2008 Obama Electoral Map

One of the main talking points of either campaign is the election maps. In fact, Senator Clinton recently took several versions of potential 2008 outcomes to the Capitol to discuss with undecided superdelegates.

The main thrust of her argument, as well as many who support her, is that 2008 will not differer from the 2000 or 2004 General Elections; that once again, the election will come down to battleground states: Ohio or Florida, or both.

I'm here to basically say this is one of the weakest arguments and will probably not result in any traction with superdelegates.

First off, let's discuss the 2000 General Election, pitting sitting Vice President Al Gore versus Governor George W. Bush.

There's a plethora of reasons often espoused by the mainstream media as to why Al Gore lost - some of them are credible. The reality that Governor Jeb Bush had a stranglehold on the process and even if a recount favored Vice President Gore, he'd have likely had it thrown out. That the butterfly ballots cost the election; that hanging chads favored him; that dimples favored him.

That Ralph Nader cost us the election.

But there's one glaring issue that cost Al Gore the election. Any of those issues aforementioned are second to Al Gore in costing Al Gore in the election.

The 2000 elections utilized the 1990 census to determine electoral votes and therefore, New York was still a more Electorally rich state, and Texas was less - but more importantly, Al Gore had 266 Electoral Votes.

Two-hundred and sixty-six electoral votes.

Most aren't aware of the very simple reality of the 2000 election. That a state where the election was decided by less than 1% and which recently switched to the Democrats, decided the election with its 4 Electoral Votes.


Because not only did President Bush lose the primary there, it was apart of a demographic that would have favored Vice President Gore if he spent enough resources there.

So when you discuss the 2000 elections with your friends next time - bring up the reality that with 266 Electoral Votes, the Democrats failed to carry New Hampshire and it's 4 Electoral Votes.

2004 was different however - the 2000 Census was now in effect; Texas was now the second most electorally-rich state, New York had been knocked, Arizona had gained a few EVs and the landscape favored the Republicans.

This is evidenced by what was a much shorter election night and a relatively quick defeat against a President whose approval rating was below 50%.

Bush: 286 Electoral Votes
Kerry: 252 Electoral Votes

Again - blame assigned to relatively stupid reasons. High turnout due to abortion and gay marriage initiatives being on the ballot; swift-boating; stealing the election.

Ad nauseum.

Again - this is not a failure of MESSAGE. It's a failure of whose receiving it. Appalachia has been turned off by the Democratic Message because it has began to include things they don't approve of - environmentalism which might cost them jobs and revenue, suffrage for homosexuals that run counter to their beliefs.

These maps show the amount of attention given by the campaigns to the close states. At left, each waving hand represents a visit from a presidential or vice-presidential candidate during the final five weeks. At right, each dollar sign represents one million dollars spent on TV advertising by the campaigns during the same time period.

Again, inordinate amount of time spent in Ohio and Florida for nothing.

States that weren't motivated to vote Senator Kerry and which were dead-ends electorally, given attention.

President Bush also engaged in SMART election policy - he campaigned in New Jersey, much to the amusement of Democrats but he did something that our party failed to do as well: force us to play defense in states we deemed "safe".

If all you do as a party is challenge battleground states while the other party is making inroads in states you consider safe, you're going to fail.

That's why Howard Dean has been brilliant; his strategy to attack the Purple West has been the highlight of his tenure and his move to have the convention in Denver is especially appropriate.

Moving further:

California, 55
Washington, 11
Oregon, 7
Minnesota, 10
Wisconsin, 10
Michigan, 17
Illinois, 21
Hawaii, 4
Pennsylvania, 21
New York, 31
Massachusetts, 12
Connecticut, 7
Maine, 4
Vermont, 3
Rhode Island, 4
Maryland, 12
District of Colombia, 3
Delaware, 3
New Jersey, 15

These are states with their electoral votes next to them. That's what we have to work with. These are the safe states that will not trend red in a general election where the Republican brand is at 27% nationally.

I have excluded New Hampshire, as it's shown favoritism to McCain on a level that could lead to an uspet of either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton.

That's 248 Electoral Votes. The Democratic Nominee will have 248 electoral votes to work with.

Now the obvious point will be to go for the two heavy-hitters - Florida and Ohio.

Florida has trended Republican and while both Senators Clinton and Obama can put it into play, it is absolutely necessary to look elsewhere.

Both Senators Obama and Clinton are polling well in Ohio at the moment and so that would leave the need to pick up 2 Electoral Votes - but I'm not even going there.

