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Monday, June 23, 2008

State of the race: 6/3

No matter the blatherings of a Clinton campaign in its last throes (for real, not like the Iraqi insurgency), fact is Obama has weathered attacks from Hillary Clinton, former president Bill Clinton, half the Democratic Party, John McCain, the RNC, and the entire right wing noise machine, and has staked out the early lead in this race.

I'm apportioning states not by "latest poll", as other outfits do, but by using the averages. This way, we have multiple polls factored into the equation and no outliers push states unreasonably into one column or the other. Where no polls exist, the state's historical trend is used.

For June 3rd, the tally is Obama 283, McCain 255.

Now, here's the map showing races in which the candidates are within 10 points of each other, in yellow:

The tally on that map is Obama 173, McCain 144, and Tossup 221. Actually, the map and this tally don't quite add up -- I've placed Nebraska's 1st and 2nd CD's in the toss-up category, but three of the state's EV's are solidly in McCain territory.

Regardless, that's an astonishing 21 states that are in the toss-up category, 14 for Obama (including D.C.), and 16 for McCain. Some of these tossups should peel off early -- Massachusetts, for example, won't stay competitive. But other states like Mississippi may yet join the list before all's said and done.

Better yet, of those tossup states, 15 are Red states, and only six are Blue states. Republicans are going to face pressure across the map this time around.

This is the baseline. Democrats have the money advantage, the issues advantage, and soon, we'll be unified. When that happens, expect this map to improve significantly.

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