Tuesday, November 04, 2008

McCain to 270

There is no question as to whether Obama is favored to win the election tonight. He is, which I have so much beer in my basement right now.

So what are we looking for tonight? What does it take for McCain to win?

First, he has to win every tossup. According to RealClearPolitics Battleground Map, the tossups are as follows

Florida (27 EV)
Georgia (15 EV)
North Carolina (15 EV)
Virginia (13 EV)
Ohio (20 EV)
Indiana (11 EV)
Missouri (11 EV)
North Dakota (3 EV)
Montana (3 EV)
Arizona (10 EV)

This combination of states would give him 260 electoral votes, with 269 needed to tie.

The state to watch, mathematically speaking, is Virginia. The polls close earliest here, and it sits in the center of the polling data. If McCain wins Va., it's a pretty good bet he rolls through the remainder of these states, save Ohio(sound familiar?). There is no realistic scenario in which Obama loses Virginia, but picks up North Dakota. In other words, we'll know if it's going to be a long night by about 9p CST.

About the Dakotas. The polling has these traditionally (blood) red states as tight races. This doesn't make sense, historically or anecdotally. My mother-in-law, a died-in-the-wool union family Democrat, voted on Saturday. She left the presidential column blank. She doesn't trust Obama, and why should she? There is nothing in Obama's character or profile that should win the trust of a Dakota voter.

If my theory is correct, and McCain wins these states by comfortable margins, what does that say about the polls in the following states, which, at present, lean toward Obama?

Colorado (EV - 9)
Nevada (EV - 5)
New Mexico (EV - 5)
Minnesota (EV - 10)
Pennsylvania (EV - 21)

Well, if McCain picks up Pennsylvania, shows over, and the Obamabots can go ahead and move to Canada (pretty please?). But states like PA and MI could be early bellwethers as to the accuracy of the polls. If McCain picks up VA, and loses by 5-6 points in those states, New Mexico and Nevada are going to become very interesting.

And so, for McCain supporters wondering when to go to bed, here's what you need to stay up late.

Virginia (McCain +2 or better)
Pennsylvania (Obama +5 or less)
Michigan (Obama +7 or less)

And if Obama picks up West Virginia, take a dozen sleeping pills and hibernate until June, when America finally realizes what the hell they've done.

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