Monday, June 16, 2008

Punditocracy weigh in on Electoral map calculations

Bloomberg's Al Hunt:

Given the insights from doing combinatorics (just below), do you understand his first point? It seems like a nonsense "what-if", to me, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt...except that BBC says dreams of CA and NJ are ... dreams.

Both camps talk about expanding their party's universe this year, competing in states that used to be out of reach. Disregard most of that; if Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate, wins California or New Jersey or if Obama takes Texas or Georgia, it will be a landslide like 1964, 1972 or 1984.

Past as Prologue

Realistically, the best starting point to look at the electoral map is the 2004 contest, a narrow Republican victory but one that today suggests an Obama edge.

Of the bigger prizes, Obama eyes two red states, Ohio and Florida, and McCain has his sights on two blue ones, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Pennsylvania, with its progressive suburbs, leans to Obama and Florida still looks better for McCain. The other two are tossups.

Obama has changed the dynamics in medium-size and smaller states from four years ago. There are more than half a dozen 2004 red states -- Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Nevada, Missouri, even Indiana and Montana -- where Obama is competitive. There are very few -- New Hampshire and Wisconsin -- that McCain can turn from Democrat to Republican.

The BBC weighs in.

2004 Retrospective ...:

Other states to watch

Possible Red to Blue: Indiana, North Carolina, and Georgia. As for Florida, McCain leads there and Republican Governor Charlie Crist is very popular - but the economy is hurting, especially in South Florida, so the state could possibly show signs of swinging later.

Possible Blue to Red: Oregon. Some Republicans think that New Jersey, California, and Minnesota can go their way, but they are definitely wrong about the first two.

Obama's man-with-the-plan talks:

Well, we're certainly unintentionally topical on this blog, today, yes?
"You have a lot of ways to get to 270," Plouffe said. "Our goal is not to be reliant on one state on November 4th."

Plouffe has been pitching such a new approach to the electoral map in calls and meetings, according to several people who discussed the conversations on the condition of anonymity because they were meant to be private. Plouffe confirmed the descriptions in the interview.

Plouffe and his aides are weighing where to contest, and where chances are too slim to marshal a large effort. A win in Virginia (13 electoral votes) or Georgia (15 votes) could give Obama a shot if he, like Kerry, loses Ohio or Florida.

Plouffe also has been touting Obama's appeal in once Republican-leaning states where Democrats have made gains in recent gubernatorial and congressional races, such as Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Alaska and North Dakota.

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