State of the Race - Electoral Math - 8/14/08

The 8/1 edition of this feature is here, when the tally was Obama 336, McCain 202. Remember, I award states to whoever leads in the polling aggregates.

For this edition, Obama has actually slipped a bit and now wins Obama 312, McCain 226.

Compared to two weeks ago, Obama has lost his razor thin lead in Florida, though McCain's 1.6-point lead isn't exactly commanding. The state is effectively deadlocked. In Obama's favor, Alaska is now a narrow Obama lead. Like Montana, it's hard to believe that Alaska would sport even a temporary Obama lead, but it's that kind of year. Obama truly is outperforming past tickets in the West. It's east of the Mississippi were things tighten up most.

Now let's look at the map with competitive states yellowed out:

I consider a state "competitive" if it's within single digits in the polling, and thus far, about half the states remain competitive. But if you tally up the EVs, you see that Obama is sitting in much more solid ground.

Two weeks ago, Obama had 210 electoral votes in his safe column, essentially his base states, compared to 72 EVs for McCain. . This week, it's Obama 200, McCain 82. Oregon, which has been giving Obama a roughly 10-point lead, has tightened up slightly, given him a 7-point lead. And Delaware should've been in yellow all along, since an old SUSA poll in February gave Obama a 9-point lead. It's not really a competitive state, but by the rules of this exercise, I must include it.

Bottom line, Obama has 200 solid EVs out of the 270 electoral votes he needs, while McCain needs 188 of the remaining 253 EVs, or a whopping 74 percent of them, to win the election.

Why oh why isn't Obama doing better! This is all great news for McCain.

One more exercise -- I tightened the "swing state" screen to states where the margins are closer than five points:

This map gives us Obama 264, McCain 154. That leaves 120 EVs up for grabs, of which McCain must win 97 percent to win the election. Al Obama has to do is pick up six more EVs from those yellow states. Nevada has five, Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota each have three, the rest of those yellow states would single-handedly push Obama over the top.

I don't know how the news for Obama can get any worse than this...

Reposted from DailyKOS.