The 2008 Election Map for Senator Obama will be the following, according to the polls and the demographics that favor him:

That means:

He retains the 2000 Electoral College map of Al Gore's, ditches New Hampshire of 2004 and carries the following states:

New Mexico, 5
Iowa, 7
Colorado, 9
Nevada, 5

That's 26 Electoral Votes that weren't had in 2004. Now you're wondering how he crosses the 270 threshold.

Well. He already did. That's 274 Electoral Votes.

We gave up Florida. We don't have to win Ohio, Indiana, the bellweather of Missouri or even Virginia.

We have to win states that are on the cusp of turning Democratic in the GE, currently poll well for Senator Obama, show him consistently beating Senator McCain and which play well into our convention theme.

Now Senator Clinton would be a very great +1 Candidate; and so would Senator Obama. But it's not his strength. To further show this:

That's how the counties have gone so far. As you can see, Senator Clinton's strengths have been consistent: Rust Belt, Appalachia, her home state and the nearby New England area. Senator Obama's strengths have been the Purple West, the midwest, his homestate and the swingstates of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

So let's put to bed this notion that Senator Obama can't win in November. Let's put to bed this insane idea that the only path by which to win the Presidency is through Ohio, Florida or both.

If the Democrats never expand the map, they'll continue to come up short because their demographics are switching. Arizona is trending blue and would be in play in any other cycle; Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado are ready and with the help of our governors in Montana along with conservative Democratic Senators, the entire West awaits a candidate willing.

This is not to say Senator Clinton isn't unelectable - she's electable.

But so is Senator Obama. And both could win the +1 state strategy.

It's just this is a realignment election, and with our wins in special elections, the time for to invest money, manpower and time into "Republican safeholds" has never been better.

[editor's note, by Lord Hadrian]

Just some additional information:

538.com -- the site I use to keep up to date with *accurate* polling, which weights and correctly predicts contests, including tonight's and last weeks.

Opinion Journal ECC -- this is the coolest election calculator I've come across. It's easy to switch the states and play with. It uses the 2000 Census, so while it does show elections going all the way back to 1980, their electoral vote totals are incorrect as the states are given 2000 weights. But still awesome.

Tags: President 2008 (all tags)




If there to be had. This is my first really, politically involved diary.


by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips

Excellent and well done.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips

Incoherent and poorly done.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips

My comment, or the diary?

I think you were referring to the diary. If you want to reply to me, please do so.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:14PM | 0 recs
Re: No Tips

You are an imposter

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: No Tips

This comment was directed at a poser claiming to be Jerome Armstrong. Deleted by admin's.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips and a Rec

Excellent work. Very good argument. But what makes you think that Clinton couldn't win New Mexico, Colorado, Montana or Oregon AND Ohio, PA, etc? I think Obama's campaign could be right about the realignment strategy; but they could be wrong, too, if polls are correct showing that McCain and Obama are in a virtual tie in Massachusetts. And, I've read that the Obama campaign is saying Obama could win Georgia? That's simply delusional.

It isn't just the numbers; there's a problem with Obama. "All things being equal" the realignment strategy could work. But all things are not equal. Obama has a deficit in experience, record of accomplishments, and some serious character and judgment issues.

by Tennessean 2008-05-14 04:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Tips

very nice thorough work

by dawolfe 2008-05-14 05:36AM | 0 recs
The Two Maps that Count

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The Two Maps that Count


First of all, those maps aren't accurate to the website you're posting from.

Second, they don't explain the probabilities.

Third, Obama's been getting Mainstream scrutiny in a way that McCain hasn't.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The Two Maps that Count
  1. The maps are accurate.
  2. The probablilites are explained.
  3. Scrutiny of Obama hasn't even remotely begun.
by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The Two Maps that Count

Please evaluate claim #1 in regards to this:


#2 applies to the image, and #3 applies, IMO, to Clinton.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The Two Maps that Count

Please re-read above.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:51PM | 0 recs
Re: The Two Maps that Count

Your map's out of date; in 2 days, he gains 5 electoral votes, which shows how ridiculous a notion those types of maps are in the first place.

That means he's won an entire state between the 11th and 13th riding on absolutely nothing - no wins in states, no major endorsements and no demographic shift of notice.

The maps you offer don't study the demographics and constituencies of the states involved, don't average the polls over a longer period of time, don't weight them according to their performance and are generally worthless.

I only even use 538.com and Poblano's analysis because he at least correctly ascertains the margins and the delegate counts and who will win by pouring over information from each district, each congressional district and past history.

What do those maps offer than a few lame polls? Where are the correctly predicted primary results or correctly predicted elections.

Was it not four years ago that "polls" had Senator Kerry winning the General Election?

