Tuesday, September 30, 2008

States Most Likely to Switch

Obama is experiencing a surge in the polls currently and many more states are coming into play. A couple of weeks ago, everyone said Obama was doing horribly but look at where he is now. Although polls have not given him a lead in Ohio yet, they probably will soon. People are finally realizing how far right Palin really is and Obama was able to hold up against McCain in the debate. It will be interesting to see how Biden does in the debate. Now with the states, North Carolina and Florida are getting alot closer and Obama has a much better chance of winning those states now. Also, Indiana is getting more close but there are not many polls from that state so we don't really know what the outlook is there. We will say one thing, Obama would win the election if it were held today and it will take a major flop to make him lose. So far, that has not happened. The format for the rankings is the same as the one for the Senate. Here are the states most likely to switch parties.

1. Iowa
The Real Clear Politics average is Obama ahead by nine points. Being a neighbor of Illinois is definitely an asset here. With turnout in the west not as high as 2004 and with larger turnout in the university areas, this state is for Obama.

2. New Mexico
Obama's lead here is almost as large as the one in Iowa. Again, the turnout in Little Texas will not be high enough and Obama will probably do better with Hispanics than Kerry did. McCain is a neighbor but that is probably not enough for him to win. Also, there will probably be highly increased turnout in the Santa Fe area.

3. Colorado
After thinking for a long time about where we should put it on the line, we finally decided here. Why? The recent polls show Obama up by an average of five points and there will likely be very high turnout in the Boulder area because its House member, Mark Udall is running for Senate. For more in depth analysis of Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, please see the Battle for the West.

Earlier in the month, we thought that this state was probably going for McCain although Obama may have been able to get a comeback. It seems like he has one and most polls right now show him with a small lead. The reason is most likely that voters in Fairfax County and the rest of northern Virginia are not so fond of Palin, her inexperience and her far right views. The heavy turnout of African Americans may not be as high as hoped but probably will still be enough to make Obama win the state. This could be the Ohio of 2008.

5. Ohio
This state has economic woes and a high unemployment rate. The state wants a different direction for the country. McCain hopes to win by turnout in southwest Ohio. It is possible Obama could win Hamilton which contains Cinncenati by large African American turnout but that win would be offset by the suburbs. Obama needs to equal Kerry in counties around Cuyahoga County which contains Cleveland. Ohio may be the state that decides this election and just like last year, should be watched closely.

6. Nevada
After wondering whether New Hampshire should hold this spot, we decided that Nevada would go here and New Hampshire would be at seven. Nevada as we said in a recent post is a different state from the other states in the area. The economy is on gambling and the corporations and unions are friends. For more details, please see the battle for the west post. Expect this state to be close.

7. New Hampshire
We think Obama has a better than 50% chance of winning this state but it is still just a small gap. New Hampshire is a state where McCain has always run strong. He won there in 2000 and in 2008 which virtually was the reason he is now on the ballot for president. Obama will try to run up margins in the western counties but he must make sure he can keep McCain's margins in the suburbs of Boston low enough so they can't offset Obama's margins.

8. North Carolina
Well we thought that this state was completely written off for Obama and McCain would win here in the high single digits. We even thought that number wise, it would be impossible for Obama to win but it seems that we were wrong. The African Americans in the state are definitely going to turnout strongly for Obama. So will the Liberals in Durham and Charlotte. Obama may even be able to do well among other groups. Although McCain will probably win here in the end. the state will be close.

9. Florida
This was another state that we had all but written off because of all the Republicans there and we thought it would be hard for Obama to attain the margins among Jewish voters that Kerry did. Polls are showing a closer race here and the Palin pick will hurt more than help in Florida. It will be very hard for a moderate Jewish voter who originally might support McCain but hates Palin because she is such a religious Christian. Also, Obama can probably create a large increase in turnout among African Americans here. Although McCain will probably win Florida in the end, Obama should try hard to win it.

10. Michigan
McCain thought that this would be the state he could pick off from Obama. Earlier in the month, we thought he may be correct but he was probably not. Poll after poll shows Obama with a lead here and that lead probably will not fall. Obama will turnout Detroit and do well with working class voters on the economy. McCain may come back but it is not likely.

Overall, we think Obama will win here. Please feel free to share your thoughts by commenting.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Top Ten Senate Races

Our recent posts were about competitive states. We'll have more on that subject soon but right now, we are going to give an update on the Senate races. We've extended our rankings to ten from seven in our last post. Instead of putting the Senate seat most likely to switch on the bottom of the line, we will put it on the top of the line. It will still be ranked number one. The outlook for the Senate seems to be getting worse for the Republicans. The Republicans who seem to have escaped the possibility of a competitive race are Susan Collins, Mitch McConnel and John Cornyn. It seems likely that the Landrieu will win and that the Democrats will win about 5 to 7 seats. They won't have a filibuster proof majority but they may still be able to reject filibusters with help of moderate Republicans such as Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. The Democrats will finally be able to send "Traitor" Joe to the other side of the aisle. Enough chit chat, to the rankings.

