Just a quick update on the EC scores for the 2K8 race. The current score stands as follows:
Obama (D) - 286
McCain (R) - 157
Toss Up - 95
If the election were held today, McCain would take Indiana and Montana, while Obama would take the other toss-up states (N. Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Missouri, N. Carolina, Ohio and Florida). In that event, the EC score would be as follows:
Obama (D) - 367
McCain (R) - 186
Now here's where it gets interesting. I had to check my math to be sure. Here's how the score would look if McCain swept all of the battleground states:
Obama (D) - 286
McCain (R) - 252
Even if Obama didn't gain any more states than he already holds, he would still win. McCain can only narrow the gap. And this assumes that every one of the toss-ups would swing to McCain. As you can see from the graphs, that's pretty unlikely. Indiana, Ohio and Florida may wind up with McCain, but the other states are looking towards Obama.
This is why Obama was always in a much stronger position. All he needs to do is hold all of the Kerry 2K4 states, plus 18 more EV's. And Obama holds New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa and Virgina (all Bush states), to say nothing of the others. At this point, all he really has to do is run out the clock. Notice how Obama will be spending his final focus exclusively on the red states. We're aiming for a knockout in this race.
Assuming these numbers hold, I honestly don't see how John McCain can win this game. He's too far behind, and now is forced to play defense. His campaign has been the most poorly managed and executed in my lifetime. It's been one lurching disaster and fiasco after another. You can't even play solid defense that way.
No doubt this explains the desperate play for Pennsylvania. Ignore the fact that it's solidly in the Obama column. There just aren't enough blue states that McCain can tip to red, certainly not in the final two weeks. It just ain't gonna happen. His only shot is for one big surprise, and then hope for a couple toss-ups in New England or the Midwest. In other words, pray for another bloody football scrum on the goal line like 2000. Play to a tie, then unleash the lawyers.
Is there any credible scenario where McCain wins the election? I'm not seeing it. This shouldn't give us reason to rest easy. We need to play 4th Quarter offense, running all the way. After 2000 and 2K4, we can't take anything for granted. But we can at least breathe easy.