Prediction: McCain Wins 281-257
This conjecture is predicated on the latest Rasmussen swing state polls, the RealClearPolitics battleground averages, a slight, eleventh hour, unpolled pro-McCain swing in Pennsylvania based on the anti-coal flap, a dash of wishful thinking, and an assumption of 4-5 percentage points of Obama overpolling due to a combination of 1) Democrat oversampling/unrealistic turnout modeling, and 2) lying pollees, whether you want to call it Bradley effect or just a tendency to skew artificially toward the socially desirable answer of Obama (or "undecided").
Broadly speaking, this implies that McCain wins all 5 major eastern battleground states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio) and that Obama will win the three key western battleground states (New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada).
From this base case (McCain winning with an 11 point cushion), there are a couple deviations worth mentioning, given that Virginia and Pennsylvania seem to represent the most tenuous wins for McCain.
- If McCain loses Virginia (13 votes), he can still win by picking up any of the three western battlegrounds (NM, CO, or NV). Of these, at least Colorado appears plausible, so Virginia isn't necessarily a killer.
- If McCain loses Pennsylvania (21 votes), he needs to pick up any two of those western states. This is a stretch, so losing Pennsylvania would appear nearly lethal. The caveat here is that McCain could lose Pennsylvania and pick up only Colorado, which would yield a 269-269 tie.
- If McCain loses both Virginia and Pennsylvania, President Obama is a near mathematical certainty.
Update: Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit have placed their chips as well.
Ed sees McCain winning with 273. This is the losing Virginia, but picking up one western state (NV) deviation described above.
Allah sees Obama winning big with 318. Take my map and strip McCain of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (ouch) and that's the scenario.
Update: More predictions compiled at Stop the ACLU.
Update: Kos predicts a monster win for Obama (390-148). I'm on a bit of a limb with my own prediction, so I'm somewhat loath to throw stones, but I'm fairly confident in labeling Kos certifiably bat$#!& crazy on this one.
I'd say the realistic worst case scenario for McCain is Allah's map, but with Ohio and Missouri slipping blue (Obama wins 349-189).
While we're at it, let's lay down an equivalent, breaking-point-of-feasibility best case for McCain at 300-238 (my map, but with Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico going for McCain).
Handcrafted by Flip on November 3, 2008 |
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