Interesting wrinkle in this story:
Despite what appears to be a shrinking lead, Obama aides argued that they maintain a strong position in the race.
The Obama camp is counting on holding all the states won by Kerry in 2004. The campaign also expressed confidence in its ability to flip Iowa and New Mexico, two states that went for Bush in the last election.
If Obama won all those states, they’d have 264 electoral votes. The remaining six needed for a win, said Plouffe, could come from a victory in Colorado, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, or Nebraska.
What’s missing from that list?
I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama won Iowa, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama won New Mexico.
Colorado looks very close. I’m very skeptical that Obama wins Indiana. (Maybe if he had picked Bayh.) Only once in a great while does Obama lead a poll in Florida, and that’s usually by the skin of his teeth. McCain’s lead bounces around, but I wouldn’t paint the Sunshine State blue. Virginia looks like a tough fight, but I think McCain keeps it. Nevada looks closely contested, and the Obama campaign ignores the fact that they need six more electoral votes and Nevada has five.
When a campaign claims they’re going to win a state that the last poll indicated they trail by 19 points, as in the case of Obama and Nebraska, it may be appropriate to begin drug testing.
But while Team Obama thinks they keep all of Kerry’s states, I’d keep an eye on New Hampshire, and the last two polls in Michigan give Obama a tiny, tiny lead.
UPDATE: A few readers wonder if Obama can play for one of Nebraska’s electoral votes, as they partially allocate by congressional district. Maine does that too, making me wonder how moose-hunting Palin will play up there…
Also, if they win Nevada, Iowa, and New Mexico, and the rest of the map stays the same, it’s a 269-269 tie. That puts the election to the House of Representatives, where the outlook would not look good, although along the way you could end up with the previously unimaginable President Biden or President Pelosi.