side, with a very popular two-term Democratic governor, both houses becoming Blue and now one of its senators about to go to the Dems. The state has more Indies than Democrats or Republicans, which currently favors Obama in the fall.

Posted by: Jack | June 27, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Good Line, Chris.

I'd consider putting Oregon and/or North Carolina on the list as borderline #10s.

Should be an exciting race.

(By the way, you need to put Iowa in boldface.)

Posted by: theseventen | June 27, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Do not not forget the other line!

Democratic Party........Barack Obama
Republican Party........John McCain
Libertarian Party.......Bob Barr
Constitution Party......Chuck Baldwin
Independent Candidate...Ralph Nader
Green Party.............Cynthia McKinney???

This may be the year that the alternative candidates play a more significant role in the framing of issues and final outcome.

Posted by: vcsmith | June 27, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

Wisconsin is in play - Ohio is strong for McCain so it should be closer to number 8.

This list is most likely to change so it is confusing.

McCain is going to have a run in New Jersey and some blue states which you are not expecting at the moment.


Obam is going to have to defend those states.


I believe the Hispanics in the Southwest put McCain over the top - pretty solidly. Chris it is fairly obvious that you and some other members of the media are drinking Obama's Kool-Aid. Do the Obama people send that over to you in powder form or is it already mixed ???

.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 27, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

I do not see if the Wall Street guys are making 4 million instead of 5 million how that is a recession - the rest of the economy is good.


What Mr. Pearlstein FAILS to realize that Wall Street has been a dead weight on the rest of the economy.


Wall Street was hurting every other sector in the economy - distorting the economic equilibriums all over the country in all sorts of markets.


Those distortions are slowly being lifted.


As that happens the rest of the economy becomes BETTER - the drag of Wall Street being lifted. Next is the Washington lobbyists and the drag they place on the economy.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 27, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I do not see if the Wall Street guys are making 4 million instead of 5 million how that is a recession - the rest of the economy is good.


What Mr. Pearlstein FAILS to realize that Wall Street has been a dead weight on the rest of the economy.


Wall Street was hurting every other sector in the economy - distorting the economic equilibriums all over the country in all sorts of markets.


Those distortions are slowly being lifted.


As that happens the rest of the economy becomes BETTER - the drag of Wall Street being lifted. Next is the Washington lobbyists and the drag they place on the economy.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 27, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I do not see if the Wall Street guys are making 4 million instead of 5 million how that is a recession - the rest of the economy is good.


What Mr. Pearlstein FAILS to realize that Wall Street has been a dead weight on the rest of the economy.


Wall Street was hurting every other sector in the economy - distorting the economic equilibriums all over the country in all sorts of markets.


Those distortions are slowly being lifted.


As that happens the rest of the economy becomes BETTER - the drag of Wall Street being lifted. Next is the Washington lobbyists and the drag they place on the economy.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 27, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

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