The Electoral Map and the Battleground States

The Associated Press reports on the state of the electoral map and says right now it favors Democrats. It includes 14 states as battleground states that could go either way.

William Arnone, long-time Democratic party activist and the author of the key state series I've quoted many times, has just finished his preliminary electoral vote preview and again graciously agreed to let me publish it.

Arnone says there are 17 battle ground states among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, which also has electoral votes.

As to Hillary or Obama, who's more likely to get the Dems over the 270 mark? Arnone says it's Hillary.

Here's his breakdown of the 538 electoral votes:

  • 15 states are likely will go Democratic (196 EV)
  • 19 states are likely to go Republican (152 EV)
  • 17 are toss-ups or battleground states (190 EV)

The 17 battleground states are broken down as follows: [More...]

  • 11 that have tended to go Republican in recent elections. (Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia). Together they have 114 electoral votes.
  • 6 that have been more likely to go Democratic in recent elections. (Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.) Together they have 76 electoral votes.

Arnone says for Dems to win in November they will have to win, in addition to the 15 Democratic states, enough of the 17 states and their
of 190 electoral votes to put them over 270.

He notes that both candidates are likely to carry the 15 solidly Democratic states. In deciding which is more apt to win the 17 battleground states, he begins with an examination of both Hillary and Obama's wins to date:

Hillary has won 17 state primary/caucuses. Of them,

  • 3 are Republican
  • 5 are Democratic
  • 9 up for grabs

Obama has won 21 states. Of them,

  • 12 are Republican
  • 9 are Democratic
  • 6 are up for grabs

The 9 battleground states Hillary has won have 116 EV. The 6 battleground states Obama has won have 54 EV.

If Hillary wins the 15 Dem states and her 9 battleground states, she's at 312 EV.

If Obama wins the 15 Dem states and his 6 battleground states, he's at 250 EV.

(If Florida and Michigan EV's are removed from Hillary's count, she's at 268.)

Arnone notes:

While the results of primary/caucus votes ‐‐ especially those that are closed to Independents and Republicans ‐‐ may not indicate how a particular state will vote in a general election, they do give some indication of the relative strength of each Democratic Presidential candidate vis‐à‐vis each other as the potential nominee.

....Of the 9 battleground states whose primaries/caucuses Sen. Clinton has won,
her average margin of victory has been 12.6 percentage points. Excluding Florida and Michigan, in the 7 other battleground states whose primaries/caucuses Sen. Clinton has won, her average margin of victory has been 10.4 percentage points. Of the 6 battleground states whose primaries/caucuses Sen. Obama has won, his
average margin of victory has been 18.1 percentage points.

Assuming that:

(a) neither Sen. Clinton nor Sen. Obama will win those 19 states with 152 electoral votes that are likely to go Republican in November and

(b) either Sen. Clinton or Obama will win those 15 states with 196 electoral votes that are likely to go Democratic in November,

then based on the results of Democratic primaries/caucuses thus far in the battleground states, Sen. Clinton is more likely to win 9 battleground states with 116 electoral votes for a total of 312 electoral votes. Sen. Obama is more likely to win 6 battleground states with 54 electoral votes for a total of 250 electoral votes.

Here are the factors Arnone used to categorize the states:

  • Results of recent Presidential elections
  • Results of recent statewide elections
  • Demographic trends among key segments of the voting population, especially the four swing groups of voters that the Democratic Presidential ticket needs to carry – Catholics, Hispanics/Latinos, older voters, and women.

His chart with state by state numbers begins on page 4.

Arnone also analyzes the upcoming primaries (except Guam and Puerto Rico which don't get electoral votes.)

  • 5 are solidly Republican: Indiana, Kentucky, Montana and South Dakota
  • 1 is solidly Democratic: Oregon
  • 2 are battleground states: West Virginia and North Carolina

If Obama can win both W.VA and N.C., he'll get another 20 electoral votes and reach the magic 270.

If he only wins N.C., he won't get past 265 votes in November. If he only wins W. Va., he won't get above 255 electoral votes.

If Hillary wins both states, her total is at 332. If she wins N.C. but not W.Va., her total would be 327. If she wins W.Va. but not N.C., her total is 317. In all three scenarios, she wins.

There are variables, Mr. Arnone says, that could make 2008 different than prior election years, particularly with respect to how the states are divided (Repub, Dem, Battleground.) He lists them on pages 10 and 11.

I've only summarized his methodology and findings, so please read his entire analysis rather than my explanation before expressing disagreement with it. I know he appreciates the feedback, but it's only valuable if it's of his work rather than my summary.

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  • Display: Sort:
    No Excuses (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by BDB on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:00:46 PM EST
    This is why, I believe the Democratic Party has no excuses for losing in November and if they do, then all of the party leaders need to resign because it will be the entire party's failure.  In fact, I've suggested this approach to accountability as one means of trying to unify the party - make it clear that they all succeed or fail in November together.

