It’s been two really, really long years. But in a little over 48 hours, we will most likely know who the next President of the United States will be. Luckily for you, you don’t have to wait for Tuesday to see how the final electoral map will pan out. From the people– me– who correctly brought you 20 of 22 picks on Super Tuesday and the Super Bowl XLII upset special (including the exact margin of the Giants’ victory), I give you Tuesday’s map:
Electoral vote tally: Barack Obama 375, John McCain 163.
Just a few notes:
– Every poll confirms that Pennsylvania is a done deal. I know McCain sees it as his last stand, and he definitely needs to win it to have any real chance at the presidency. But if it’s such a swing state, why hasn’t Obama been there in a week?
– Ohio and Florida seem to be the two battlegrounds getting the most attention from both campaigns in the final days. Ohio is one of the states hit hardest by the economic downturn, especially in the housing market, and I think that puts it over the top for Obama. The theme there, even from white voters skeptical of a black candidate, is “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” And if Ohio falls, Indiana will also get swept in, by virtue of being sandwiched between the Buckeye State and Obama’s Illinois (where he’ll win by 20% or more). Florida is all ground game, and McCain is getting trounced by Obama in that respect. Kerry lost Florida by 5%; Obama will make that up in increased African-American turnout alone. Obama’s superior get out the vote effort will push it over the top.
– Early voting has locked up Nevada and North Carolina. It’ll also put Obama within three points in Georgia, though not quite close enough to win there.
– McCain’s team fumbled the ball badly in Virginia. Not only did they build no ground game, but they spent the last few weeks insulting the northern half of the state. It’ll cost them 13 electoral votes.
– Missouri in the Obama column is the prediction I’m most worried about. I think the vote there might look like it did on Super Tuesday, when the state was originally called for Hillary Clinton but was eeked out at the end by Obama.
– If McCain is going to pull off a surprise anywhere, it’ll be the midwest states, Ohio and Indiana. Under my map, that still leaves him 76 electoral votes short.
– If you want to know when on election night you can start celebrating, here’s a guide. If Obama wins just two of the following four states, it’s over: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, or Florida. If Obama wins just one, he can still be saved by holding serve in the west, winning Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, or by winning just one of those states plus North Carolina. If Obama somehow loses all four– Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida– hold onto your hat. He would then need the three Western states– Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada– plus North Carolina (which could easily happen), or the Western states plus Indiana and Missouri (a scenario that is unlikely if he’s already lost Midwestern voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio).