Many different paths to 270

Polls would indicate Barack Obama has a comfortable lead in enough states that McCain has almost no chance of getting the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. But it’s not an impossibility. The Obama campaign is taking no chances. In addition to the states already under intense focus, they have expanded their ad campaign to Arizona, Georgia, and North Dakota–states expected to go red.

The past two presidential elections came down to, well, pretty much Ohio. This election is far different and the mix of states still in play, close to the edge makes it very much a horse race. No-one is calling it yet as the outcome could either be close or it could be landslide. It’s true that McCain has a tougher route to the win than does Obama, but there is still a route.

Even if the ads in Red territory don’t produce wins in those states, they could win supporters and tighten the gap. This helps both in support for the new president as well as looking forward to 2012.

Four days to go!

Map credit: MSNBC.com

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  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on October 31, 2008 - 11:26 am

    When even Chuck Todd(!) doesn’t show Arizona as a red state any more, McCain must be in really serious trouble. In fact, even if you assume McCain takes all of the toss-up states plus Pennsylvania (where he’s currently behind by 12 points!), the Republican ticket still loses.

    The most untrue thing said in this entire campaign was when McCain said in the first debate that Obama doesn’t understand strategy. The fifty-state strategy may have been invented by Howard Dean, but Obama made it work!

  2. #2 by Becky Stauffer on October 31, 2008 - 11:31 am

    It’s pretty hopeless for McCain, but the talking heads are still keeping up the positive spin. It will be a devastating loss for McCain should Arizona go to Obama.

  3. #3 by Leo Brown on October 31, 2008 - 7:13 pm

    I would be surprised if McCain loses Arizona, but the Obama camp may force the McCain camp to spend precious resources on that state.

    In the long run, however, the growing Hispanic vote and the GOP’s hostility to Hispanics will turn Arizona blue. To his credit, McCain has not been part of this hostility.

  4. #4 by Becky Stauffer on October 31, 2008 - 7:49 pm

    Yes, Arizona is a stretch. But I’m even expecting to see a better Democratic showing in the west, even in Utah this time around. We may still be the reddest state, but I think we’ll see some changes. It could be wishful thinking.

  5. #5 by Obi wan liberali on October 31, 2008 - 10:11 pm

    Becky, I often turn to fiction to reassure myself here in Utah, but in “The Twin Towers” of the Lord of the Rings series, a young boy says , “I hear there is no hope.” Aragorn corrects him with “there is always hope.” I, perhaps naively, have not given up on the state of my birth.

  6. #6 by Cliff Lyon on November 1, 2008 - 9:03 am

    Maddow has a really excellent football metaphor for how close McCain IS NOT!

  7. #7 by Becky Stauffer on November 1, 2008 - 9:15 am

    Obi, keep the faith! There’s always hope.

    Yeah, Cliff, I liked Rachel’s football metaphor, even if Utah is the one yard line. But I’m not celebrating yet. I remember too well the dirty tricks of the past and am holding my breath until Tuesday night.

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