    I thought TL was (5.00 / 7) (#5)
    by bjorn on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:09:58 PM EST
    the only sane thinking around, but your post is excellent. I whole-heartedly agree.  I believe at the end of the day Clinton would fight for Obama, including Bill, and vice versa.  I think Clinton has a better chance of winning.  But if Obama gets the nomination and he doesn't win, it will not be the Clintons fault.  I really believe they will campaign hard for him.  I believe they will do it because they care about the party, but even if you believe the worst about them, they will do it because it will eventually be part of their legacy.  I would love to see a purge of the party leadership because I think Dean, Brazile, and Pelosi in particular have been irresponsible and cavalier regarding the best interests of the party.

    I believe that Clinton should be the nominee (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:18:07 PM EST
    as the analysis shows.  I hope that the democratic voters who can affect the outcome will know of this analysis.  Only Hillary Clinton can win it for the democratic party in the GE.

    I think either (5.00 / 3) (#143)
    by Rainsong on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 07:09:08 AM EST
     Either dem candidate is electable in this particular year, given the GOP's failures - an ashtray with a (D) beside it could probably win.

    But, Obama's electability is far more dependent on GOP weakness, than Clinton's is. Unfortunately, just IMHO, McCain is the best and strongest bet they could have found.

    Clinton's policy and campaign messages are far easier to promote for campaign ground-troops to do the Party spin on, and be enthusiastic about. With Obama, I keep trying to think up positivity and enthusiasm to counteract his negatives, like imagining a catchy campaign advertising package to market him with - highlighting an achievement or something. I'm sorry to say, I can't think of anything that wouldn't be shredded.

    As with the story running around after the ABC debate about someone being asked to cut some highlights from the 90-minutes to show Obama at his best for a 30-second soundbite etc, and they supposedly answered "there weren't any!"

    At least with Clinton, who also has baggage and weaknesses, there are some great strengths to use to act as a counter-weight. There are some concrete positive achievements in her resume, and plenty of positive footage to use.

    If a majority of Dem-faithful voters in key demographics in key states, are only luke-warm on Obama now, how much more so will they be, once the GOP lets loose? Depressing when there isn't much  to counteract the baggage. If we end up with half the base holding their noses to vote for him in November, it will be a pyrhhic victory.

    But that's just me, I still think he would make a lousy President. FWIW, I say let him eat his waffle in peace.


    I agree with the principle, but do you (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:12:03 PM EST
    propose a mechanism for "putting the party leaders on notice"?

    I'd have a superdelegate take them into a room.... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by jerry on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:32:50 PM EST
    Good Question (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Jane in CA on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:58:14 PM EST
    One strategy is for all like-minded registered democrats to write to Dean, Pelosi, Dashle, etc, stating that they will be re-registering as Independents if the question of electability is not given due consideration.

    I fail utterly to understand why the democratic party would want to allow independents and republicans to chose their nominee, which is exactly what appears to happening in this election.


    Sincere Apologies (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jane in CA on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:29:09 PM EST
    if the above comment sounded like a putdown to any independents or republicans on this board. It's meant only as my observation that the republicans, who allow far less cross-overs in primary voting, don't appear to grapple with these issues the way Dems do.

    Jane in CA (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by cal1942 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 02:43:59 AM EST
    I agree.  Republicans shouldn't be offended. I believe they would agree that it is in their interest also to insure there are no Democratic crossovers trying to game their primaries.

    I voted in the 1992 Republican primary in a lame attempt to mess up the other side.  Afterward I felt very bad about it.

    The parties should be allowed an unpolluted opportunity to put forward THEIR candidate.  The pre-1972 method of nominating guaranteed that and I believe we got better candidates from both parties as a result.

    We'll never be able to go back to the old system but at the least we should be able to make some sensible reforms of the current system.  Eliminating public caucuses and requiring all closed primaries.


    Of course not, Clinton has won many of us to her (none / 0) (#165)
    by Salt on Sun May 11, 2008 at 08:20:14 PM EST
     candidacy.  Frankly I am at a complete loss to understand why the Party certainly the SDs are allowing another nominee from the Kennedy wing to be rammed down their throats, looking at this math which we all know is really not new news but very nicely laid out.

    Thank you, this is extremely (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by bjorn on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:04:14 PM EST
    comprehensive and fascinating. It is so sound that is will be hard for SDs not to consider this information. The drone today seemed to be that Bill Clinton has damaged his reputation among Blacks to the point that it cannot be repaired.  This obviously reflects on Hillary too.  The SDs will have a hard time deciding what to do, on the one hand, there is this very rational argument about who has the best chance in the GE, on the other hand, there is a very emotional argument not to go against the very faithful voting block of AAs.  Time will tell...

