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Saturday, August 02, 2008

State of the Race: 8/1

by kos

The 7/1 edition of this featured is here, when the tally was Obama 317, McCain 221. I give the states to whoever leads in the Pollster.com polling aggregates. I slacked on updates the last four weeks because nothing much seemed to change. But with the flurry of new polls the last week, we are starting to see things move again.

For this edition, the tally is Obama 336, McCain 202.

Compared to the last edition, Obama has lost his lead in Indiana, but gained new narrow ones in Florida and Montana. All Kerry states remain in Obama's hands, most of them fairly comfortably.

Now let's look at the battleground state map. The states in yellow are all states in which the poll aggregate is in single digits:

Damn. This is what a map-changing campaign looks like. Compared to last edition, Oregon moves back to safe Obama, while formerly solid McCain states South Dakota, Arizona, and Arkansas move into "battleground" status. McCain has good news just in West Virginia, with that state moving back into solid Red territory.

Note that on this map above, 210 electoral votes are safe for Obama, but just 72 for McCain. Obama is playing deep in Red territory, while McCain is having little luck digging into the Blue states. And Obama's ad spending is indicative of this, as he advertises in the following Red states: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. For his part, McCain is putting his money in just the usual suspect purple Kerry states -- Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Given the poll numbers right now, McCain's spending in Wisconsin ($1.426 million) and Minnesota ($575K) has been particularly wasteful. And given Obama's nine-point lead in Pennsylvania, the $4.6 million McCain has spent on the air war there doesn't look much better.

One more pretty map for you:

This is Pollster.com's map. They're a little less liberal in how they apply the "tossup" status than I am, throwing in a "lean" category category which I skip. But look at that topline: Obama 284, McCain 147, Tossup 107.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win. Today, Obama is 14 EVs above that threshold, while McCain is 123 below it.

Whether it's my count or Pollster.com's count or Real Clear Politics' counts (here and here), fact is that Obama currently enjoys a sizable lead.

The jackasses in the media may try and play this as a tied game, or that Obama should be winning by more (so it's good for McCain!), but the reality is much tougher for Republicans. McCain has a serious challenge on his hands. That's why they've gone hard negative. They ain't gonna win this one unless they can drag Obama into the mud.

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