Sunday, September 14, 2008


States to Watch- Five Keep Your Eyes On

With Iowa looking less like a swing state, I believe 5 states deserve the most watching.

In order of importance-
Colorado (9 electoral votes)
New Mexico (5 electoral votes)
New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)
Nevada (5 electoral votes)
Michigan (17 electoral votes)

These states will probably be the five that decide the Presidency in a close election.

You may notice that the only one of these states that Kerry and Gore both carried is Michigan. Deep discontent with Michigan's Democratic Jennifer Granholm opens a door for McCain. Chuck Todd believes that Obama has to get above 48% or above before election day to guarantee victory. Otherwise, some hidden Bubba (aka whites not willing to vote for a Black man) might take place. Combine that with Obama's non primary GOTV operation effort (he had his reasons), and we may, may have a race on our hands in that state. The only problem is that Obama runs well ahead of his national average in the state (a good 2-5 points ahead). Only one poll post convention show a McCain lead (one point) and two polls show a 3+ point lead for Obama.

The one thing you can be assured of is that if Obama loses this state, he will lose the election 999/1000.

New Hampshire is a state that Obama should win. Jeanne Shaheen is running VERY strong in her bid to defeat incumbent Senator John Sununu. She hasn't trailed in a single poll taken this year. New Hampshire knocked out its two Republican Congressmen in 2006 and replace its Republican state legislature with Democrats. YET, YET, Barack Obama lost the primary campaign to Hilary Clinton (still one of the biggest shockers in United States Presidential history). John McCain has run two terrific primary campaigns in the state. He draws support from the state's famous independents.

Obama may lack the necessary support from the population concentrated southeast working class voters. But Obama hasn't trailed in a poll for over 3 months, and this state is turning more Democratic by the minute. Obama can afford a lost in the state, but it makes his route to 270 difficult, if for no reason then a lost here suggests that the demographics may not be on his side in the rest of the country.

New Mexico is just a flat out bizarre state. Many Hispanics (over 30%) and a significant American Indian population combined with a white population that still controls over 50% of the state's voting population. If Obama wins 65% of the Hispanic population he wins. Gore won the state (by less than 400 votes) by doing this. Kerry did better among White voters than Gore, but he lost a lot of ground among Hispanics (Bush reached out to Hispanics). Polling in this state is difficult because of its high Hispanic, but more importantly because of its American Indian population.

Growing Hispanic population = Good News for Obama

This is pretty much like New Hampshire. Obama can afford to lose the state, but if he loses here, he'll most likely lose Nevada and good bye.

Nevada is like New Mexico.... except not. It has a good sized Hispanic population, but it also has a significant amount of retirees (think of it as a quasi type of West Coast Boca). Further, the Mormon population in the northern rural part of the state will deliver large votes to McCain. In the last two elections, George Bush has won by about 20,000. What makes one believe that this state will flip? A higher Hispanic population... and a TREMENDOUS gain in Democratic voter registration (no doubt helped by the contended caucus).

Nevada has a lower Hispanic population than New Mexico. Further, McCain has led in post-convention polling (barely).

Watch Clark County (Las Vegas). If Obama carries by 7-10 points (Kerry carried it by 5, he'll probably win the state.

Colorado is probably the best chance at a Democratic pickup opportunity next to Iowa and maybe New Mexico. It is behind in Hispanic population to Nevada and New Mexico. It was however one of the few states to trend significantly to Kerry in 2004 (about 5 points). Its white voters are environmentally friendly and want government off their back. Colorado has given Democrats the majority of Congressional seats, the Governor's mansion, probably both Senate seats. As its Hispanic population continues to grow, the state grows more Democratic by the day. McCain has seen pretty much no bounce here post convention... Obama leads by about 2 points.

Bottom line is that Obama really needs this state. He can do without it, but polling suggests that this state is easier than Nevada.

The bottom line is the following. Assuming that the map remains the same as it was in 2004 + Iowa-New Hampshire-Michigan, Obama is at 237 electoral votes. He needs 32 for a tie and the election (a Democratic Congress would decide).

Assuming polling holds, Obama will win with 273 electoral votes. He should hold New Hampshire and Michigan and pick up Colorado and New Mexico.

He cannot afford a lost in Michigan.

He can substitute Nevada/New Hampshire for a Colorado lost and can substitute Nevada for New Mexico.

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