I dunno, I was just playing with the RCP electoral map for the first time in a while (I used to play with it all the time, but then it got depressing). And I have to say, it’s actually much easier to see how McCain could pull it off than I had thought. That’s not to say McCain’s got a cakewalk ahead of him. Going purely by the stats, you have to expect Obama to pull it out. But I just thought it would be much harder to get McCain past 270 than it is. If McCain can win Pennsylvania, he can be president. Let’s hope Thomas Frank finally breaks through to the masses and all of those voters dependent on the coal industry vote their narrow economic interests!
Update: From Bob Krumm:
You’re right. If McCain wins PA, it becomes hard for Obama to pull it off since he would then have to either knock him off in OH (2-3 points more red than PA, and don’t even get me started on IN) or FL. If Obama loses the big three he has to swing NV, NM, CO, IA, and VA in his direction to get to 271.
I’ve not included NC in that list because I can’t imagine him winning NC without having already won VA. That’s why Obama’s day-before trip there is so interesting. Either his polling shows him way ahead in enough states that he thinks he can risk it (a stupid move a la Bush’s 2000 trip to CA or Clinton’s 1996 last minute visit to the Alamo) or internal polling shows him losing PA and he is now trying to increase his pool of potential swing states.
If McCain pulls this off people will analyze his decision to concentrate on OH/PA as the precise military operation it has been. Even if he loses, he made the right decision about where to contest this race.
Thanks also for the link earlier. But now that Yahoo has put it near the top of their charts, I’m getting nothing but left-wing hate trolls.