Each side takes part in some disingenuous bullshit, of which cherrypicking polls tend to be one of them.

Study the demographics. Look at how the local politics are doing. If a Democrat is winning in a +10 R district in Mississippi, you can't go around screaming the battleground states are the only places where Democrats can win.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The Two Maps that Count

Compare the most recent map, which I linked to, to the map you posted.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 11:58PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

agreed - good diary.

by canadian gal 2008-05-13 10:02PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

You might want to reconsider after you read this bullshit.

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/5/13/2 171/72216/34#34

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:09PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

I think it was an excellent diary.

One bad comment doesn't doom a person, nor should it prevent recognition for good work.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

The term "Camel Fucker" and Obama used in the same sentence isn't even remotely funny. Not to mention gratituious ad hominem attacks.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:17PM | 0 recs
Camel Fucker

Would be related to me, as I like camels. And as the Chopper was called OBAMESSIAH and not Obama, it wasn't a dig at Obama; it was a dig at supporters.

Stop taking everything so serious.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Camel Fucker

I thought it was funny.  DAMN funny.

"We're counting down to Alegre's new diary starting with "didja hear" or "hey guys" and the general theme of "in-it-to-win-it" and "ON WE GO"."

by Jordache 2008-05-13 11:24PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

I didn't say the comment was funny. On the contrary, the word I used was "bad."

I would appreciate a more detailed rebuttal of the diary instead of two posted images.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:21PM | 0 recs
Yes, because

Mocking both Obama supporters and Clinton supporters with a false news-story clearly expresses how I feel about either of them.

I mean. I used Obamamessiah, Obamabot News Network and poked fun at Alegre's penchant for seeming campy in all her threads.

Gee, I'm a real villain.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:13PM | 0 recs

That wouldn't be the word most folks who troll rated you would use.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:20PM | 0 recs

KnowVox, you have the right to complain about the comment, but that has nothing to do with this diary.

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

yeah - not the best comment.  but in general, i have found this diarist to be quite reasoned and non-confrontational.  so maybe he had a momentary lapse of reason?

by canadian gal 2008-05-13 10:18PM | 0 recs
You know, fine.

I apologize for it, if it's going to be a big deal.

It's my personal opinion though that Alegre's been insincere. Especially after that soldiers debacle that left me very angry.

But I'm willing to concede it was too much. Perhaps next time, I'll just poke fun at Obama supporters instead of being even-handed in the teasing.

Again. I'll keep those things to myself next time.

I've striven to be completely fair every other time; I hope KnowVox can cut me some slack for a lapse in judgment.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: You know, fine.

I think we can safely say that she's biased for Clinton, just as I am for Obama. Insincere isn't a word I would use - she sounds very sincere.

However, I don't know what you're talking about. Rather than posting it here for another unrelated debate, can you e-mail?

by Falsehood 2008-05-13 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: You know, fine.

I vividly recall the exchange, and the faux outrage of "Lord H" against Alegre was nothing short of bizarre.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:30PM | 0 recs
When you've served in the military

Get back to me on having to listen to someone use Mother's Day as a political point and then saying motherhood is tougher than military service.

Until then, discuss this diary or I start hiding your comments since they don't pertain to it and are an attack on me.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: When you've served in the military

You hijacked Alegre's Mother's Day diary about Chelsea with repeated off topic bullshit and were deservedly troll rated for it.

Your "Camel Fucker" remark and personal attack on Alegre again today are nothing more than a continuation of your ad hominem attacks.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:41PM | 0 recs

Again. This isn't a diary about me or Alegre; if you can't discuss the diary's content, then you're incapable of being an efficient member of this community.

I've apologized, I've given my reasons. Now stop bringing it into this thread and leveling attacks on me.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:44PM | 0 recs
Re: TR Abuse

You didn't apologize and you have no "reason" other than to harass and attack another MyDD community member. Furthermore, the significiant number of troll ratings on your "joke" is indicative that folks around here don't think you're too funny.

This diary is poorly sourced and incoherent, much like your rambling attacks on Alegre in her Mother's Day diary. You've aptly demonstrated you're an "inefficient" member of this community.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:57PM | 0 recs
Re: TR Abuse

What are you doing in here, other than engaging in ad hominem attacks and thread hijacking?

by Jordache 2008-05-13 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: TR Abuse

Actually, Lord Hadrian is an exceptional member of this community. He has consistently proven himself fair and open-minded, and he's made a number of sincere, conciliatory gesures toward Hillary supporters when we've gone through difficult times (the NC/IN primaries come to mind). I didn't read the comment thread in alegre's Mother's Day diary, nor will I bother to go back and do so now, but I hardly think that LH should be judged solely on whatever outburst he may have had -- particularly if he was genuinely offended by what she said.

