Wednesday, October 29, 2008

State of Mind

The Republicans and Drudge Report and Fox, etc., want you to focus on national numbers. They are citing "internal numbers" but will not reveal their specifics. They are using totally discredited folks like Dick Morris or Zogby to scare you.

Most importantly, though, they may want you to forget we elect our President via a crazy thing called the Electoral College. You know, the mechanism that made all of those Al Gore votes meaningless...

State-by-state, John McCain is just not doing well. It's irrefutable. So breathe deep and stay strong.

Nevada: the state's most respected political reporter says early voting for the Democrats is so overwhelming, the Republicans now have "an almost impossible task."

Ohio: numerous polls show Obama pulling away--ever so slightly--from McCain.

Florida: Republican Governor Charlie Crist (a sensible Republican, who knew?) extended early voting hours and opened up early voting for 12 hours this weekend, providing a huge boost to Obama's intense early voting efforts there. Multiple polls show the race in a dead heat.

Colorado: McCain has all but abandoned the state. Obama's lead has grown in recent days.

Iowa: Obama has been in the lead in every single poll taken since he won the nomination. The majority of polls have him leading by double digits.

New Mexico: All recent polls have Obama anywhere from 50% to 55%.

Pennsylvania: Despite the nervous chatter from people like Ed Rendell, polling in the past few weeks has been great, showing double digit leads. A poll out today shows Obama up 11 points. The average for Obama in the last 10 polls of this state has him at 52% support.

The reason I focus on these states above, is that if Barack Obama wins the Kerry states (of which Obama currently leads in all of them, and which includes Pennsylvania), and if Obama also adds Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico he is President of the United States.

This doesn't even consider or include Virginia, Florida, Ohio, or Missouri-- all states Obama has a strong chance to carry. Also, it doesn't even include Indiana or North Carolina, states where Obama has superior campaign staff operations and where polls show dead heats.

So the big number I keep returning to is 50. McCain and the Republicans may forget this, but in a two man race, if one person has 50 or above, they win. The opponent up against someone with 50%, well, they can't win. No chance. Just because we currently have a President who doesn't like facts or math, doesn't mean math is dead. Trust me: math lives.

The media seems to be ignoring this fact as well. Obama doesn't need to win by 10 points in every state. It would be great, and in many states his strong leads will be excellent buffers against odd factors like race, fraud or error. But in all of these states where Barack Obama is polling at or near 50%, the chances for McCain are not just remote, they are impossible. Even if McCain can surge up from his low 40s in these states, if Obama hits 50%, Obama gets the electoral votes.

I'm nervous as hell. Fighting for anything worth winning will make you nervous. But I just don't see the McCain-Palin strategy right now. Until McCain can pull out a poll (non-internet and non-Zogby) showing Obama behind in either Pennsylvania or Virginia, I'm not nervous with fear. I'm nervous with excitement.

Update (1:15pm PST): New battleground numbers from CNN/Time confirm the pretty stable situation at the state level for Obama--
Colorado: Obama 53, McCain 45
Florida: Obama 51, McCain 47
Georgia: McCain 52, Obama 47
Missouri: McCain 50, Obama 48
Virginia: Obama 53, McCain 44

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