Showing posts with label landslide possibilities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landslide possibilities. Show all posts

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Open Thread: An Obama Landslide: How Far Could It Go?

Another slow polling day has reader, SarahLawrenceScott, asking:
"Supposing we do get a true Obama landslide, which state or states listed as McCain solid or lean are most likely to go for Obama?"
Indeed. What do you think? With momentum now squarely behind Obama, the discussion has shifted to how high Obama's ceiling is in this election. We already have an idea of where the McCain campaign is aiming here. After the Michigan pullout last week, the Arizona senator's campaign indicated that they were targetting Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But can Obama break into any of those lean or strong states of McCain's?

Let me weigh in here so that I'm not the first to comment on my own post.

It may be best to remove the ones that won't go for Obama first. I would eliminate the far right column on the Electoral College Spectrum. In the next column over, I'd take out Arizona, South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska and Texas.

That leaves us with Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Dakota, and the two lean states, Montana and West Virginia.

You have three "groups" there: the southern states, the plains states and West Virginia. The Mountain state has been in the mid- to upper single digits for McCain since the conventions, but I just don't see that one going to Obama. If neither Kerry nor Gore could win there, I'm hard-pressed to see Obama succeeding.

But the other five states offer some interesting possibilities. With the exception of Mississippi, all of the states spent at least some time in the toss up category on FHQ's map. Obama had some sizable level of support in those states at certain points. I think Montana and North Dakota stand out there. The three southern states would have to see very heavy African American turnout to make it interesting.

But, and here's the thing, if this race looks in 26 days time like it does now, does that affect turnout? Would likely and potential McCain supporters stay home knowing he would not win anyway? This is where the potential for inreased African American participation in those three southern states is consequential. The trigger mechanism -- voting for the first African American presidential nominee -- is still there for those voters even if the race seems like a done deal. Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina are the most likely to go for Obama in the South and you could perhaps throw in Louisiana as well.

Increased African American participation or not, depressed conservative turnout could certainly tilt a few more states outside the South to Obama, and I think Montana and North Dakota are the most likely.

Your thoughts? The comments section awaits.

Recent Posts:
The Electoral College Map (10/9/08)

Update: The Electoral College from a Different Angle

Talk About Bad Timing