Winning them Back

According to projections from the often-referenced (at least on Savidge for America) political statistics blog FiveThirtyEight, Barack Obama is set to win the November general election with 303.2 electoral votes to John McCain’s 234.8. (The electoral vote counts have decimals because they are the average number of electoral votes each candidate is projected to win from a variety of polling sites). Four states that went Republican in 2004 – Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, and Ohio – would move to Barack Obama’s column, and one more (the Commonwealth of Virginia) is shown as a complete tossup. In today’s post about this election’s battleground states, 10 of the 11 were won by President Bush in 2004 (that’s 119 electoral votes Republicans had four years ago that are now possibly in danger). If these projections are correct, there can be only one question for the McCain campaign: how do we get those states to turn red again? That question has to fit into his pick for Vice-President.

For some states, especially those in the midwest, a veep with good economic experience would help McCain. Campaigning with a running mate who can give plans for getting states like Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, and (if they want to take a state the Democrats won in 2004) Michigan out of the economic funk many of them are in would help his chances.

Another option for McCain is having a veep who appeals to religious voters, something he’s had issues doing (as I discussed yesterday). In his blueprint for a Democrat to win Virginia, Mark Warner said that Barack Obama would need a big turnout in the Virginian suburbs of DC and to, “not get smoked in the rural parts of the state.” This strategy can extend into those midwestern states I taked about earlier – and it’s something John McCain can exploit if he chooses a running mate with rural appeal. We know that President Bush won in 2004 because of (1) his popularity in rural areas and (2) his popularity among Evangelical voters, two attributes that usually go hand-in-hand. A Vice-Presidential nominee with rural and religious appeal could put down the Democrats’ resurgance in Virginia, and help John McCain recover the states they would need to win.

Tomorrow on Savidge for America: Three McCain VP Myths


One Response

  1. The real issue is not how well Obama or McCain might do in the closely divided battleground states, 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. 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 been approved by 20 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.


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