    I Don't Believe AA's Will Diss Hillary In The GE.. (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:11:00 PM EST
    There are enough of them out there that remember peace and prosperity during the Clinton years.  No one likes shooting themselves in the foot.  And, I think there are some AA's that are starting to have buyer's remorse over Obama.

    don't kid yourself (none / 0) (#153)
    by madeinUSA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 03:50:20 PM EST
    they don't have buyers remorse with Obama. On the contrary, the buyers remorse is with Hillary that's why people, like her campaign fund manager to name a few, are defecting to Obama. There is a reason for that and I hate to say Obama is too reserved and will never tout it on the campaign trail. If the roles were reversed Hilary will be touting it on the campaign trail and throwing some spice into it. People expect that because they are so used to it and when they don't get it from Barack they seem to think something is wrong or he is weak. On the contrary. He is a strong candidate and a true fighter because he fights for fairness that benefits all.

    you overestimate most of obama's supporters IMO (none / 0) (#169)
    by moll on Fri May 16, 2008 at 05:42:17 PM EST
    I Don't Believe AA's Will Diss Hillary In The GE..

    I believe that when Obama was boasting about how Hillary could not get his voters, he was basically giving an instruction: let the party self-destruct before letting her have it.

    Whatever loyalty he commands, he uses it the same way that other messiah did - demanding that his followers sever all other competing loyalties and be loyal to only him. It is all about him. It is not even a little bit about the party.  

    And, yeah, I really believe that. I might be wrong...but I really don't think I am.

    One giveaway IMO is to look for what Obama actually says/has said about the Democratic party.


    I think it is not quite right to assume (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:13:45 PM EST
    loss of the AA votes if Clinton is the nominee.  She has shown the drive to enlist the support of all groups.  She has very influential AA in her corner who are steadfast and with impeccable credentials. She will work hard for every vote, as she has already demonstrated. She is a very intelligent woman, she will analyze, and come up with solutions to whatever situation she faces.

    I really do admire her strength, intellectually, emotionally, psychologically.  


    but his whole campaign is based on blackmail :( (none / 0) (#170)
    by moll on Fri May 16, 2008 at 05:47:19 PM EST
    I think Hillary would work hard to win their votes and I don't see how that could not have some effect.

    But let's not underestimate the amount of deliberate (and IMO malicious) poisoning that has been done. A large part of the strategy here was to create the feeling that anything but this one candidate is a betrayal.  It was set it up very deliberately that way.


    Tired excuse (5.00 / 8) (#12)
    by Davidson on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:23:08 PM EST
    I am tired of this belief that AAs will just abandon the party.  Have faith in them.  Where is the evidence that AAs will leave in a mass exodus if Obama is not nominated?  How will seeing the first black presidential candidate likely lose in a humiliating landslide affect how AAs see our party for picking such a weak nominee?

    What about other, loyal Democratic bases?  What about our core issues?  Should we dismiss them and our future as a party in favor of an all but certain GE loss?  Besides, all that would need to be done is for Obama to campaign for Clinton.  Tell me they would reject his efforts to have them vote for her.

    Clinton, in spite of the heinous smears against her, can take McCain on and win because, unlike the media and the Obama fan boys, she's focusing on the issues that are critical in their lives.  That tells me everything I need to know about what's best for the Democratic party--and our country.

    We're in the midst of the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression and we're trapped in a failed occupation of Iraq: we need beat back the GOP.


    If The Racial Tensions Were Never Created, (5.00 / 10) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:02:47 PM EST
    Clinton would have had one of the strongest coalitions ever going into the GE consisting of

    Women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Seniors and Union workers.

    IMO the only demographic she would have lost would have been white men and I'm not sure she would lose them by a particurly large margin.

    This is one of the reasons why I am so angry that the establishment Dems decided to engage in a power play pushing Obama to run during this critical year. And why I will not forgive Obama for adopting a scorched earth policy and playing the race card.

    Personally,  I'm not sure that we will get the turn out by the AA community necessary if Obama is not the nominee. I don't think that Obama can win. I think had race been dropped after the SC primary we could have walked this back. After flooding the airwaves for months with the idea that Clinton and white politicians are stealing the election from Obama, I lack confidence that we can. Also, I have little confidence that Obama would campaign full out to help Hillary win. I think he would make a token effort for appearance sake but that is all.



    this contest (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by Salo on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:24:32 PM EST
    makes her look a lot less threatening to conservatives.

    Obama has done her a wierd favour on that score.

    She's now widelty seen as a rational tough cookie now.


