Electorial College?


Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Aug 21, 2003
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Chattanooga, TN
Looking for the magic number 270? Turn your eyes to the state polls.
If you've been living and dying by the national polling, here's a piece of advice: stop looking at just the national poll numbers. Start looking at the state polling.
As we all were reminded in the 2000 election, the presidency is not decided by popular vote. It's decided by the Electoral College. The candidate who gets 270 Electoral College votes wins, so poll analysis turns into a simple math game. What collection of states can a candidate put together to get to 270?
<snip>I arrived at those numbers by putting these eleven battleground states into the toss-up category: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Hampshire. (George Bush won each of these states, except Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, in 2004). The map I created below on the Real Clear Politics electoral vote generator shows what this vote distribution looks like on the map.

The electoral map I created with swing states listed as undecided
The good news for McCain is that at least six of these states are so close, they could go either way come Election Day. The bad news for McCain is right now Obama has a polling lead in each of these states. (The Yahoo! News Political Dashboard below reflects this by using the Real Clear Politics state poll averages to project a winner.)

Yahoo! News Dashboard, as of 10/27

The really bad news for McCain is that Obama only needs to win a few of the battleground states to get to 270.

In past elections the road to the White House ran through the "Big Three": Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. If a candidate won two of these three states, they'd win the White House. Not any more.
Either way you look at it if McCain wins it'll be an upset. Kinda like the Dewy/Truman upset.