There's no point in judging each other by our worst comments -- we would just reach the wrong conclusions. If people saw only my top 10 or 20 most abrasive remarks, they'd all call me a lunatic, and they would (for the most part) be incorrect. Let's give each other the benefit of the doubt occasionally.

by sricki 2008-05-14 12:32AM | 0 recs
Re: TR Abuse

KnowVox complaining about TR abuse!!!  This is too funny.

by interestedbystander 2008-05-14 01:54AM | 0 recs
They aren't even worth responding to.

You have an excellent diary they are having trouble responding to with anything but insults.
And that is Victory.

Well done.

by Tumult 2008-05-13 10:45PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Not a chance.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:25PM | 0 recs
Some "minor" overlooked facts...

1.) Obama strategy is reliant upon a "cataclysmic" sea-change, in terms of state voting alignments this cycle. Clinton strategy is based upon sound historical and statistical analytics.

2.) A Democrat has not won a GE since 1916 (that's nineteen freakin' sixteen!) without winning WV, too.

3.) Many of the states on this diarist's list of "sure things" for Obama are waaaaaay far from that, in fact. NJ, MA and many other states--based upon current polling--become swing states if Obama's the nominee.

4.) Using simple historical analysis and sound analytics--not hysterical "hope"--the Clinton campaign wins this argument hands down. No ifs, ands or buts.

The Obama argument, while full of "hope," is devoid of sound historical analytics. The Clinton argument is heavily driven by intensive historical analytics.

by bobswern 2008-05-13 11:31PM | 0 recs

This is a really spot-on and succinct statement of the problems with the Obama map.  

I never thought of it in those terms, but what you say about a cataclysmic sea change is exactly the logic coming from the Obama fan base.  It may be novel and hopeful, but like most of the appeal, it doesn't hold up to reasoned scrutiny.  

by BPK80 2008-05-14 01:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Some "minor" overlooked facts...

Really? Latest poll shows Obama beating Hillary in NJ.  If the primaries were re-run today, he would win CA and NJ.  

by interestedbystander 2008-05-14 01:56AM | 0 recs
Mass, the home of American Liberalism...

(home of the Abolition movement) is going to Republican this year.  Are you serious or are you just trying to fuck with me?

by nklein 2008-05-14 04:57AM | 0 recs
Tell that to...

Bill Weld, Ed King, and a few others...

There are polls that support my arguments. And, I'm not even going to waste time chasing after those links.

As far as "fucking with you" is concerned...you're doing a fine job on your own 'round here!

by bobswern 2008-05-14 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map
Great maps!
I agree, either candidate could win the general.  Personally, I am pleased it will be Obama as I will relish the West turning blue.
And if you look at the senate seats up for grabs this November, Obama polls better in Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Minnesota and given the huge increases in Democratic party registration, the Dems stand decent changes of picking up six seats in the West.  A fillibuster proof senate would be pretty nice.  That might allow our next president the abiltity to actually get something done.
A great time to go on offense.  Expand the map.  Love the 50 state strategy.  Of course, the GOP has helped a bit but I'll take it.  
by Rick in Eugene 2008-05-13 10:12PM | 0 recs
Actual maps:

These are with correctly weight polls who actually record results that are close to the true results of a primary or election.

Senator Obama currently has 266 EVs to Senator Clinton's 259.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Actual maps:

I've seen this map before.

A major problem with this map is that it shows Clinton losing Washington state to McCain.  I don't see that happening, especially, not with Clinton winning Oregon which is considerably less blue than Washington.

With proper adjustments made for Washington, Clinton wins.  

by BPK80 2008-05-14 01:54AM | 0 recs
But you agree that Massachusetts is going...

to go Republican.  If you are going to claim that, then I see problem questioning Hillary's ability to gain the Northwest.  Especially since she is particularly weak there.

by nklein 2008-05-14 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Ya know, after spending a bit of time on this site, I think I can cross Methodist off my list of religions I'd ever consider. Not sure what their tenets are but the one that lives here sure is nasty.  I personally appreciate the time and conviction it takes to write a diary whether I completely agree with it or not.  

by Rick in Eugene 2008-05-13 10:19PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Me too..

by hootie4170 2008-05-13 11:05PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Great diary. I have gotten more than a little sick of the "Obama is unelectable" chant that puts way too much attention on picking up Ohio and Florida. That's not the 50 state strategy in motion.

by Jaffee 2008-05-13 10:20PM | 0 recs
Another map says Clinton takes it all.