    On the contrary (none / 0) (#154)
    by madeinUSA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 03:59:28 PM EST
    I think Obama will campaign hard for Hillary were she the nominee. I actually feel Hillary will not so much for Obama but Bill Clinton would. I also don't like the sense I get about this presidency being Hillary's rightfully. Noone is entitled and anyone eligible is allowed to run and the dem did not force Obama to run and sure did not force the country to vote for Obama. Have you forgotten how Hillary was the presumptive nominee and Obama was ridiculed as the new kid on the block who would lose to the Clinton machine?! Noone expected him at this point and underestimated him big time. Please let's not blame the party elders for the fact that Obama is ahead. The party or country does not owe Hillary or anyone else the presidency. This is not a monarchy and the position is rightfully noone's. Please, let's stop the tantrum fits.

    Thank you Jeralyn! (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:07:22 PM EST
    You and BTD have kept us all well informed of the latest issues and developments.

    This latest analysis is encouraging for us Clinton supporters because it shows the strength of her argument with the Super Delegates in the event she does indeed catch up to the popular and pledged delegate votes.

    Clinton Better Than Obama In GE.... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:09:01 PM EST
    And this report isn't the only one to say so.

    I wish Tennessee was a battleground state. (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Teresa on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:15:42 PM EST
    I was hoping for Romney because Hillary would beat him. I don't think she can beat McCain here because people in TN still think of him as a moderate maverick.

    Bill will have to work hard for this state on her behalf but I wouldn't count on it or North Carolina.

    Well, if we could just get the SD's (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:19:22 PM EST
    to realize that winning the nomination is not the end of the fight but just the beginning, analysis like this might hold some sway; unfortunately, I think Obama is putting the pressure on to get the nomination - and not thinking long-term to the general election.

    I agree. I would like to ask (none / 0) (#162)
    by sleepingdogs on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 05:52:58 PM EST
    the super delegates to also consider that winning the GE is but another beginning.  Qualities that equip the candidate to lead the country and actually do the job of being president is the ultimate test of who deserve their vote.    

    Well done analysis. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by BostonIndependent on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:36:16 PM EST
    First of, let me confess I'm not someone with any expertise or knowledge of electoral math. Upon quick reading of the attached PDF I found two points noticeable:

    1. ... then based on the results of the Democratic primaries/caucuses thus far in the battleground states, Sen. Clinton is more likely to win 9 battleground states with 116 electoral votes for a total of 312 electoral votes. Sen. Obama is more likely to win 6 battleground states with 54 electoral votes for a total of 250 electoral votes.
      This point may be debatable since it relies on the assumption that Sen. Obama cannot do better in the battleground states based on his performance in the primaries/caucuses thus far. But his performance has been against a Democratic opponent not Sen. McCain. I think the methodology used (vis. considering the segments Arnone chose to focus on) is sound, but no one has a crystal ball.

    2. Sen. Obama's supporters are going to trot out the somewhat tired argument that he has the capability to "expand" the base by turning R states into D. This data shows how specious that argument is. The last column with the year in parenthesis contains the most interesting data in this regard. If you only look at states that are listed as Republican but were won by a Democratic ticket in the last twenty years, the only two states where Sen. Obama won are Georgia and Louisiana -- the latter which Arnone thinks might be contestable in 2008. It is interesting to note that Louisiana (9) and Georgia (15) would still not make a dent in Arnone's main line of argument.

    Super delegates would do well to ponder this in detail.

    I was a great article (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:44:40 PM EST
    I enjoyed reading it. The only problem is that it is hard for me to think that Obama would have won all those caucuses if they had been primaries instead. The turnout for the caucuses has been pathetic despite some of them being "record" turnouts. The highest turnout for a caucus is 16.5% in Iowa compared to 52.2% in NH and 52.0% in PA. The lowest primary turnout is higher than the highest caucus. Very few primaries got under 25% of the VEP (voter eligible population). The highest turnout in a caucus after Iowa was Nevada at 9.5%. Kansas was an abysmal 2.0% and Obama won that by 48 points. At the very least had they been primaries, Clinton would have narrowed that gap.

    Notwithstanding the above, I found his analysis pretty spot on though I could quibble about the designation of some states as battleground. AR for example is only a battleground if Clinton is the nominee. Virginia may be an Obama battleground but I am not sure Clinton could win it. By a recent SUSA poll, MA is a battleground for Obama & McCain since they are tied but not for Clinton who leads McCain there by 25-27 points.

    The problem of winning caucuses is not the (5.00 / 6) (#28)
    by Prabhata on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:05:54 PM EST
    turnout.  One has only to look at TX to understand what's wrong with caucuses.  TX went for HRC but the caucuses for BO. Why? The answer is clear.  HRC's base of older and working class people cannot go to those caucuses for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has penalized HRC for having the most dependable voters.  If the SDs cannot see the obvious, they are not bright.  If they know it and still vote for BO, then SDs want to have the weakest candidate to be the nominee in November. I see it, and I'm a stupid voter that has very little knowledge about the inner workings of politics.

    the turnout (none / 0) (#49)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:07:12 PM EST
    reflects the ability or inability to attend. That was my implication. Caucuses are at a set time and place and one must attend, that is no absentee ballot. Primaries are elections over the course of a day.