No surprise, even with Warner's poor keynote speech, he is leading at about 20 points. Jim Gilmore has absolutely no chance. Warner will be the next Senator from the Old Dominion and his great showing may help Obama enough to give the state to him.

2. New Mexico
Tom Udall has almost a great chance as Warner to win this seat. The NRCC have already pulled their ads out of the state. Pearce is just too conservative and Udall continues to lead by double digits. Also, Udall will be helped by the fact that Obama is leading in the mid single digits in most New Mexico polls and will probably win the state.

3. Colorado
This seat is probably going to switch as well. Bob Schaffer's strategy of painting Udall as a Boulder Liberal either hasn't worked or the voters don't mind. Colorado will be close this election but the Democratic trend in Colorado will probably be enough for Udall to win. He is currently leading in the mid single digits in most polls and that lead is likely to hold.

4. New Hampshire
After wondering whether New Hampshire and Alaska should hold this spot, we chose New Hampshire. Please note that we think New Hampshire is just a bit ahead of Alaska. Jeanne Shaheen has had a lead in the polls for the last few months but it seems to be dropping now. Some people think that Sumunu who has more money will be the winner. Although the race has been getting a bit closer, we expect Shaheen to win over Sumunu. This is not the first match between the two. Sumunu won by 4 points in 2002 which was a Republican leaning year. This is definitely another Democratic year which will probably be what it takes to make Sumunu lose.

5. Alaska
Stevens is still in trouble. He was indicted recently and his trial will be held soon. Some voters still do not seem to mind that Ted Stevens may have broken the law but enough care to make Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich have a small lead over Stevens. Palin may have helped Stevens a bit but now that her popularity is wearing down, Stevens will probably sink lower in the polls. Even if he is not found guilty, Stevens will be in for the fight of his life.

6. Minniesota
This was another race that we had a hard time placing on the rankings. It is just a hair ahead of Oregon. In the summer, Al Franken had trouble finding his footing and was not viewed very favorably. Now he has really started to campaign and the wind of change is in the air. Norm Coleman has to distance himself from Bush which is pretty hard. Also, Franken must do well in the Twin Cities core and keep Coleman's margins in the counties around the core lower than the margins in the core. Coleman won in 2002 because of turnout in the area. Expect this race to be one of the closest on the cycle.

7. Oregon
Even though Jeff Merkley is not the best candidate to beat Gordon Smith, this race is definitely getting close. Smith must distance himself from Bush and he is pretty moderate so it may not be too hard. Still, Smith must fight a wind of change and also must acknowledge that Obama will probably carry Oregon in the high single digits which will help Merkley. Although we think in the end that Smith will win by 2 to 3 points, this race could be decided by less than one point.

8. North Carolina
In June we thought that this could be a close race but a month later it seemed that Elizabeth Dole would have an easy time winning. That will not be the case. Kay Hagan seems to be coming back and a recent Rasmussen poll shows Hagan ahead by 3 points. Hagan will be helped by increased African American turnout and enthusiasm brought on by Obama. Also, Dole will have to distance herself from Bush which will be hard for her. This race could get closer and Hagan may be able to pull off a win.

9. Mississippi
There does not seem to be much hope for the Democrats here. Roger Wicker has been able to maintain a lead of about 5 to 6 points. Democrats may still be able to increase the amount of African American turnout but it probably will not be as high as they want. Ronnie Musgrove may be able to win a small share of the white vote but that probably will not be enough. We are not writing Musgrove off, we just think his chances are not good.

10. Louisiana
This race is no longer competitive. It is the only Democratic race on our rankings and it may not be on here any longer when we do our next Senate rankings. Landrieu continues to lead and a Rasmussen poll out today shows her leading by 13 points. That is a large lead and that means she is pretty safe. The only real reason we put this race on the line was that other races were not close enough.

We will probably put either one or two more posts with Senate rankings before election day. Your thoughts, questions and comments are always appreciated.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Battle for the West

Obama instead of focusing almost completely on Pennorida (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida) is now setting his sites on Nevexicado( Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado.) I think it is a good strategy. Al Gore focused only on Florida but lost because he tried to put all his eggs in one basket. Kerry tried to put his eggs in two baskets by focusing only on Florida and Ohio. Two was still not enough for him but Obama now is trying to put his eggs in more baskets. One is Iowa and Virginia, the other is Nevexicado. Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado add up to 19 electoral votes. If Obama can hold onto all the Kerry states and completely win Nevexicado, he will be the president. Kerry did not try hard enough in those states and if he tried to put his eggs in that basket as well as Ohio and Florida, he would have won. Enough chitter chatter about eggs and baskets, let's start analyzing things and we can see how Obama can pull off a win in all three states.

