Electoral College check-in: Obama 306, McCain 157

When I looked last night, the Electoral College maps maintained by Real Clear Politics and Pollster.com were in complete agreement on all 50 states.

The McCain-Palin ticket was far enough ahead in 19 states with a combined value of 157 electoral votes (EV) to color them some shade of red.

The Obama-Biden ticket was far enough ahead in 24 states with a combined 306 EV to color them some shade of blue.

Seven states, worth 75 EV were rated as toss-ups. Just pause there for a moment. If McCain won all of the toss-up states, Obama would still have a healthy 306-232 majority.

But in fact, Obama holds small leads in five of the seven toss-up states with a combined value of 60 EV. So, if Obama carried every state in which he currently has a lead, however small (based on Pollster’s calculation of a trend of the most recent polls), the Dem ticket would win a more than 2-1 Electoral College landslide of 367-171.

Real Clear Politics disagrees on who is ahead in the toss-up state of North Dakota. Pollster says Obama has a small lead, RCP says McCain. If RCP is right about North Dakota, and each ticket carries the states in which it now ahead, the Dem victory would be reduced to 364-174.

McCain is not leading in a single state that went for the Dem ticket in 2004. In fact, every single state that John Kerry carried in 2004 is colored dark blue on both the RCP map, and every one except New Hampshire is dark blue on the Pollster map, meaning Obama has a large lead.

Two states (Iowa and Virginia, combined 20EV) that the Republican ticket carried in 2004 are colored dark blue on the Pollster map. (RCP disagrees about the shade of Virginia, it coloring it light blue, even though it calculates that Obama’s lead in an average of recent polls of 7 percentage points). If Obama carried all of the states (plus I keep forgetting to mention the District of Columbia), the Dem ticket would have 268 EV, two less than the number needed to win.

In other words, based on either map, all McCain would have to do to win an Electoral College majority would be to carry all of the dark red states, all of the light red states, all seven toss-up states (including the four or five in which he is currently trailing) and all of the light blue states, in which Obama is leading by even more.

If Obama were to carry every state in which he is currently ahead on the Pollster map (including the five toss-ups in which he holds a small lead), he would have transferred 10 states (with a total of 115 EV) from red in 2004 to blue in 2008.

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