Fox News Calls New Mexico & Minnesota For Obama

So what path does McCain have, exactly?

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Voters Eager to Have A Stake in Historical Election: Early Voting Predicts Strong Turnout Tuesday

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

In the last two weeks voter registration and early voting has shown that voters are geared up and ready to take part in what has been called a "historical event" on November 4.

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CNN: New Mexico voter turned away for wearing an Obama Shirt

A woman couldnt vote becuase she was wearing an obama t-shirt.  But they an put an early vote site near a liqour store? Whats wrong with this picture. Even the county clerk thought the law was stupid.  In the end, she got to vote by turning her shirt inside out.

Remember to tell your friends in NM not to wear political items while voting.  

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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.

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Wasn't Sarah Palin Supposed To Help John McCain In The Mountain West?

Certainly, in choosing Sarah Palin to be his running mate, John McCain has managed to take Alaska and North Dakota off the table. They are swing states no longer. But there seemed to be the assumption that her appeal...and their collective appeal as "Two Westerners versus a Midwesterner and an Easterner" as Sean at 538 puts it, would accrue to their benefit all throughout the Mountain West. Turns out there's evidence that the further south you go, the more Sarah Palin appears to be having the reverse effect.

Public Policy Polling has begun to poll New Mexico (1,037 LVs, Sept. 17-19, MOE +/- 3%), only to find the state may be out of reach for John McCain.

Obama 53
McCain 42

And how does Sarah Palin fare in the poll?

Sarah Palin is not very popular with New Mexico voters. While 38% said her selection made them more likely to vote for John McCain, 46% said it made them less likely to do so. Among independents 47% said her place on the ticket made them less likely to vote Republican. Overall Barack Obama has a 16 point advantage with that demographic.

Since PPP doesn't have a trendline in New Mexico, it's interesting to note that, per Pollster, in the first three polls taken in the state after the choice of Palin was announced (ranging from 9/8-9/15) Obama's average lead was 2.3%; in the most recent three polls (ranging from 9/14-9/19) Obama's average lead is up to 8.67%.

Certainly, not all of this falls on Palin's shoulders, but as PPP notes in the analysis of its new Colorado poll (1,084 LVs, Sept. 20-21, MOE +/- 3%), there is a direct correlation between Palin's favorables and McCain's poll numbers.

First, take a look at their new numbers (9/8-9 results in parentheses):

Obama 51 (47)
McCain 44 (46)

An 8 point swing in 12 days. Now, how is this result related to Sarah Palin's favorables, defined as whether or not Sarah Palin's addition to the ticket makes respondents more or less likely to vote for McCain?

A precipitous drop in Sarah Palin’s approval may be helping to fuel Obama’s gains. Immediately after the convention 41% of Colorado voters said that her selection made them more likely to vote for John McCain, compared to 38% who said it made them less likely to do so. Since then there’s been a 12 point drop in her net favorability. Now just 38% say that she makes them more likely to vote for the Republican, with 47% saying they’re less likely to do so.

Or put another way (thanks to PPP's blog for the chart):

Palin favorability41/3838/47
SpreadObama +1Obama + 7


No doubt other factors, such as the economy, have played a role in Obama's surge out West, but it's hard not to conclude that John McCain is beginning to have a Sarah Palin problem there as well.

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