The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

States to Watch in Final 10 Days

Posted by demkid on October 25, 2008

It’s nice that the Obama campaign wants to expand the electoral map, but I just don’t understand some of the choices they’re making as far as state visits are concerned.  Why is Senator Biden wasting his time in West Virginia, for instance?  The odds of winning that state are extremely low, and a win there wouldn’t mean squat in the larger scheme of things.  If Obama manages to win West Virginia, the final electoral vote total would translate into a landslide for him, anyway.  As far as I see it, in a worst-case scenario, Obama can bank on 255 electoral votes.  This leaves Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and New Hampshire undecided.  These are all states I could plausibly see McCain winning, if things shift a bit towards him in the final week.  Most people agree and polls show that Obama’s doing fine in New Mexico and New Hampshire, but I’m just mapping out the most conservative, doomsday scenario I see possible.  With those two states, Obama has 264. 

To win, Obama will need one more state, and I see that state as being Colorado.  Sure, a win in any of the other big states (OH, FL, VA), and the election is over.  But, even though Virginia polls have looked good lately, I still see Colorado as being a better bet.  The demographics are better (more Latinos and liberals than in 2004) and the ground operation is supposedly stellar.  The state won’t shouldn’t be a breeze to win, however…McCain (even though there was talk he was quitting the state) was in Colorado today, and I just saw this story about how the California Republican Party is shipping volunteers and $2 million to the state.  I hope there are some new polls out soon so we can see where the race stands.

In addition to Colorado (where Obama will be tomorrow…excellent!), I think the other states the campaign needs to focus on in the final days are New Hampshire and Virginia.  Sure, polls have looked decent in New Hampshire lately, and it’s only worth 4 electoral votes, but the state is key if the election turns out to be close, and I could see it being the first blue state to turn if things get dicey.  Time should also be put into Virginia, where a win would seal the election.  Polls have shown it to be very winnable, although it still should be close in the end. 

This election isn’t over.  McCain needs to basically run the table, but if things tighten up a bit, this isn’t out of the realm of possibility.  The one thing I can’t see happening is Pennsylvania going red (perhaps 1 more visit there would suffice), but multiple trips to Colorado and Virginia, and at least one more to New Hampshire, would be greatly appreciated on my part in the last 10 days.  Forget about West ByGod Virginia!

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