Becker Blog

The world according to Brian Becker

McCain isn’t Out Yet.

Posted by Brian Becker on October 24, 2008

I’ve been telling my friends and relatives in the past week and a half that this race is over. There is no way for McCain to pull this off. And while I certainly wish that were true, there is a slim chance that McCain could squeak by with a tiny electoral college victory. The odds are certainly stacked against him, but lets not get too confident. Although he has virtually no chance of winning the popular vote, McCain is putting all his money on stealing Pennsylvania which, if he pulled it off, could give him the only victory that matters: The electoral college.

The electoral map certainly looks bad for McCain. Hes almost guaranteed to lose Iowa and New Mexico, which both voted for Bush in 2004, and Obama holds double digit leads in almost all the states Kerry won in 2004. However, that does not equal a win. If McCain holds all the remaining Bush states, he could squeak by. That doesn’t seem plausible though. McCain recently slashed advertisement spending in Colorado, essentially conceding the state which would put Obama over the 270 electoral vote threshold to win. So what is his plan then? Pennsylvania. If McCain can pull off an upset in PA, he could afford to lose in both Colorado and Virginia, and even possibly North Dakota or Montana which have been tightening as of late.

Now, lets put this into perspective. Obama now holds, according to most of the recent polls, a double digit lead in Pennsylvania. It will take a major shift from now to election day for McCain to win that state, but we must remember that during the primary, about 19% of the voters said race played a major role in their decision. If there is such a thing as the Bradley Effect (which I’m not convinced there is), it might show up here.

As for holding the other states, I’m not convinced McCain could pull it off. Hes currently trailing in all of the swing states by a few points, and some recent polls show Obama even having a ten point lead in Indiana and a twelve point lead in Ohio. Take those with a grain of salt though. I tend to look at those polls as the outliers, unless there seems to be a trend. I’m still not convinced Obama is going to win Ohio and I’m very skeptical about Indiana. I’m very confident in Virginia and Colorado. Missouri looks promising, Obama recently had a rally with over 100,000 supporters in St. Louis, and has been creeping up in the polls since the debates. North Carolina and Florida are also looking good for Obama, but then again, I’ve learned not to ever put my faith in Florida. Even though Obama is polling well in Florida, theres already been lots of problems with their voting machines during the early voting, and its the one state I’ve seen that actually has more republicans voting early than democrats.

As far as we know, that is the McCain strategy for victory. It seems unlikely, but anything can happen. Remember the New Hampshire primary. I live in New York, and even though I’m absolutely positive Obama is going to win the state, I’m still going to get out to vote no matter what. If you’re in a swing state, be prepared to stand in line for hours, but don’t get discouraged. If complacency ever sets in and you’re thinking of not voting, just imagine waking up on November 5th and John McCain is the next President. The only way we can lose is if we get overconfident.

Always be closing. Always be closing.

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