Note: The figure following the state name indicates its number of electoral votes.
First off, let’s stipulate that McCain-Palin should carry Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Nebraska (5), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (8), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Utah (5), West Virginia (5) and Wyoming (3) for a total of 49 electoral votes.
Obama-Biden should win Delaware (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), New Jersey (15), New York (31), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington D.C. (3) for a total of 110 electoral votes.
Here’s a breakdown of the remaining states:
Alabama (9): McCain. In the tank for McPalin, but some Congressional districts could switch to the D column.
Alaska (3): McCain, barely. Palin’s stomping ground will probably tip to McCain, but GOP Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young will be on the outs.
Arizona (10): Obama by a fingertip. Amazingly, Obama is only one point behind on McCain’s home turf and surging. A quarter of the state’s population are people who have arrived since McCain last ran for office in 2004, and most aren’t voting Republican. I’m giving this one to Obama in the upset of the night.
Arkansas (6): McCain. It’s something in the water down there, which will soon be owned by billionaire T. Boone Pickens, if they aren’t careful.
California (55): Obama. Gov. Musclehead notwithstanding, this is a state as deep indigo as a new pair of blue jeans; the only question is if Obama wins by more than a 20-point margin. Look for some GOP congress-critters to bite the dust, including David Dreier, Mary Bono and Satan’s Apprentice Darrell Issa.
Colorado (9): Obama. The home of the USAF Academy and countless right-wing evangelical churches, also features a large contingent of retired celebrities, progressive libs, Rocky Mountain high guys, and Hispanics. The state’s been trending cerulean; this year it will go the whole route.
Connecticut (7): Obama. Blue as the Atlantic Ocean and Joe Lieberman, should he decide to run again for the US Senate as an Independent, is washed up here.
Florida (27): Obama by a couple of points. Watch for substantial gains in the House by the Dems. (And you wondered why GOP Gov. Charlie Crist is backing away from McCain he’s planning on a future in elective politics, and that isn’t with the Bush-McCain-Palin wing of the Republican Party.)
Georgia (15): Obama in an upset. Also watch for Dem Jim Martin to beat incumbent GOP US Sen. Saxby Chambliss in a close match.
Indiana (11): Obama by a hair. Also Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels is in trouble over his sale of the state highway system to a foreign firm. Look for Daniels to get his walking papers as this formerly ruby-red state slowly turns blue.
Iowa (7): Obama. Herbert Hoover’s home state is moving solidly into the blue column. Best indicator? Dem US Sen. Tom Harkin is essentially running unopposed for the first time ever.
Kentucky (8): McCain by a hair. GOP US Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell will survive, but just barely. Dems will pick up a couple of House seats.
Louisiana (9): Obama. Ever since the devastation of Katrina and Dem Don Cazayoux pulling off an upset victory in the 6th Congressional district — safely GOP for thirty years — the state has been trending blue and Dem US Sen. Mary Landrieu looks like a lock for reelection. LA is one of those states that’s reshuffling the Old South away from the Republican dominance of the past.
Michigan (17): So strongly Obama that the McCain campaign quit the state a month ago, despite the problems of Dem Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the Mayor of Detroit.
Minnesota (10): Obama. Democrat Al Franken will also win in his race with US Sen. Norm “Bush Man” Coleman by a 2 or 3-point margin. Look for House Dem gains as well, including in McCarthyite fruit-loop Michele Bachmann’s district.
Mississippi (6): Obama by a hair. Considering the Dems surprise victory in the white 1st District by Travis Childers after one of the nastiest GOP campaigns in memory and the record turnout of black voters, this state will edge blue in this election.
Missouri (11): McCain. MO has been trending blue and outgoing GOP Gov. Matt Blunt is mighty unpopular, but I think McCain will edge this one out by a point. The Dems, though, will pick up the governor’s office and some House seats.
Montana (3): Obama. Populist Dems Gov. Brian Schweitzer and US Sen. Jon Testor are well-liked in MT and Obama will eke out a win here, courtesy of the urban population in and around Billings, Great Falls, Missoula, Helena and Butte. The GOP hasn’t even bothered to campaign much here, McCain has failed to impress, and Bush is about as beloved as hoof-and-mouth disease.
Nevada (5): Obama, by a larger margin than the polls suggest. The GOP is in disarray here, led by Gov. Jim Gibbons, who has become a dirty-joke punchline, and there’s zero enthusiasm for McPalin. Meanwhile, the Obama camp has blanketed the state with volunteers and offices.
New Hampshire (4): Solid Obama. ‘Republican’ is a curse word these days in this former red state, and watch for John Sununu to lose his US Senate seat, as well.
New Mexico (5). Obama. This state is also trending blue, and watch for Rep. Heather Wilson to be turned out by the voters after her involvement with retiring US Sen. Pete Domenici in the firing of those 8 Republican federal prosecutors for political reasons. Dem Tom Udall will nab Domenici’s vacated Senate berth.
North Carolina (15): Obama. 90 percent black turnout and collegiates will put this state in the D column and GOP US Sen. Liddy Dole is a goner. Paint it blue for the near future.
North Dakota (3): Obama by a razor’s edge. His superior organization and the GOP taking the state for granted are the difference.
Ohio (20): Obama. The Buckeye State has been hit hard by Bush’s economy and all three of the largest cities, Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, are going blue. Best indication: On the first day of early voting in Columbus, Obamaites were out in force; McCaniacs nowhere to be seen. The state is in Dem control in a switch from 2004, and ‘Republican’ is a synonym for corruption there these days.
Oregon (7): Obama. Not only is this state becoming reliably blue, but watch for GOP US Sen. Gordon Smith to crash and burn as well.
Pennsylvania (21): Obama. It’s been blue and it’s staying blue. Closing polls show Obama up by 10 percent and the state government is in Dem control. Dem Rep. Jack Murtha will survive by a narrow margin.
Texas (34): McCain, but by a margin that will make Republican knees go weak. US Sen. John Cornyn will pull out a squeaker, but he’ll feel the hot breath of change down his neck, too. Dem Nick Lampson will hold onto Tom DeLay’s old seat and there will be other Election Night surprises for the GOP as well.
Virginia (13): Obama. In the past couple of election cycles, VA has elected Dem Jim Webb to the US Senate and Dem Gov. Tim Kaine. Popular ex-Gov. Mark Warner is a shoo-in for retiring Republican John Warner’s Senate seat, and the GOP and McCain’s campaign are in disarray in this state.
Washington (11): Obama in a walk. Also look for Dem Gov. Christine Gregoire to drub GOP challenger Dino Rossi in a surprise rout.
Wisconsin (10): Obama. The GOP has fallen to pieces in WI and Dems will also win any office worth winning.
The biggest difference in this election is that 80 percent of Obama-Biden supporters are enthusiastic to vote for their choice; 60 percent of McCain-Palin voters are not, which means many may not even bother going to the polls.
Averaging out the national polls, it looks like Obama-Biden will win by 7 percent of the popular vote and 410 to 128 in the electoral vote.
Of course, this will only happen if all of Obama’s voters turn out to vote on November 4th.
The real issue is not how well Obama or McCain might do state-by-state, but that we shouldn’t have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral vote — that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
Because of state-by-state enacted rules for winner-take-all awarding of their electoral votes, recent candidates with limited funds have concentrated their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential election.
Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.
The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes– 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.