    No absentee ballot also means (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 12:10:31 AM EST
    no military participation, of course -- and with so many at a time when a country is at war, to prevent their participation in selecting the Commander in Chief also just seems like there oughta be a law.

    Of course, there is a law requiring that military vote in general elections, and the courts' rulings that caucuses are exempt because they're run by parties just continue to be beyond me.  There ought to be lawyers smart enough to argue effectively that the law applies to the entire election process, so  everyone -- military, disabled, parents, workers, etc. -- ought to face no obstacles in participation.


    Count every vote? or not? (none / 0) (#115)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 01:15:03 AM EST
    How did we, the democrats, end up excluding so many people in the process?  It's awful.  

    actually... (none / 0) (#155)
    by madeinUSA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:13:16 PM EST
    ...many republican spoilers that voted in the primary in TX did not bother attending the caucuses. Hillary won TX primary by less than 5% but he carried the caucus by a wider margin. The primaries he won he won by larger points that she won even in the state of NY.

    Also, how come the caucus is a problem now and never in the past? Had Hillary won the caucuses would it have been debated in this manner? I doubt it. All the contests Obama won have been discounted as not big enough a state or a just a caucus or AA vote or a bunch of activist or whatever. Come on people. Let's get real. As Hillary said in PA, a win is a win is a win. Barack won them fair and square. She was supposed to win Maine but Barack won and the turn out was huge though they had a snow storm. He won VA and MD with whites, catholics, jews etc. He won WI across board. He won the midwest , he won in the south, he won in the east. He won 30 states, shge won 15. Does not matter how we spin it, they are both really good candidates. In my opinion, Barack fairs better.


    That's how I interpret his final conclusion (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by cymro on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:04:04 PM EST
    See the very last section.

    Without a unity ticket, "disaffected groups of voters" may turn Likely Democratic states into Battleground, and Battleground states into Likely Republican.

    Not true if HRC is the nominee (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Prabhata on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:09:23 PM EST
    Poll after poll confirms that if BO is the nominee, a larger percent of voters supporting Clinton will vote for McCain.  The opposite is true if HRC is the nominee, a smaller percent defect to McCain.

    Now (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Mrwirez on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:20:56 PM EST
    thats the math I have been talkin' bout.

    didn't he lose (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by DJ on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:52:18 PM EST
    two of the four large suburban areas he was expected to win?

    This (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by AnninCA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 07:02:30 PM EST
    analysis may be terrific, but it's so filled with assumptions that it's just not my cuppa tea.

    The flow is terribly important in elections.  I think it's the group consensus process happening on a gut level.  It's not prone to analysis, in other words.

    We just have to let voters vote.

    This sure is a fine example of (none / 0) (#13)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:23:53 PM EST
    "slight of hand."

    Arnone first says we can't extrapolate a primary loss into a GE loss in the same state.  Then, he goes on to do precisely that extrapolation.

    At least this exercise makes HRC people feel good.  It's great that y'all are so easily amused.  Myself, I'm more skeptical of such metric twisting even when it is used to BO's political advantage.


    That's a reasonable point. I think it's the (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:25:01 PM EST
    demographics which show Obama's problems.
    That and giving up MI and FL is too much of a risk.

    no it isn'[t (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:32:29 PM EST
    he says:

    While the results of primary/caucus votes ‐‐ especially those that are closed to Independents and Republicans ‐‐ may not indicate how a particular state will vote in a general election, they do give some indication of the relative strength of each Democratic Presidential candidate vis‐à‐vis each other as the potential nominee.

    Her Are Some Current Poll Numbers To Go With (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:14:17 PM EST
    this analysis. Electoral Map

