Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Battle for Colorado

The more I play with electoral vote maps, the more I come to the conclusion that Denver is exactly where Obama should be for the biggest speech of his life.

Here's my thinking.
1. Obama is solid in the upper Midwest, where Kerry was shaky (Iowa, Minn, Wisc). If he loses any of those states, it points to a McCain landslide. The GOP convention in Minnesota was meant to capitalize on Kerry's shakiness there, but that region is now done with the GOP for a while.

2. Ohio or Florida all but guarantee victory for Obama in the race, not least because to win either implies an Obama landslide. In this sense, they are not that crucial if the race gets tight - they are lost.

3. Virginia is crucial too, but it is hard to see Dems winning Virginia without being strong enough to win in Ohio and possibly Florida or Missouri or Indiana. So Virginia isn't really quite a backstop. Virginia is turning blue only if the election is going to Obama generally - not if it's as close as in 2000 or 2004.

4. I think that Democrats can reasonably hope to win the Presidency even if they lose both Ohio and Florida - in other words, if this looks like 2000 or 2004 all over again -- only if Obama can win Colorado and New Mexico but NM is bluer and smaller, so Colorado is the prize - win CO, you win NM). I see no other state that Dems can still win it even if they are too weak to win Ohio or Florida. Not Indiana, not Virginia, not Missouri.

Colorado's nine electoral votes are crucial also, not just for victory, but for the Democrats to stake their claim to the Mountain West. Whoever chose Denver for the convention is a genius. That's why Obama is the best candidate for the party. Western Democrats (CO, Idaho, Washington, etc.) flocked to Obama because he represents the new Democrats of the 21st centuyr, not the Clintonites against whom they Westerners turned in 1994, putting the GOP in power in the Congress.

1 comment:

Dr. Strangelove said...

The solidity of the upper Midwest you mention is heartening. He looks very competitive in the rust belt as well, though he does not have a lock on it yet. Your point about Colorado as bellwether is a good one! I notice also (mostly from the nice maps at ) that Obama's strength in the Mountain West is looking reasonable perhaps even for Montana and the Dakotas.

I think Obama might be able to pitch his message of change to resonate better with more middle-of-the road voters with libertarian tendencies. It occurs to me that if Obama were to promise to replace a host of bad programs (these need not be specified) with one or two good ones to address issues that affect most Americans, that kind of offer of "change" might do very well with voters who feel betrayed by the Republicans under Bush (with their endless wars and explosive deficit spending) but who are also worried about things like health care and energy.