Electoral College Analysis Shows Tossup Between John McCain, Barack Obama

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Electoral College Analysis Shows Tossup Between John McCain, Barack Obama

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 14
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Americans have had long election nights after the last two presidential contests and this year appears no different. A LifeNews.com analysis and prediction shows McCain with a slim 270-268 advantage — but with a handful of states essentially too close to call and about 10 states having a chance to affect the outcome of the race.

Both candidates continue to hold on to the traditional states that have been in the Republican and Democratic columns for each of the last two presidential elections.

Obama has a stranglehold on the northeastern states other than New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and is strong on the West coast. McCain holds solid leads in the South as well as most of the Midwestern and Rock Mountain states.

The rest of the states divide into two categories — with those that lean in favor of one candidate or the other and those that are truly tossup states that will be won by a slim margin. These are the states that will determine the next president.

Looking at the “leaner” states, McCain appears likely to capture Montana (where he holds an 11 point lead), North Dakota (14 percent lead), and Indiana (leads in the last four polls) even though the Obama campaign has targeted them as possible states to take away from him.

Obama appears likely to hold onto Oregon (never behind in any poll there), Washington (leads by two in recent poll but has never been behind in any), Iowa (a battleground state but double digit lead), Wisconsin (has been losing ground to McCain but still solid), and New Jersey (McCain closing late).

Here is a breakdown of the toss-up states:

Florida went for Bush by a hair in the 2000 election and then supported the president more solidly in his re-election bid in 2004 and Obama doesn’t appear to have a shot at taking it from McCain. Obama has led only once in any poll since the beginning of August and McCain has only increased his lead over the last two months with three of the last four polls showing him crossing the 50 percent threshold. Advantage McCain.

Pennsylvania has gone Democratic in the last two elections and unless McCain can hold onto his recent momentum there, it will do so again. The McCain campaign is targeting it and Obama’s comments about rural voters there won’t help but he appears likely to keep the state in his column with leads in every poll since May. Advantage Obama.

Ohio has been neck and neck for weeks but the polls appear to show undecided voters not breaking in any one candidate’s direction. The trend shows McCain keeping about the same lead over Obama since mid August with little change despite the conventions and vice-presidential picks. Advantage McCain.

Michigan has been targeted extensively by the McCain camp with the idea that the bad economic times and pro-life views of Democrats and independents can give him a lead there. McCain led in the most recent poll by one point after not having a lead in any surveys since May. However, this survey appeals ore likely to be an outlier and an indication of McCain’s ceiling rather than an indication that Obama will do poorly. High turnout in Detroit among black Democrats will likely keep Michigan on the Obama side. Advantage Obama.

Virginia is a state where Obama had been hoping recent Democratic gains in state elections would give him a chance to move this traditionally Republican state to his column, but McCain has regained his more solid lead thanks to the Palin pick and the national convention. After a series of back and forth polls, McCain has leads of two, two and now four in the three most recent and topped 50 percent for the first time since April, an indication that Republican voters in the southern part of the state are breaking his way.

Minnesota, the site of the Republican convention, has all of a sudden become a tie ballgame with a large poll of likely voters by the Minneapolis newspaper showing both candidates at 45 percent apiece. However, the survey likely represents the best McCain can do and a temporary bounce as Obama has double digit leads in all but a handful of polls over the last few months and with many of them showing him above 50 percent. The McCain camp will target Minnesota, as will pro-life groups, but expect Obama to keep the state in his column. Should McCain capture Minnesota, chances are he’s the next president. Advantage Obama.

Missouri is a classic battleground state but McCain appears to have a solid hold on it with five point leaders in the last two polls and Obama leading only twice in any of the two dozen polls done over the last several months. Advantage McCain.

Colorado is a traditionally Republican state that has moved more towards the pro-abortion direction as residents of California and northeastern states move there to retire or start new careers after college. Obama’s going to Denver for the national convention and acceptance speech shows he knows this is a potential pick off and polls have shown him in the lead since mid August, though by small margins. Obama hasn’t topped 50 percent since July, which is a possible indication of a weak lead while McCain has been consistently at 46-47 percent. Advantage Obama.

New Mexico has been one of the closest states in the nation and 2008 will be no exception. Polls have been all over the map in recent weeks with one showing Obama ahead 13 percent and another, the most recent, showing McCain leading by two. Rasmussen has done most of the polling in the state and Obama has been losing ground in every one of its surveys of likely voters, indicating Obama may have peaked too soon. It’s too early to say for sure, as this is a true tossup, but the edge appears to go slightly to McCain.

Nevada has been in the Republican column but Obama has been making a hard charge to change that. The fact that McCain has had a consistent lead since before the party conventions make it appear he will be able to hold onto it in November unless anything drastic happens. Advantage McCain.

New Hampshire has been a solid state for John McCain for years but it appears the little northeastern state may be voting for Obama this November as more Massachusetts residents move there. McCain hasn’t had a lead since May but the last three polls of likely voters show Obama leading by four percent or less. Advantage Obama.

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