Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rove: Watch Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado

Karl Rove penned a very interesting electoral analysis last month where he suggests that the race is likely to hinge on the outcome in four key states: Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado. Since the decision is made on the basis of electoral votes and not popular vote, and since several states award all their votes rather than proportional distribution of electoral votes, certain states will matter where others are pretty much a given for either McCain (e.g. Texas) or Obama (e.g. New York).

I see Ohio as pretty much the key battleground state. Ohio was key in 2004 when GW Bush's narrow victory there gave him the win over John Kerry. Although the 2004 race there was not as close as Florida's (where the butterfly ballot fiasco created a super narrow win for Bush even though the intention of several thousand voters was to to vote for Gore but ballot design meant they voted for both Gore and Buchanon and thus had the ballot spoiled. As I've note before Florida 2000 is usually analyzed strangely and wrongly - either as a Supreme Court "coup" or as a real "win" by Bush. It was neither, rather it was a fluke of our terrible electoral system (which should award electors proportionally) and ballot irregularities (which are hard to fix but won't matter nearly as much if we use a national vote count).

So, Ohio probably holds the key to the election, and if you live there get ready to watch more TV ads than you've ever seen on a single topic in your entire life...

Palin's first major media interview with Charlie Gibson, ABC News

ABC has posted some small clips from tonight's interview with Sarah Palin here:

You may want to wait for the full interview later tonight to avoid watching a 30 second ad to see a one minute clip.

McCain beating Obama in popular vote, electoral still edging towards Obama.

The Republican convention dust and bumps have yet to settle, and perhaps more importantly Sarah Palin remains carefully closeted away from personal media interaction. Yet one thing that is clear is that McCain's choice of Palin has breathed new life into his campaign and that he appears to be leading in the national popular vote, though most electoral counts still seem to favor Obama by a very narrow electoral vote margin. Given the incredible closeness it is again possible that we'll see our very questionable electoral voting system overtun the popular vote as it did in 2000. It is important to note that it's not clear how the popular voting would change if candidates could spend more time campaigning in their strongholds - something that is not done much in the electoral system because the battleground states are the key to the win.

Ohio is again emerging as the probable *key* battleground state, with polls showing McCain and Obama tied right now.