Updated daily these maps have shown Clinton winning over McCain every day for months.

Check these maps

Todays maps:  

 Obama 237     McCain  290  Ties 11
                 Democrats add CO, IA
                 Republicans add MI, NH, WI

Clinton 280    McCain 241   Ties 17
                 Democrats add FL, IA, WV, OH
                  Republicans add NH, WI

by itsadryheat 2008-05-13 10:22PM | 0 recs
I can find another site that will

show Obama consistently out-polling Senator McCain while Senator Clinton struggles to draw 250 as well.

I'll explain why I trust Poblano and 538.com though and his maps and electoral analysis.

Of the last three primaries:

His predictions:
+17 Obama in NC
+2 Clinton in Indiana
+39 Clinton in West Virginia

Well within the MOE, and the closest analysis by anyone. You can go further back to his work in Pennsylvania.

He works demographics which are hardpressed to change as quickly as daily-tracking polls. Daily-tracking polls - Gallup, etc, ad nauseum, show a 50/50 tie, with either candidate jumping ahead by 5 points and dropping back 5 points, rinse, repeat.

The key is to balance 2004 results with 2008 turnout, crack the demographics and correctly predict - which 538 has done.

He goes further however - he weights polls that are correct in their predictions, further helping him make more precise analysis. Meaning, SUSA would be higher than something like American Research Group, which, while accurate on occasion, is more often not.

So I don't want to cherry pick. Poblano researches lots of polls, adds lots of polls, crunches the numbers and is like our very own Chuck Todd.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I can find another site that will

maybe he is Chuck Todd :)

by soros 2008-05-14 04:33AM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

The Obama Map


Maybe New York, Rhode Island and Minnesota if he's lucky.

by DaveOinSF 2008-05-13 10:32PM | 0 recs
Evidence is necessary.

Otherwise, why should anyone take you serious?

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Evidence is necessary.

Sage advice. Try it.

by KnowVox 2008-05-13 10:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Evidence is necessary.

Pictures, and sources. All at the bottom of the diary. You can research the source yourself.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 11:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Evidence is necessary.

I have concluded that you are a troll.  Possibly an android of some kind.

You do your candidate no credit.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-05-13 11:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Evidence is necessary.

Can you point to a single post where you have engaged in reasoned discussion with an Obama supporter?  Your 100% dismissal of anything that contradicts your views just makes your contribution worthless.

by interestedbystander 2008-05-14 02:01AM | 0 recs
Good diary

Though I disagree with a few things.

1. The picture above is so wide on my browser that it hides the Recommend button.  I had to fiddle around with the brower to find it.  Since this is a well thought out diary, maybe you could tweak it so it doesn't miss recommendations merely because of the browser resize issue.

2. I think you gamble when you deem so many blue states as "safe" for Obama.  The overall impression in your diary is that we only have to fight for Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada.  With a candidate performing as poorly w. Hispanics vis-a-vis John McCain, that in itself is an uphill climb.  But more importantly, Democrats have serious problems in Michigan and Wisconsin this year, and Obama in particular has a problem in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the dark horse of the race that historically goes Democratic but is a perfect storm for a McCain upset this November.  

Boston is considered by AA's to be the most racist city on the East Coast.  Outside of Massachusetts, the state is working class white, a demographic happy to vote for home-state John Kerry but not so ready to vote for the guy who insults their rural lifestyles.  

McCain runs strongly in the Northeast and his Irish heritage is a plus in a heavily Irish/Catholic state.  Obama has notable deficits with Catholics.

Finally, there's the Patrick Deval effect.  He was a governor, incidentally also African American, who ran on a vague platform of "hope and change" after Romney.  Obama got many of his ideas from Deval, including parts of his "just words" speech, the one he was accused of plagiarizing.  Deval has proven an incompetent disaster in Massachusetts and the public there isn't so ready to jump on the national version of Deval.

That's why consistently, in poll after poll, we see so many dead heat races b/w McCain and Obama in Mass.  One poll and we'd all shake our heads and say "outlier."  But at this point there have been six or so polls confirming the trend.  Ask Lanny Davis.  :-)  

by BPK80 2008-05-13 10:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Good diary

1) Fixed the picture; sorry 'bout that. My resolution is stupidly large -.-.

2) I leave the typical battleground states yellow - and I add Kansas which is trending blue in a lot of the polls because I think a Sebelius ticket is a potential.

Senator Obama doesn't have a hispanic problem IMO; he has a Clinton problem. The demographics are split 50/50 with little give and take, except in states where either candidate blows the other out (ie, tonight, where Clinton won all the demographics).