New Mexico, this state should be the easiest for Obama to win out of these three. Bush won there by only 5,988 votes and the reason he won was that there was alot of turnout in heavily Republican Little Texas. Although Palin is able to excite the religious conservatives, she probably cannot do it at the level that Bush did. Also, Bush managed to receive 44% of the Hispanic vote. Obama can definitely do better than Kerry did among Hispanics. Also, he will do well in Liberal Santa Fe and can probably win Bernallio County by a larger margin than Kerry. Yes, Arizona is a neighbor of New Mexico but that will probably not be enough for McCain to win. Already, we have listed New Mexico as Lean Democratic on our most recent state rankings.

Nevada is another state Obama will have to win. It is a very unique state. The unions and the corporations are friends and the economy is mostly focused on the gambling industry. Kerry lost the state by 22,000 votes and the reason is that he did not do well enough with Hispanics and Bush did very well in the counties outside of Clark County (the Cow Counties) where Las Vegas is located. McCain cannot probably match the levels of turnout in the Cow Counties so he will need to do well with white voters in Clark County. Obama will need to do alot better with Hispanics there and can increase African American turnout. Palin will help McCain in the Cow Counties but it may not be enough. The Cow Counties have high turnout while Clark County has lower turnout. On election night, watch Washoe County where Reno is located. If Obama can win that county, he has won Nevada.

Colorado is the biggest of the three. It is also the state with the biggest Democratic trend. The Liberal populations of Denver and Boulder along with the growing number of Hispanics are a big help in making the state trend Democratic. There was very high turnout in those areas in 2004 so Democrats may have a hard time finding new voters there. They need to win by doing well with Independents and also need to do well on the Western Slope. If Obama wins Larmier, Jefferson and Araphone Counties, he will probably have won the state. The rural counties in the east won't turnout as strongly this year as 2004 but there is Colorado Springs. There is a large military population there and McCain will do well with it. This state we believe will be very close in the general election and it may come down to it.

Now here are the places to watch on election night. In New Mexico, is McCain doing well in Little Texas? Is Obama doing well in the Santa Fe and Albequerque areas? Is he doing well around Las Cruces? In Nevada, is Obama leading by about seven to nine points in Clark County? Is Washoe County really close? Is McCain doing well in the Cow Counties? In Colorado, is Obama winning the counties that we mentioned earlier, is he doing well on the Western Slope? How high is the turnout in Denver and Boulder? Is the turnout in Colorado Springs high? If you want to see who will win these states on election night before all the votes are in? These are the areas to watch. Please feel free to share your thoughts by commenting and voting on our poll.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

State Rankings

It has been a long time since we posted the state rankings for the presidential election. We apoligize for not posting the rankings since June. During that time, alot of changes have been made. Palin has energized conservatives in the South and the rest of the country so Obama's plans to win Mississippi and Georgia with African American turnout are dashed. McCain will probably win those two states by ten to twelve points, lower than Bush's margin in Georgia and Mississippi. Also, Texas has been written off too and McCain will probably win by about 14 points. We never mentioned North Dakota and Montana as possible states for Obama but he won't win those states. Obama still has a shot at North Carolina but McCain seems to be leading there by about 4 to 6 points right now. Also, we had all but written off Indiana but we just saw a new poll with McCain up by only 2 points. That state is in play but we think Obama will not win it. Enough chatter, now to the rankings. States colored blue will have voted Democratic in 2004 and states colored red will have voted Republican in 2004.

Solid Dem(164 electoral votes)
California(55) Conneticut(7) Delaware(3) District of Columbia(3) Hawaii(4) Illinois(21) Maryland(10) Massachuttses(12) New York (31) Rhode Island(4) Vermont(3) Washington (11)

Likely Dem(19 electoral votes)
Maine(4) New Jersey (15)

Lean Dem(60 electoral votes)
Iowa(7) Minniesota(10) New Mexico(5) Oregon(7) Pennsylvania(21) Wisconsin(10)

Toss Up(68 electoral votes)
Colorado(9) Michigan(17) Nevada(5) New Hampshire(4) Ohio(20) Virginia(13)

Lean Rep(64 electoral votes)
Florida(27) Indiana(11) Missouri(11) North Carolina(15)

Likely Rep(21 electoral votes)
Georgia(15) Montana(3) North Dakota(3)

Solid Rep(144 electoral votes)
Alabama(9) Alaska(3) Arizona(10) Arkansas(6) Idaho(4) Kansas(6) Kentucky(8) Louisiana(9) Mississippi(6) Nebraska(5) Oklahoma(7) South Carolina(8) South Dakota(3) Tennessee(11) Texas(34) Utah(5) West Virginia(5) Wyoming(3)

Obama 243 McCain 227
The states really have been heading toward one candidate leaving the traditional battleground states along with Virginia. Soon, we will start posting posts that analyze the battleground states and a few of the leaners. Also, on our next ranking, do expect that Pennsylvania may be in the toss up catergory next because it is in the Lean Obama catergory by a thread. To test our or your own scenario, please visit http://www.270towin.com/ Thoughts and comments are always appreciated.