        Arkansas 6 EVs
     McCain 59% Obama 30%   McCain 50% Clinton 43

          Colorado 9 EVs
     Obama 46% McCain 43%  McCain 50% Clinton 36%

         Florida 27 EVS
     McCain 53% Obama 38% Clinton 45% McCain 44%

         Iowa 7 EVs
     Obama 49% McCain 42% McCain 48% Clinton 42%

         Missouri 11 EVs
     McCain 50% Obama 42%  Clinton 47% McCain 46%

         Nevada 5 EVs
    McCain 48% Obama 43% McCain 49% Clinton 38%

         New Mexico 5 EVs
     McCain 46% Obama 45% McCain 48% Clinton 45%

         North Carolina 15 EVS
     McCain 47% Obama 47% McCain 51% Clinton 40%

       Tennessee 11 EVs
     McCain 58% Obama 31% McCain 52% Clinton 38%

         Virginia 13 EVs
     McCain 52% Obama 44%  McCain 55% Clinton 39%

       West Virginia 5 EVs
     McCain 53% Obama 35%  Clinton 47% McCain 42%

        Maine EVs 4
     Obama 49% McCain 39%  Clinton 47% McCain 42%

        Michigan EVs 17
     Obama 43% McCain 41%  McCain 46%  Clinton 37%

        New Hampshire EVs 4
     McCain 46% Obama 43% McCain47% Clinton 41%

         Ohio EVs 20
     Mc Cain 47% Obama 43%  Clinton 48% McCain 45%

         Pennsylvania EVs 21
     McCain 44% Obama 43%  Clinton 47% McCain42%

        Wisconsin EVs 10
    Obama 49% McCain 44%   Clinton 46% McCain 46%

    Why are you posting this? (1.00 / 0) (#65)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:32:52 PM EST
    It isn't particularly good news for HRC.

    First let me restate, as I have on many occasions, I think polls this far out are 100% meaningless, even when they are pro-BO.

    That said:
    Missouri and Florida look better for HRC than BO, but  it would be very foolish for any D to count of FL, especially if there is no great advantage in polling, as is the situation for HRC here.

    But, for those (unlike me) who think polls this far out are worth anything it does look like BO could put a lot of new states in play, and he is clearly within striking distance in PA and OH (especially with Rendell or Strickland as VP.)  But, y'all may want to hide the Michigan numbers, HRC is in the process of stealing that primary, it wouldn't look good to show that she's not popular with the electorate--I care about you HRC supporters.


    Why do you still not get (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:55:15 PM EST
    what this blog is about?  But that gets into more insight into your motives than I want to know.  But about the perils of polls this far out, as you point out repeatedly -- you really are not the only one with a calendar or with experience in watching campaigns.  

    If Jeralyn or any of us could state with certainty what will happen in November, that answer would be worth billions.  You think we'd tell you?

    Breaking news: Many super-delegates do have calendars and political experience and this data -- even though they don't have crystal balls, either.  Yet they are being pushed to make decisions now based on best guesses now.  This is the data they consider, so we're attempting to see it as they do.  

    You don't want to play?  Then don't.  


    I agree. (none / 0) (#147)
    by 1jpb on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 09:52:01 AM EST
    Late last night, after I'd moved on from the internets, I was thinking that Jeralyn and BTD do put a lot of effort into finding topics of discussion.  And, inevitably, there will be times when not much "news" is going on, so people need to work with what they got.  And, this elections seems to be in a stage where the conversation has already exhausted most issue differences.

    So, I should moderate my responses when I feel some topics are not very compelling, especially because others seem to have genuine interest in these things, e.g. the deluge of polling does draw a lot of interest from others.

    So, I'll try to express myself without such animus toward the topics, because that could be interpreted as disapproval of the topic choosers.  And, I don't want to give the false impression that I have anything but unwavering appreciation for the work of Jeralyn and BTD.

    PS:  I like you too, you left quite an impression as I was (and continue) learning the ropes here.  


    Huh (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by cal1942 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:42:35 AM EST
    "HRC is in the process of stealing that primary"

    Can you explain to all of us 'low information voters' how she can steal something she's already won?


    won? (none / 0) (#156)
    by madeinUSA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:19:42 PM EST
    Won MI with no contest?! That's just so undemocratic. If Obama had won it would this even be a topic? Heck NO!

    Your candidate (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by cal1942 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 10:44:41 PM EST
    (and my candidate at that point, John Edwards) took their names off the ballot to taint a sure Clinton win.

    Since when is it not democratic to stand for office in a public election? Clinton, Dodd, Kucinich and Gravel did that.  Their names were on the ballot for public consideration.

    Your candidate along with Edwards, Biden and Richardson chose not to offer themselves for public consideration.

    That's not Clinton's, Dodd's, Kucinich's or Gravel's problem.  They all elected to give the public a choice.  It was Obama, Edwards, Biden and Richardson who decided that the public would have no opportunity to chose them.

    Apparently you have no understanding of what democracy is; it's about allowing the public to choose among those willing to put themselves on the line.


    obama (none / 0) (#132)
    by Salo on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 02:09:27 AM EST
    never goes over 50 %...  It's extraordinary.

    With these (none / 0) (#158)
    by sas on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:32:15 PM EST
    numbers, Hillary has 84 EV's to Obama's 36 to 51. (36 giving NC to McCain, 51 giving NC to Obama.)

    This is good for HRC.


    Goo news for HRC - (none / 0) (#160)
    by sas on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:34:30 PM EST
    she's ahead of BHO by 33 or 48, depending on NC.

    Which is the part that bothers you, 1jpb? (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:55:56 PM EST
    That Clinton wins, or that Obama loses?  I only ask because there's a certain jaw-clenched tone to your comments lately that your attempts at breezy dismissal do not hide.