As for Massachusetts, here are the latest polls:

Obama +12
Obama +2
McCain +5
Obama +7
Obama +7
Obama +2

The 538 Regression shows Obama carrying the state 11.2 and a poll of polls, averaging all relevant polls recently puts a win at 6.7%. Senator Clinton fares better, with 15.7%.

And I don't take Lanny Davis serious. I prefer Paul Begala, at the least.

Senator Obama shows he's ready to campaign in Florida and Ohio and even Michigan. But he also does best in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. A poll of polls shows Senator Obama carrying all three, whereas Senator Clinton only carries Minnesota:

Source: 538.com

I don't think we should stake everything on those four states anyway; but I seek to highlight that each candidate has his or her own strengths and that each can use them fittingly. West Virginia for Senator Clinton, Colorado for Senator Obama.

If anyone thinks they can claim Senator Clinton has 270 electoral votes ready, they're being unfair, since if they're going to ignore the polls and say Senator Clinton will carry those states (Michigan, Wisconsin) regardless, I can say the same for Senator Obama.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 11:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Good diary

The Massachusetts concern isn't so much that he would outright lose it but that we'll have to fight for yet another state that would have otherwise been totally in the bag with Clinton heading the ticket.

Honestly, at first, I thought what we were seeing in Mass. was outliers.  But there have been so many that it got me thinking about factors at play here.  McCain's Northeastern strength via his supposedly moderate social stances.  Irish. Catholic.  Deval.  Etc.

Michigan and Wisconsin are problematic for both Obama and Clinton.  Obama is a bit stronger in both.  He needs to win them, Clinton doesn't.  His exclusion policy for Michigan's primary voters isn't exactly ideal... It not only antagonizes the voters there, but the state Dem party as well.  His friction with Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit, has been well noted also.  Obama's going to have to come back down to earth on his "street money" principle if he wants to do well enough in Philadelphia & Detroit (both cities having mayors lukewarm at best on his candidacy) to offset huge losses in the upstates of Mich. and Penn.  

I don't find Minnesota-based arguments compelling because I think the state will be blue in the fall regardless of the nominee.  Same for Washington and Oregon.

Obama's realistic electoral appeal as a candidate is limited to Iowa and Colorado from what I can tell.  I have yet to see a lot of support for the idea that Obama would be significantly stronger in Nevada or New Mexico than Hillary.  He will outperform Hillary in Virginia and North Carolina, but not by enough to win the states.  And in my opinion the extra clout in Iowa and Colorado doesn't justify the deficits he brings in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Arkansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Maine, Delaware, and West Virginia.  

by BPK80 2008-05-14 01:23AM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

You are proposing an all or nothing scenario, Obama has to win all four of NM, IA, CO and NV or he loses. Strategically that is a much more dangerous position than Clinton's where she has a larger set of plausible winning scenarios.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan are not "safe" for any Democrat, least of all Obama. And in any case you have not changed the map. NV, CO and NM were big targets for Kerry, as your visit and money maps show (more-so if you adjust for cost per media share). Bush's NJ feint had no real impact on Kerry's targeting. And remember that Bush's California feint in 2000 nearly cost him the election.

Finally, a number of studies have shown that the gay marriage initiatives netted us more votes than the Republicans. So that theory goes out the window too.

by souvarine 2008-05-13 11:01PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

That may read more churlish than intended. It is good to see an Obama supporter grappling seriously with these questions. Long-time MyDD readers will recognize this diary as more in the tradition of MyDD. I hope my criticism is constructive.

by souvarine 2008-05-13 11:09PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Oh, don't worry. I do feel a bit annoyed about those KnowVox posts since you can't really argue them without the thread being derailed but I love a good debate.

And we can all quote the polls we love to use, or the sites, or our theories. It's better than bashing our brains out over more mundane matters, like whether someone flipped the bird or drank shots or something.

And I do agree - it's always a long shot. But again, I have to see the McCain brand to know more. And again, I prefer demographics to daily-tracking polls.

Living in Arizona, I know this state is ready to go blue but we unfortunately have to deal with Home State status this turn.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 11:37PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Wisconsin and Michigan are the safest for Senator Obama at this point in time. If a revote was held in Michigan, in fact, it's likely he would win, as all polls show he is in fact, beating Senator Clinton there and carries the state.

Senator Clinton in fact does not carry the state in a poll of polls, weight polls that are accurate.

And NV, CO and NM weren't big targets since I can still see the state in comparison to Ohio and Florida. I'm talking about active campaigning and serious initiative to bring those states to the Democrats in November. Not a paltry 5 or 6 million or a few trips.

