Electoral Map Tightens
White House 2008
Obama – 243
McCain – 227
Tossup – 68
Safe Republican (88) – AL, GA, ID, KS, KY, LA, MS, NE, OK, TN, UT, WY
Likely Republican (69) – AK, AR, AZ, SC, SD, TX, WV
Lean Republican (70) – FL, IN, MO, MT, NC, ND
Tossup (68) – CO, MI, NV, NH, OH, VA
Lean Democratic (46) – MN, NM, PA, WI
Likely Democratic (40) – IA, NJ, OR, WA
Safe Democratic (157) – CA, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, ME, MA, MD, NY, RI, VT
Oddly enough, Arkansas and West Virginia appear on the political radar for the first time with closer than expected polling for Obama vs. McCain. This pulls them out of safety and into “likely” status. Conversely, Maine’s consistent double-digit landslide secures that state for Obama. Alaska also slinks up one category, and will probably move securely into McCain’s column at my next update as later polls confirm the Palin favorite-daughter syndrome going on in current polls.
Most of the rest is minor rejiggering of where states stand. Recent polls put all of the “lean Democrat” states in danger of voting McCain, while all but Iowa in “likely” are too close for comfort. Yet, the tossup states are also still very much competitive for Obama (albeit with McCain edging out in front in some of them for the first time since the pastor Wright scandal). And I’ll even admit the data is not entirely convincing on “lean Republican” states.
So where does that really leave us? With an electoral map that has tightened up between the two presidential tickets, but where the map is still unsettled enough to make anything possible.
Still, Obama has to like the fact that only Michigan and New Hampshire are in serious danger of flipping from Kerry to McCain and yet so many other Bush states are still up for grabs. And he’s raising enough money to stay competitive with the Republicans on television, while waging a far more expensive and far-reaching ground game. (My door has been knocked on by 3 different volunteers on 3 different weekends as they register new voters and gauge likely turnout.)
It’s still anybody’s game.