    That being said, when can we expect your researched electoral vote analysis that refutes Arnone's, and supports an Obama electoral vote win?

    Oh, and just so you know, it isn't Arnone's report that amuses us, it's the predictability of your comments.


    I absolutely (none / 0) (#148)
    by 1jpb on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 10:11:10 AM EST
    love this comment:

    I only ask because there's a certain jaw-clenched tone to your comments lately that your attempts at breezy dismissal do not hide.

    I always find it interesting when commentators make assumptions about my motivations, but I've never responded, until now.  Your description is wonderfully written (although wrong.)  

    I am very much looking forward to additional analysis from you, in the future.


    This is silly (none / 0) (#18)
    by inspectormerlot on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:39:03 PM EST
    To extrapolate voting preferences in the primary to the general is simply not valid.   They never work that way.  Primary voting patterns are no indicator of general voting.  Arnone knows that and thus should know that however much work he put into coming up with this analysis was a complete waste of time.   The only way you can possibly calculate who'd win the most electoral votes right now is to use current national polling of all voters using state-by state breakdown looking at how each candidate goes against McCain, not against each other.  Even then you wouldn't have any real confidence that it was a valid indicator because polling will change so much during the general campaign.
    He asserts "they do give some indication of the relative strength of each Democratic Presidential candidate vis‐à‐vis each other as the potential nominee".  Exactly.  They're not going to be against each other.  Being against McCain means both of them are going to be up against a candidate who has pathetic economic policies in this election campaign - NO education policies whatsoever - will leave 40 million people without healthcare;  this whole exercise is absurd.

    I think it's pretty obvious (5.00 / 6) (#21)
    by madamab on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:48:53 PM EST
    that the demographics of each state will remain the same, whether in the GE or the primary.

    HRC is winning white working-class voters. Obama does not think he needs them, but he does, and he won't get them vs. McCain.

    This is a very important exercise, IMHO.


    Plus (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:14:14 PM EST
    He needs us older wiser Catholic women who speak Spanish and have Hispanic friends.

    Aside from the latte drinkers that have (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:21:33 PM EST
    moved into my Brooklyn 'hood, he has a lot of folks to convince here. Italian, Catholic, Jewish, Seniors, Working Class, etc . . . Oh, yeah, and Women ;)

    In my building, he might get 1 vote . . .


    wiser (none / 0) (#157)
    by madeinUSA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:31:39 PM EST
    I still think the older wiser catholic men/women, hispanics, blue collar voters etc will look at McCain and Obama or Hillary and the difference will be sparkling clear. Anyone will be able to beat McCain, even me!

    McCain is looking good now because the democrats are locked in a battle. Things will change. Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were the presumptive nominees even a month before the race started. Rudy did not win a single state!

    It's too early to predict how Hillary or Obama would fare but you can say they'll each fare nicely next to McCain. We are talking about John McCain the real flipflopper on many issues. The I don't know the economy so I'll read Alan Greenspan's book and then turn around to deny he ever said so, McCain. The same McCain that does not know the difference between AlQaeda, Sunnis, Shi'ites and yet claims a strong foreign policy knowledge. Please, I bet I know more than him and I am not on any armed forces committee. Seriously, Mccain has so many flaws which are not being looked at yet, as soon as we get our nominee he will be put under a magnifying glass for all to see. Amen!


    I agree... (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:08:08 AM EST
    this study is deeply flawed.

    One huge problem that I had was using "caucus" results as part of the "margins" analysis.  Using primary results is a questionable metric to begin with -- throwing in caucus margins, and the whole thing becomes ridiculous.

    The premise is also kind of silly -- the "what if the democrat wins the battleground states they won in the primaries" doesn't make much sense at all.

    The real problem I have with the study is its 'one size fits all' assumptions -- Arkansas is a battleground state only if Clinton wins the nomination, for instance.

    I think that Obama has a better chance of winning more of the battleground STATES themselves, but not of winning more EVs from them.  And Obama also expands the "battleground" map -- New Jersey will be contested if Obama gets the nomination, and California becomes a battleground as well.


    The study lists Az as solid R, probably true, but (none / 0) (#19)
    by jerry on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:40:04 PM EST
    We've got high foreclosures, high gas prices, and many think we are in a statewide recession.

    We've had an influx of Californians who came here for cheap housing.  (And we also now have the Dodgers during Spring Training.)

    We also have the legacy of Barry Goldwater who looks more and more liberal everyday.

    I think this state is a pit, well the Phoenix area anyway, but I think this state could turn blue if there was any interest in it.

    (I do think that Phoenix should be nuked from orbit.  (But the Dodgers should be given advance warning.)  It shouldn't be too hard to nuke Phoenix, we have the country's largest nuclear power plant 30 miles from downtown, and it has one of the worst safety records.)