And I didn't say gay marriage initiatives were a plus or a minus; instead I said, we resorted to explaining away our losses to everything except the reasoning: shitty campaigning.

And actually, Senator Obama could of course lose New Mexico or Nevada and carry the election with 269 Electoral Votes.

But I sincerely believe once the general election kicks off, and depending up on the vice president, Obama can pivot to the center and use the NAFTA card on Senator McCain in both Ohio and Michigan.

I need to see more from Pennsylvania, but polls show both Senators carrying it.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Obama's comparative strength to Clinton in a Michigan Dem primary is somewhat of a liability in the general election.  It indicates that Clinton is more centrist while Barack is more to the left.  

Pennsylvania is a nightmare for Obama.  He underperformed primary expectations in Philadelphia and in the crucial Philly burbs.  He won only 65% of the vote in Philadelphia city.  John Kerry won 80%.  

With Obama leading the ticket, he's going to need bigger margins than John Kerry in Southeast PA to offset an even bigger GOP v. Dem chasm in the upstate.  Hillary beat Obama 75% to 25% in swing counties Luzerne and Lackawanna (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton).  He lost bellweather Lehigh (Allentown) and Allegheney (Pitts) counties.  The vote in PA was just as much pro-Hillary as it was anti-Obama.  The latter part remains.  

Keep in mind that Pennsylvania was the state he specifically insulted in his cling-to-guns speech.  It hasn't escaped anybody's attention here nor will it vanish overnight as the GOP ad machine goes into high gear.

Also, PA's huge Irish population and huge Catholic population give McCain a more welcome reception.  He's moderate on social issues and that plays well in Southeast PA (where they just love Arlen Specter!) We also have the second oldest voting population in the country.  

Having seen every single poll in the 2004 election cycle, ranging from George Bush +12 to John Kerry +15 in PA, I'll have to defer to what I know about the state and what the county-by-county margins in 2000, 2004, and the 2008 say about its demographic make-up.  

by BPK80 2008-05-14 02:07AM | 0 recs

The New Hampshire 2000 issue isn't as underreported as you may suggest.  I've seen it discussed many times both by political junkies and friends not connected to politics.

To quote a friend from Boston back then (excuse the profanity):

"I looked at the map and saw New Hampshire and thought--what the fuck!?"

by BPK80 2008-05-13 11:02PM | 0 recs

I usually have to listen to conspiracy theories, cries of Ralph Nader being a cocksucker or that Al Gore should've carried his very conservative home state of Tennessee that basically hated him :P.

But New Hampshire isn't so surprising in that it's gone this way:

Year     Rep.     Dem.     3rd*
2004    48.9%    50.2%    0.0%
2000    48.1    46.8    3.9
1996    39.6    49.6    9.7
1992    37.7    38.9    22.6
1988    62.5    36.3    0.0
1984    68.7    30.9    0.0
1980    57.7    28.4    12.9

That's Republicans winning 4 out of the last 7 and George Bush 41 having a decent claim to the possibility that Ross Perot spoiled that particular state (the notion of RP spoiling the election being retarded).

So it's not entirely a Democratic stronghold or anything but the demographics favored Al Gore and Democrats in general - both are less than 2 percent finishes.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 11:42PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

I personally think it's well done and don't yet buy this notion that Ohio is out of play. It's not like Obama is getting blown out in polls in Ohio or what not. The most recent poll had him down by 1. Now, i do think he needs to either add Clinton or a Midwesterner to the ticket but to just write it off would be wrong.

Also, we haven't even started our campaign against McCain yet! Let's start that first and come back in a few months and then talk about what polls are showing and what he needs and what he doesn't and what not.

by werd2406 2008-05-13 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Yes, with old polls being dropped off, Senator Obama only needs one or two more to carry it on 538.

Again. I just think it's too early to tell if Senator McCain's brand will be able loose itself from Bush's reputation and reach. When we know more about that, we'll know how the battleground states will play.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-13 11:29PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Obama himself omitted Ohio (and Florida) from his electoral map memo sent to superdelegates a few weeks back.  

Ohio is too expensive and unreceptive to Obama for him to squander resources there.  Also, it has too many so-called "bitter" small town voters for him to realistically outperform John Kerry's $20,000,000 two point loss 2004.  His resources are best diverted elsewhere, and no one needs to take my word for it; the Obama campaign memo says it all.

by BPK80 2008-05-14 02:10AM | 0 recs
Excellent diary, great analysis.

