Republicans pull out of Michigan – the toss up states matter

Sarah Palin may be disappointed that they have left the state of Michigan. Yet with Obama having a 7% lead in a state that voted for Kerry and Gore, it makes much more sense for the Republicans to focus on the key battle states and take the resources from this state to those where it may make the difference. Namely:

Obama in Virginia

Obama in Virginia

State                     Electoral Count         Obama lead (%)

North Carolina      15                             0.5

Nevada                  5                               1.8

Ohio                      20                             2.0

Virgina                   13                            2.4

Florida                    27                            3.0       [source]

If the Republicans concede any of these states then McCain has lost the White House. Taking states like those above where candidates have a 3% lead or less gives Obama 264 and McCain 163 – to win all it takes is 270. Despite Obama having on average a 6% lead in the polls (ranging from 3% – 9%) it will be those marginal states above that decide it. If McCain can get a 1.5% swing to him from Obama he will win the White House.

As I think that the polls are over stating Obama’s lead and under representing McCain, it is still very possible for McCain to win the White House. It is tight, and giving up on States that Obama has a clear lead in may be the smart move.

What McCain cannot afford however is to loose any states he currently holds. The good news for him (unlike Obama) is that most states are solidly supporting him, with only two states being vulnerable:

McCain in Colorado - a swing state

McCain in Colorado - a swing state

State                     Electoral Count         McCain lead (%)

Missouri                11                             1.7

Indiana                  11                             2.2       [source]

So when people tell you it will be a landslide for Obama or a close run race the answer is that there is an element of truth. If all the toss up seats go as they indicate above then Obama wins triumphantly 353 to 185. But a closer race is well within the margin for error. Obama wins Flordia or Ohio and keeps the other states that strongly support him then it is game over for McCain.

If the polls are under representing support for McCain he has a good chance of a narrow win. All the states above that are for Obama voted for George Bush in both 2000 and 20004. That may yet be reflected as we get nearer to polling day.

So expect more things like Palin pointing out that Obama was on a charity board with a founder member of the Weather Underground (a terroirst organisation against US involvement in the Vietnam war) while campaigning in Colorado (leaning to Obama 4.4% lead but voted for Bush the previous two times). What the McCain camp hope is that if the election becomes about character McCain will win. With Obama in Virgina attacking McCain’s health plan we may yet see an ideological battle occur to against an economic meltdown backdrop.

The key thing will be getting out the vote in these states. If Obama supporters feel that it is a done deal they may be inclined to stay at home. That would be a nightmare on polling day when results show the contest closer then the media were calling it. Obama has shown that he can create the momentum. The thing is to keep it going and on election day deliver his supporters to the polling booth.

One thing which McCain and Palin may use in the campaign:

The positive component is pretty straightforward: McCain and Palin are common sense conservatives and proven reformers. The record of reform can be emphasized and contrasted with Obama’s and Biden’s record of conventional, go-along, get-along liberalism. And implicitly: If McCain and Palin are reformers and outsiders, it’s not Bush’s third term. More important is the negative message. The McCain campaign has to convince 51 percent of the voters they can’t trust Barack Obama to be our next president. This has an ideological component and a character component. [Weekly Standard]

Democrats keep the champagne in the fridge – instead keep drinking the coffee because you are going to have to bust a gut to make sure that Obama wins the key states above and not fall for the hype that is being generated. The time to relax is when the polls close, because it ain’t over till it’s over.

OTHER BLOGS:

Congress backs $700bn bail out – McCain ain’t dead yet

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2 Comments

Filed under politics

2 responses to “Republicans pull out of Michigan – the toss up states matter

  1. This http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/sarah-palin-said-barack-obama-off-base/ has become another very popularly read post of mine.. it seems that too many immoral, hypocritical Obama supporters clearly do not object to their lying about, bashing Sarah Palin , or even by others but they now really take offence when their idol Obama is bashed, put in a negative light.. Obama deal with reality, get used to it. In the last debate Sarah Palin had still treated Senator Joe Bilden with respect… the News media and Democrats really need to do the same thing still too. But too often now they can’t seem to do so and wrongfully too.

  2. Politics distorting, out of context what your opponent said.

    Yeah that happens – especially in American politics.

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