Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How McCain Can Win

Peeling the Red Away in Indiana
by Charlie Leck

Obama’s organization is getting some results in Indiana. John McCain’s big lead is diminishing. Suburbanites are moving toward Obama as workers campaign hard, but politely, there for their boss. Indiana has lost an enormous number of jobs and folks are voting on those issues rather than social issues and national security.

There are still two weeks to peel back the red in Indiana. It would be a remarkable win for Obama if he can do. Remember how he almost shocked Hillary Clinton in Indiana. He came from way back to only a couple of percentage points on the night of the primary. He organization is using the exact same strategy they used back then.

Indiana also has a historically low voter turn-out rate and Obama is trying to change that and get his supporters to the polling places. Obama’s folks are also working the university and college towns, trying to get record turnouts in those communities.

In upscale suburban communities, Obama’s workers are finding women who are very turned off by the image of ditziness that Sarah Palin has brought to the Republican ticket. This matches what Thomas Edsall said in a recent blog on the Huffington Post.

“Palin is, additionally, costing McCain newspaper endorsements. Editor and Publisher calculated that as of Oct 18, Barack Obama led McCain 58-16 in the competition for the backing of newspapers. Many of the endorsements cited Palin as a factor in their
rejection of McCain. The Salt Lake Tribune, which supported George W. Bush in
2004, commented that ‘out of nowhere, and without proper vetting, the impetuous McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. She quickly proved grievously under-equipped to step into the presidency should McCain, at 72 and
with a history of health problems, die in office. More than any single factor, McCain's bad judgment in choosing the inarticulate, insular and ethically challenged Palin disqualifies him for the presidency.’ The Kansas City Star, in turn, described Palin as ‘unqualified.’
There’s a chance – a significant one – that Obama could take Indiana. The most credible polls out of Indiana are over a week old and showed McCain with about a 4 point lead. It will be interesting to see what comes in over the next few days.

Ohio has Obama with a slight 2 or 3 point lead. Most people think he has salted Pennsylvania away. So if Indiana falls for Obama, one can move from NJ and go with through PA, NY, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and on to Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota – and count them all as blue states. It looks like Obama can win without Indiana, but Indiana simply puts the election out of reach for john McCain.

On top of all that, Obama has made great strides and inched into the lead in Missouri (a McCain strong-hold one month ago).

In Virginia, Obama’s numbers have gotten stronger over the last few days. McCain’s organization appears to have conceded it.

Colorado has also increased it support for Obama in the last week. No one is ready to declare a winner here, but the Obama camp is pleased with the trend.

New Mexico is solidly blue right now also. The small lead charted there is Obama by 5 points. Rasmussen has Obama by 13 points.

The Northeast, from Maryland through all of New England is blue. So is the west coast!
It’s difficult to see how McCain can win. Even Florida is currently running 3+ points for Obama. Give McCain all the southern states (but remember, no poller has McCain ahead in North Carolina right now) and McCain also get all the western plain states and Arizona). Without pulling off upsets in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, McCain can’t do it.

Keep this in mind, too. McCain is running tired. He makes mistakes when he gets very tired. He tends to get angry when cornered. Palin has lost both her luster and her thunder.

Then for good measure, take a look at Nevada, a state that McCain absolutely counted on. He’s losing there from 2 to 7 points. That, my friends, would be the coup de grâce.

Just for you information, one poll has Obama with a 41 point lead in Hawaii. The lowest number there shows him 30 points ahead.

A current break down (using an average number based on all current, reputable polls in each state… + shows Obama lead and – shows how far behind he is):

Alabama -17
Alaska -17
Arizona -11
Arkansas -15
California +16
Colorado +6
Connecticut +19
Delaware +18
Florida +3
Georgia -7
Hawaii +40
Idaho -39
Illinois +18
Indiana -4
Iowa +12
Kansas -12
Kentucky -14
Louisiana -15
Maine +9
Maryland +23
Massachusetts +20
Michigan +12
Minnesota +9
Mississippi -10
Missouri +2 (tie)
Montana -6
Nebraska -19
Nevada +4
New Hampshire +9
New Jersey +11
New Mexico +8
New York +25
North Carolina +1 (tie)
North Dakota -4
Ohio +3
Oklahoma -31
Oregon +15
Pennsylvania +13
Rhode Island +23
South Carolina -11
South Dakota -17
Tennessee -16
Texas -13
Utah -36
Virginia +7
Vermont +24
Washington +10
West Virginia -3
Wisconsin +10
Wyoming -26

Here are the hard facts for John McCain
McCain could win every state that is currently a toss-up and Obama would still win the election with 286 electoral votes (270 are needed for election). So, the only way McCain can win is by getting in there and taking some states in which Obama now has a hard –core lead. Where could he do that? Pennsylvania is possible. That could tilt the election back to McCain if he wins every single toss-up state as well.

The experts don’t think Pennsylvania is reversible. There are 4 other states, according to these same experts, where Obama’s lead is shaky enough that McCain could change the results. Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado and Mexico. Winning any two of those states would not be enough for McCain. He needs to win Virginia, Minnesota and either New Mexico or Colorado to win – or he can win by getting Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico.

I don’t think he can turn Minnesota.

So, McCain’s closing days strategy has to be to turn Virginia, Colorado and Mexico. Mind you, I said that he needs every single toss up state + this other scenario I gave you. I looks impossible, but we must wait and see.If McCain wins it will be the most startling upset in the history of American presidential campaigns – by far!A friend in Colorado writes and asks a significant question: “What if they don’t win ‘em but just steal ‘em?”

Robert Kennedy, Jr. has co-authored a piece in which he claims that it is the ONLY way McCain can win and it is about what they are going to do! Read this story by RFK Jr. and Fred Pelast... http://www.truthout.org/101408R

CNN’s poll report yesterday afternoon show McCain closing the national gap a bit. It show McCain behind by only 5 points right now, compared to and 8 point deficit only two weeks ago. I can never figure things out from national polls, however. In our electoral system you’ve got to watch what’s going on state by state.

This CNN polls indicates a +20 for Obama when people are surveyed about who would likely bring the most positive change. That seems important to me. Obama also gets a slight edge on who would be the strongest, most decisive leader. The same poll shows that McCain has been able to distance himself from the policies of George W. Bush in the last two weeks. That’s crucial for McCain.

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