John King: McCain Campaign Believes CO, IA and NM Are Gone

Well, hell, I could have told them that.

John King on CNN:

Most people top in the McCain campaign now believe New Mexico and Iowa are gone...They are now off the dream list of the McCain campaign. More interestingly, most top people inside the McCain campaign now think Colorado is gone.

Iowa and New Mexico were always the most likely Bush states to go blue this year and adding them to all of the Kerry states would give Barack Obama 264 electoral votes. Add Colorado's 9 EVs, then he's over the top with 273 EVs. So clearly, McCain knows he needs to take one of Kerry's states away from Barack Obama. According to King, that showdown state will be Pennsylvania.

Watch it:

While many people think Obama's margin in Pennsylvania is somewhat deceiving (Pollster has him up more than 15%) I tend to agree with Chris Bowers who considers the 7 most crucial states to be Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Bowers' conclusion:

Specifically, McCain must sweep these states in order to win the election. Right now, however, Obama holds leads in all seven, and only North Carolina is smaller than a 3% lead.

Update [2008-10-20 21:11:40 by Todd Beeton]:OK, so let's throw McCain a bone and concede Pennsylvania's 21 EVs to him. What would Obama have to do to win?

O: Kerry states + IA + NM + CO - PA = 257 252 M: all others = 281 286

All Barack would have to do to win without PA in this scenario is win a state (or a combination of states) worth 13 18 electoral votes. As you can see, that would not be terribly difficult, as winning any of the following alone would still put Obama over the top:

Ohio (20)
Florida (27)
Virginia (13) + Nevada (5)
North Carolina (15) + Nevada (5)
Virginia (13) + Missouri (11)
North Carolina (15) + Missouri (11)

In other words, even winning Pennsylvania requires McCain to essentially run the battleground state table. Of course, if McCain does win Pennsylvania, it's likely these others would follow but still, the point here is that McCain's "best case scenario" is really not good.

[editor's note, by Todd Beeton]Fixed. My Kerry state count mistakenly originally counted Nevada.

Tags: Barack Obama, CNN, Colorado, Iowa, John McCain, New Mexico (all tags)

Comments

16 Comments

Senator Obama Suspends Campaign

Grandmother Madelyn Dunham is seriously ill.  

by markieparkie 2008-10-20 05:06PM | 0 recs
I think we can all agree...

To send all our well wishes & prayers to the Obama family right now.

by atdleft 2008-10-20 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: John King: McCain Campaign Believes CO, IA and

Todd:

Kerry states + IA + NM + CO - PA = 257 M: all others = 281

Nope.  Kerry = 252, IA+NM+CO=21  PA=21, so the total is 252, not 257.  

I think McC thinks CO and VA are gone, but he could still win with PA (and NV,OH, MO, FL, NC...)

by feynman 2008-10-20 05:26PM | 0 recs
McCain Campaign Believes CO, IA and NM Are Gone

I still think McCain could win PA.  I don't trust the polls in that state.   Western PA is not ready to support a Black President and northest PA is not much better.   I can definitely see PA flip and Virginia go to Obama.   I don't think McCain can win all the others.    I think if he keeps throwing all his resources into PA, that is only going to help Obama take most of the rest.

I think VA is definitely going to go Obama this year as well as Nevada.   That would be enough, but I am feeling good about Florida too.

by gavoter 2008-10-20 05:28PM | 0 recs
I don't...

Sure, PA may or may not be a landslide Obama win. Still, I doubt PA will go red. Remember that in the last 2-3 weeks, PA has polled for Obama anywhere from 4-7% above the national average... Which isn't that far off from PA voting 3% more for Gore in 2000 than the national average and 4% more for Kerry than the national average in 2004. And even with Obama's weakness in "The Pennsylvania T", he obviously more than makes up for it with increased Democratic turnout in Philly & Pittsburgh... Including the Philly & Pittsburgh suburbs going stronger for Obama than for past Democrats.

So really, unless some wild phenonemon causes a real "McSurge" in the next week, I doubt McCain can pull off a win in The Keystone State.

by atdleft 2008-10-20 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't...

I already wrote a long piece about this below, but add to it:

1) Gore and Kerry ran above national numbers in years where Democrats had less of a headwind and where there were fewer people identifying as Democrats and without the massive new-voter drives of this year.

2) Gore and Kerry ran above national numbers with a much poorer GOTV effort than the Obama campaign appears to have.

Both of those are worth at least 1-2 points, and #2 will not show up in polling.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-10-20 06:08PM | 0 recs
Thanks, Tex...

For further proving my point! I'm glad you reminded us of that. In underwhelming years for Dems (2000 & 2004), Gore still overperformed in Pennsylvania by 3% above the national average while Kerry overperformed here by 4%. But with a Democratic wave forming in 2008 & the Obama campaign working PA harder than any other Dem before, Obama should AT LEAST overperform here above the national average by 4%. :-)

by atdleft 2008-10-20 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Campaign Believes...

