Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Horse Race

I admit that, despite my commitment to Democratic politics, I also have a fascination with the horse race in presidential politics. I have had such a fascination for as long as I can remember. At nine, I followed the presidential primaries in 1968 with devoted attention and watched the Humphrey-Nixon race from beginning to end. I was hooked, and I have never lost my addiction.

I've been following the state by state projections at Electoral Vote Dot Com. This isn't going to be penetrating analysis, and certainly a lot can go wrong from now to the Fall, but I have been impressed with the stability of Obama's lead since June 3 when he reached the delegate totals he needed. He's been hanging in there around 320 electoral votes fairly steadily for a while. Right now, the web site has Obama at 320 and McCain at 218. Obama's base of "strong" states (>10% leads) gives him 194 electoral votes, while McCain's base of strong states is only 80. Obama actually is making inroads in Republican-leaning states; he currently leads in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia. Obama's lead in Illinois is 60 points and 63 points in Vermont. The best that McCain can muster is 55 points in friggin' Utah (where Clinton came in third in 1992 for heaven's sake.) McCain's lead is anemic in seven of the 11 states of the Old Confederacy, and North Carolina (NORTH CAROLINA!) teeters on the brink.

Best of all, Obama campaigned last week in North Dakota and Montana while McCain has to go again and again to the reddest states on the map to raise money for his campaign. I have heard that McCain calls himself an underdog.

Frankly, only a fool makes too much of numbers in July, but I am enjoying my foolishness this July 4 weekend.


Post a Comment