Okay, we have a lengthy discussion in the comments below about polls and the state of the race (Is McCain surging? Is Obama holding steady? etc.) I thought I'd start a new post devoted to the horse race in the final two weeks. If people like, I can make this a daily feature.
First of all, here's a map that I consider to be the baseline for both candidates. Maybe you have quibbles about this. Maybe you think, for instance, that Indiana should be a toss-up or that Missouri should be for McCain, but I think these are reasonable. (The map, BTW, is taken from the LA Times electoral vote map)
I think this is a reasonable baseline. Obama wins all the Kerry states plus Iowa and New Mexico, where he has essentially never trailed (at least not since March). So the election comes down to seven states -- and Obama only needs to win one of them. (Nevada would result in a tie, but a tie goes to Obama for reasons we have previously discussed). So all that matters are the results in those seven states. As of today, according to the various trusted websites, here are the numbers:
|State||RCP||Pollster||538||538 Win %|
The "538" column refers to the fivethirtyeight.com projection, and the "538 %" column refers to 538's estimated percentage that Obama wins that state.
In any case, you can see what I'm getting at here. If you believe my assumptions, then McCain needs to win all of these seven states; Obama just needs to win one. And as of now, by any decent metric, Obama is leading in all seven of those states, in some cases by considerable margins.
Should I do this again tomorrow? Is this a helpful thing to look at?