    You are kidding, right? (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by bjorn on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 09:52:40 PM EST
    You really think we would have a chance in McCain's backyard?

    Actually yeah (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jerry on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:14:05 PM EST
    A surprisingly high number of people here don't like McCain and still think of him as a carpetbagger.  (I actually like McCain's answer to that...).

    Lots of very conservative people I know don't like McCain -- they've bought into the he's basically a liberal mantra.  So they conceivably could be convinced to stay home.  A lot of folks (myself included) can't really tell you what he's done for Arizona.

    When I do tune in to the Rush Limbug station as I flip dials, I don't hear a lot of shoutouts to McCain.  Driving around town I've seen not a single billboard for McCain (or any of the candidates.)

    And as I've said, the local economy sucks, and we have a (barely) Democratic Governor and a the Mayor of Phoenix also claims to be a Democrat.   I don't know much about the demographics of the state, but my guess is Flagstaff also leans D and so too perhaps for Tucson.


    Tucson is a mixed bag. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Salo on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:32:51 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#159)
    by madeinUSA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:33:53 PM EST
    Yes we do! We have a chance in any state. Seriously. Wait till the elction begins. It'll be battle to the finish regardless of who our nominee is. Could even be me :)

    Here is some info regarding AZ (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 10:57:16 PM EST
    Both Clinton and Obama are losing to McCain by 20% or more according to electoral map.

    No duh (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:45:18 PM EST
    Other than McGovern, has any Presidential candidate lost their own state?   I seriously doubt it.  

    Obviously if Arizona likes McCain well enough to elect him to the Senate, many times, they will vote for him for President.  

    We need to focus on states we can WIN.  Forget Arizona.  


    Back to Obama? why? (none / 0) (#58)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 11:19:52 PM EST
    Just wondering why that would happen now, when we look at maps like these:

    Sorry, but he's not gaining.  Regular Americans can't identify with him or his wife, their church, their life of ease while fussing about the US.  Americans don't much like rich whiners who appear to be quick to accuse everyone of racism.  

    I think SD are afraid to vote for who they know has the best chance to win, Hillary.  They know that the screwed up rules of our primaries have put them in a terrible position.  They are afraid to go against the elected delegates, but they also know that Obama has virtually no chance to win.  

    There MUST be a re vote in Michigan and Florida.  Our party can't just ignore those two states, especially not Florida!  Whatever happened to "every vote counts"?!  We can NOT afford to ignore Florida voters!  

    Because we are stuck with these terrible primary rules, Hillary has no choice but to take it to the convention and try to convince them that ALL votes should be counted.  She's tough enough to do that, unlike Obama, she's not a whiner, but she will get the job done, whatever it takes.  

    please stay on topic (none / 0) (#151)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 03:35:00 PM EST
    of this analysis.

    She did (none / 0) (#161)
    by madeinUSA on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 04:39:22 PM EST
    Hillary had a choice. SHe could have fought for MI and Fl last year but she did not because she was the presumptive nominee and everything was kosher then. Now, the nomination is slipping away and her supporters are planning to pay for re-votes! Sounds way too third world and noone should agree to that, pro or not pro Hillary or Obama. Don't trust that, will never trust that. We should not undermine our democracy just for a win. The rules were set, everyone knew what they were going in. Why act now as though something was pulled out of the hat. The republicans will trash us for it, you watch!

    California (none / 0) (#138)
    by formerhoosier on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 03:42:17 AM EST
    Seems post did not take, anyway.

    As others have noted California is not a sure thing for Obama.  Not only are the suburban areas a problem, the most populous county could be problematic.  As one of the hosts of this site states, demography is destiny.  Los Angeles County is 75 percent white and two thirds of that is Latino/Hispanic.  That is 50 percent.  The Asian population is 13 percent and A-A is less than ten percent.  McCain could take the county with these demographics.  If he loses there, it would be uphill the rest of the way.  Another problem, Los Angeles market is expensive to campaign in.  A lot of money could be burned that could be used elsewhere.  These are the things to be considered when looking at his viablity.  Not to denigrate his chances, since he may expand the map.  But to look at potential areas that would require focus, that are not necessarily a sure thing.  Final thought, two presidents were from California in last 35-40 years.  Guess what party they represented - Republican (Nixon and Reagan)

    Thread cleaned (none / 0) (#152)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 03:38:01 PM EST
    Poster named reasonable woman is erased and banned for posting 26 comments, being off topic, and chattering.

    This thread is about Mr. Arnone's analysis. Please keep your comments related to it.

    New Mexico, Tended to go Republican? (none / 0) (#168)
    by fbihop on Mon May 12, 2008 at 01:17:36 PM EST
    Gore won it in 2000 in the closest vote in the nation, and Bush won in in 2004 by the closest vote in the nation.  I think this doesn't show it to "tend to go Republican."

    If anything, New Mexico is a true toss-up state.