Thursday, October 09, 2008

Virginia is turning blue

The latest polls show Obama up by double digits in Virginia!
To understand the significance of this you have to be versed in some of the number-crunching statistics of electoral politics.
So far in this campaign Republicans have failed to make any headway in the so-called Kerry states, or those states won by John Kerry in 2004. In addition, Obama seems to have a lock on Iowa and New Mexico which both went narrowly for Bush in 04.
Assuming that does not change, Obama can win by picking up any one of the following states - Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Missouri or Indiana. He is currently leading in all of those states with the exception of Indiana where McCain still has a narrow lead but was never before considered to be a swing state in the first place.
To repeat, anyone of those states can push Obama over the top. If all or even most of them go for Obama, we are talking landslide of historic proportions not seen by a Democrat since LBJ.
And did I mention that I am not even counting New Hampshire, Colorado or Nevada in the Obama column, even though he is leading in those states as well? My current dream number for an Obama landslide is 364. He only needs 270 to win.
When people look at an electoral map of the U.S., it always looks more red than blue. But that is misleading because the map emphasizes land mass which does not matter rather than people. For example, the New England block which Democrats have a lock on - Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut - has as many electoral votes as Texas. If you throw in some of the other reliably Democratic states just below that region - Delaware, Maryland, D.C., New Jersey - you have a block of electoral votes the same size as California. And when you add in the big population states like California, New York and Illinois which are currently gimmees for Democrats and throw in the reliably Democratic Midwest states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, then it comes down to who can win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.
Fun stuff!

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