The demographics in PA are interesting -- but I just don't see all the major pollsters off by double digits. How does that happen? You're talking literally hundreds of thousands of people lying to pollsters systematically for weeks, if not months -- without coordination (because someone would've spilled the beans otherwise).

I believe there could be a Bradley Effect among rural PA Democrats -- except, what's their motivation to lie? Are they worried about being thought racists? By robot phone calls? Really? And if so, a double-digit Bradley Effect? Remember -- these are people who'll answer (as quoted on 538) -- "We're voting for the n****r." People of that sort are systematically lying to pollsters?

I suppose it's possible that every pollster has it wrong. But we're looking at a minimum 12-point margin across 5 polls. Figure a 6-point Bradley Effect (which is extreme) -- that's a 6 point lead. McCain's got two weeks to close 6 points in a state where almost all of the true racist vote is already his and where there's an enormous headwind out of Philadelphia.

I just don't see it. I think this is right up there with the lunacy of campaigning in Iowa over the past month. Mind you, there's no simple route for McCain anyway, but I think it'd be easier to hold the rest of the states than take PA. Plus, if he goes all-out in PA, what's happening in Florida? Florida's turned into hostile territory for McCain, the Florida Republicans are publicly upset with his campaign, Crist won't campaign for McCain -- it's a disaster. Win Florida plus IA, CO, NM and PA doesn't matter.

There's one plus to this -- McCain is able to claim that he's still fighting and taking on Obama in a blue state. That might -- maybe -- prevent a complete enthusiasm crash.

On the other hand, it's a Hail Mary right up there with Palin and suspending his campaign. If he goes for it in PA and the numbers don't move more than a point or two over the next week, it greatly reinforces the inevitability narrative and clobbers the McCain volunteers' already low morale.

He absolutely needs to see the numbers move at least into single digits by early next week or this move will look like (and be) a complete disaster.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-10-20 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Campaign Believes...

I agree that the true racist vote is already with McCain.

To the extent there is a Bradley Effect, I think it would manifest itself in polls asking questions along the lines of, "Do you feel comfortable with the idea of Barack Obama as Commander and Chief?"  Where, BTW, the responses are overwhelmingly positive.

I believe it was Eleanor Clift (on Diane Rehm's News Roundup) who said "There is no shame in saying you want to vote for McCain."  I mean, you don't need to say you are voting for Obama in order to not look racist.

by nintendofanboy 2008-10-20 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Campaign Believes...

That's my take on it. I don't believe in even a 1-2 point Bradley Effect; there's too much counter-evidence. But if you're going to even start buying into the "PA is really much closer than the polling shows and McCain's got a shot there because of all the racists in the T" argument, you've got to come up with something to use as a lever to pry some points loose from the polls. Otherwise you just have to assume that all of the major pollsters have completely blown PA, together, outside the MOE. Which is easier to believe?

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-10-20 07:17PM | 0 recs
McCain Believes CO, IA and NM Are Gone

Good, let him try even more of an absurd triple bank shot than Gore or Kerry

by Gary Kilbride 2008-10-20 05:44PM | 0 recs
going for Penna isn't good strategy

The Pollster.com aggregate has McCain down 53.8-38.6.

Here's the map that seems somewhat plausible to me.

Obama is going to flip Iowa and New Mexico.

McCain has to keep Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio and Florida in the GOP column.

McCain has to win Nevada or New Hampshire, both if Obama wins North Dakota.

McCain has to win two of the following three Minnesota, Colorado and Virginia.

I'd be happy with McCain beating his head against the wall in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. I think Pennsylvania is out of reach and it will allow Obama to work Minnesota, Colorado and Virginia, which I see as the key three races.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-10-20 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: John King: McCain Campaign Believes CO, IA and

PA and MI should never really have been competitive, especially in this environment (I'd throw WI, MN and a few others in there too).

I will say that if MI or PA were to go Red there would be a serious racist element that we have underestimated.

I doubt this very much and don't think McCain really has a chance in PA.

With those in the bag, Obama can win with Kerry's+CO+IA+NM-1 EV from ME.  I pray that is the worst case scenario.

I'll be watching VA, FL and OH (in that order).  If we get one of those it might be another thumpin'.  If we get more than one it's an electoral landslide.

by nintendofanboy 2008-10-20 06:32PM | 0 recs
please fix this post

the math activates the "strike" or "del" trait and everything on the front page is crossed out.

by John DE 2008-10-20 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: John King: McCain Campaign Believes CO, IA and

Fix the bloody strike tags.

by Aris Katsaris2 2008-10-20 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: John King: McCain Campaign Believes CO

interesting. I always thought PA was winnable compared to a state like OH.

by Pravin 2008-10-21 04:49AM | 0 recs

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