I'd like to give a more thoughtful response, but I just realized it's nearly 4 AM. So let me just say, I'm very optimistic about our chances in the fall.

by sricki 2008-05-14 12:43AM | 0 recs
Me too.

Almost two here. Even though the primaries have been fun, I really wish it was November and all the campaign stops were over so I can just find out if we won, won big and possibly even gave Karl Rove a heart attack in the process.

It's like standing on the balls of your feet for five months or waiting for the next great twist. There's polls and then there's results!

But yeah. I think we're almost about to transition back to that Pre-California moment, right before the first one on one debate in Hollywood. Where everyone was like unity-ticket, unity-ticket.

At least - that seems the mood everywhere except the blogosphere.

I think the staunch Obama and staunch Clinton supporters are going to be disappointed.

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-14 12:50AM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Obama Electoral Map

Nice diary, rec'd. This is a good analysis of the situation at hand. I think the best way to look at things is that both Obama and Clinton can "Expand" the map in thier own ways--Clinton via WV, Missouri, and Arkansas, and Obama via CO, VA, Indiana and possibly NC.  

I don't think either Obama or Clinton will realistically lose Democratic strongholds, even the ones that have shown shaky polling for them at one point or another.

It just pisses me off to the ends of the earth that McDumbass is from Arizona, because otherwise we'd be all in on the political fun that important "swing" states get. Both Hill and Obama would hold their own here and I wouldn't doubt a win if McCranky wasn't from here.

Great job.

by zcflint05 2008-05-14 02:42AM | 0 recs
No kidding.

I'm seriously steaming over this one because this definitely was the year Arizona could've gone blue.

And Napolitano is pretty much done as Governor (last term); so I hope she continues to be a presence in our state. Personally, I want to see her kick Senator McCain's ass out of his seat once he gets a stomping in the GE.

She would've been a really good VP pick too -.-.


by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-14 07:33AM | 0 recs
Nice diary overall

Its pretty simple.  Obama must win either:

1. The group of western swing states plus Iowa


2. Ohio

And he has to do it while successfully defending PA and MI (which you inexplicable assigned a priori to the Dems, which is just wrong).  That's the game.  Its not that complicated.

by Fuzzy Dunlop 2008-05-14 04:29AM | 0 recs
Romney influence?
I honestly believe McCain will pick Romney as his VP. McCain knows his weak point is the economy and Romney has enough business and govenor experience that alot of indies and swing voters concern about the economy might vote for McCain.
The question is if this happens how big of an influence will it be. Romney is orginally from Michigan and his father was govenor there so will it help McCain in Michigan? I doubt it. Romney was govenor of Massachusetts will it help McCain carry the state. I doubt it too. But where I think it will help is in CO and Nevada. Both states are heavy Mormon populated states and I think the Mormons will turn out big to vote for the first Mormon VP. So I think with Romney on the ticket CO and NV will stay red or atleast be more competitive than we thought.
by harmony94 2008-05-14 05:09AM | 0 recs
Again, I'd have to see McCain's brand

It's easy to say Senator McCain will do well - but he's had 3 months of no competition against a bitterly divided Democratic Party.

He has yet to poll above 45% consistently despite this.

What this tells me is that the Democratic nominee is going to get a large boost once the base is solidified and further more, that Senator McCain's going to have his ass stomped in the general.

I could be wrong but since someone brought up the importance of West Virginia up-thread, I'll bring up the importance of being the first party to rally around their nominee.

The party that does it - have a nominee first - has won the last 10 elections.

That the Democratic brand has not suffered but minor setbacks leads me to believe we'll be able to make serious gains.

I don't particularly buy it just yet, but three special elections that favor Democrats are a harbinger of things to come. Every time a party does that, we see a realignment. 1980. 1994 especially comes to mind.

It may be hard to believe, and I know several have expressed it, but the south could be in play. North Carolina, Virginia, yes even Georgia and Louisiana.

Some people forget that a southern boy by the name of Bill Clinton got 2 out of those 4 states on his map. That Virginia has elected two Democratic governors, the first black one and recently Senator Webb. It's not inconceivable - it's just too early to make the appropriate analysis.

Again. It's McCain brand.

Other reasons this could be a big year for the Democrats:

Lack of motivation from the GOP Base.

Third party potentials from Bob Barr could put the map even further into Senator Obama or Clinton's pocket.

The biggest one is fatigue - can people go into the polls and pull the lever for someone who will, by that time, successfully be branded as yet another Republican who promises a continuation of the war, taxes for the rich and a laissez faire approach to everything?

by Lord Hadrian 2008-05-14 07:30AM | 0 recs


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