The 2008 Presidential Election: Are there any Battleground States?

On the 4th of November, 2008 millions of Americans will cast their ballots to vote for the next President of the United States of America.  Who will win the election? Will it be Obama or McCain?  Although many of us feel sure that we have the answer, the truth is that it will not be until after the votes are counted that we even remotely stand a chance of knowing… and even then it’s up to those in the Electoral College to either go with the popular vote for their state or go against it.

Even though I tend to go with the more conservative candidates, whether they are Republican or a third party… I’ve been saying for months that Obama will win.  It wasn’t a question of whether he would win that was in my mind… it was by how much of a margin.  That’s the tough part.  Will Obama eek by and barely get the Electoral Votes he needs or will he shatter all previous records and win by a landslide?  Well it’s crunch time and after doing my normal study of the election – I will try to give that answer.
First let’s take a look at the base Map.  McCain is in Red, Obama is in Blue.

Election Prediction Base

These picks were made mostly through the polls at RealClearPolitics.com.  I’ve found over the years that it’s a great site to get the poll results for most of the major polls and some of the more important minor ones.  This year I did something different, instead of declaring that a Candidate who is 5% or Less ahead in the polls as a tie… I’ve raised it to 6%.   As you can see this did not help McCain very much in the race, but I think it is still a “Fair Base Map” for it’s only a starting point.  As you can see… Obama already had 264 EV and only needs 6 more to win.

Now I only spot 2 questionable states on this:  New Hampshire and Wisconsin.   New Hampshire is what I call a “Very Minor Questionable State” because the poll numbers far exceeds the 6% mark I set and the people I know from there (who aren’t really pro one way or the other) all say that the “Obama Love Train” is running wild there.  Barack would pretty near have to drop dead to lose in the state. The state of Wisconsin is a “Minor Questionable State” for the poll results have shown Democrats winning there before and the Republican won… however Wisonsin will probably go Democrat this year because the Republicans were not exactly a ‘stellar’ group recently.  The bottom line is that I won’t argue with giving the Dems either state, and I probably will be surprised if I am wrong.  As far as the other states are concerned, I think everyone who isn’t blinded by their party allegiences would realize those are ‘No-Brainers” and the Dems will win.  They might not win by the margin the polls show or the Democrats claim, but they will win the states.

I am equally confident that McCain will win the Red States on the Map.  I’ve chosen those in the very same ways I picked the blue states and I really would be surprised if the election results show anything different.

As you can see there are 11 States that are marked for neither candidate, these states are:  Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia.  In the past these states have all been known to vote Republican, some also are known to have voted Democrat at one time or another.  It is very possible that McCain could win all of those states, but I deem it unlikely.

The next step was to look at the polls and see who fell in the 5% to 6% range.  I saw 2 states:  Nevada and Colorado.  In the polls both states fall in the 5.5 to 5.8 percent range and both show that Obama is in the lead.  If Nevada is won by Obama then he will only have 269 EV, however if Obama wins Colorado then he has the 270 EV he needs by having a total of 273 Electoral Votes.   It’s essential that McCain wins Colorado or else it’s all over but the crying.

There are other states, besides Colorado, that can win the election for Obama.  An Arizona win will give Obama 274 EV, A Missouri win will give Obama 275 EV, An Indiana win will give Obama 275 EV, A Ohio win will give Obama 284 EV, A Virginia win will give Obama 277 EV, a North Carolina win will give Obama 279 EV, A Georgia Win will give Obama 279 EV and a Florida win will give Obama 291 EV.  The only two states McCain can lose and still win the election is Nevada and Montana… but he can’t lose them both otherwise Obama wins.

I’ve played around with the map and found that McCain’s only hope is to win Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia. He can afford to lose in Montana and still win the election.   If McCain manages to win all of the remaining states, except Nevada, then McCain and Obama will tie at 269 EV each.  This event would be as interesting to watch as the 2000 elections, but it would cause people crying over how the government stepped in and chose our leader again.  If Obama was chosen by the government to be president… the Republicans would whine that this was done solely to ‘even the score for 2000’, if McCain won then the Dems would cry over the Republicans cheating again.  It would only serve to tear the country further apart, instead of being used as a model for how our government works when the extreme actually happens.

Now the Obama supporters will love this next map, and the conservatives will probably hate it.

Even though I can take this map and adjust it up to a grand total of 364 votes for Barack, I won’t do it because I don’t think that will happen.  This is probably as high as the EV Count will get… odds are it will probably be closer.

So What’s Your Prediction?

My Prediction is that Barack Obama will win the 2008 Election, I’ve been predicting a Democratic Party win since about June or August of 2007 and I’ve been convinced of it since Barack showed his mastery over Hillary in the early part of 2008.  Hillary gave him a good run, but I never doubted she would end up on the short end of the race.  Obama is a strong candidate, but he has several things going against him.

The first thing is his youth and inexperience, but we are in a country that elected the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.  We probably would have elected Robert Kennedy, if he would not have been assassinated.  America is not afraid of electing the young or inexperienced… we just have to have good cause to do it.

The second thing against Barack is his race.  This shouldn’t be a factor, it’s wrong for it to be a factor, but it is a factor.  There are individuals and groups in America that dread any minority in a position of that much power for some strange reason and they are not opposed to ‘getting out to vote’ against the person in force.

The third thing is Barack’s name and heritage.  The fact is that it doesn’t matter what Barack says, what the records prove, etc.  What matters is the person’s perception of the facts.  These people will also get out and vote to keep Barack from obtaining the oval office.

Then you have more minor groups, such as those who are still upset over Hillary losing or those who never intended to vote Democrat in the first place.  There are plenty of people who will realize that their vote for a third party candidate is simply a wasted vote this year… these people will vote for McCain simply because McCain best fits their ideologies and principles. The election results could very well end up like this:

Or this:

None of this may be enough to stop the Obama Love Train from rolling right on into the White House, in fact I am betting on it.  The question, with me, isn’t over whether Obama will win or not… it’s “By how much will Barack win?”.  After much thought and trying to figure out a close result, the best I can say is that I expect something like this:

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