In a moment of epiphany during my Justice and the Political Community class this afternoon, I figured out the electoral map. Yup, I know who's going to win. Lucky for you, I'm not like John McCain knowing the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. I'm actually going to tell you what I came up with.
First, I listed all the states the Obama and McCain are both either going to or are very likely to win. I will do that right here for you with electoral votes for each state in ().
McCain: AK (3), AL (9), AR (6), AZ (10), GA (15), ID (4), KS (6), KY (8), LA (9), MS (6), NE (5), OK (7), SC (8), SD (3), TN (11), TX (34), UT (5), WY (3).
Obama: CA (55), CT (7), DC (3), DE (3), HI (4), IA (7), IL (21), MA (12), MD (10), ME (4), MI (17), MN (10), NJ (15), NY (31), OR (7), RI (4), VT (3), WA (11), WI (10).
The only one of those above states that some might have a dispute with is Minnesota. Take a look at the recent polls. In my opinion the Land of a Thousand Lakes is safe for Obama.
Next let's take a look at the ever-important "lean" states. This has become a shrinking category for both candidates as voters have begun taking sides for good two weeks out of the election.
McCain: ND (3), MT (3), WV (5).
Obama: CO (9), NH (4), NM (5), PA (21).
Again, some might disagree with Colorado and Pennsylvania being added so surely to the Obama column. McCain spent all day today in PA, suggesting that the Republicans will be trying to turn around a sizeable gap in recent statewide polling. As for Colorado, the polls remain tight, but the trend definitely favors Obama.
Before I take a look at the seven true "swing" states remaining, let's add up what each candidates have from their previous categories.
Well, spank my ass and call me Chuck Todd! We have ourselves a winner. Obama successfully gets to 270 without needing the help of the those seven swing states: FL (27), IN (11), MO (11), NC (15), NV (5), OH (20), and VA (13). It can be reasonably argued that Virginia should be at least an Obama "lean." Pollster even has VA solidly for Obama, with legitmate reason.
So that's it. It's over. McCain might as well pack it in right now. Okay, maybe it's not that cut and dry. Anything can and will happen over the course of the next two weeks, but the general electoral truths that I've just outlined can't be overlooked.
It doesn't seem to be a question of whether Obama is going to win. Since he doesn't very much help from the swing states, it's now become a question of margain.