My Electoral Map (Saturday)

What is the electoral map going to look like on Wednesday morning? Who knows?!?!? But I have a guess, and my current estimate is Obama 364 vs. McCain 174.

This conclusion is based on the following reasoning:

We begin with a baseline electoral map that everyone will agree with. On this map, definite Obama states are in Blue, definite McCain states are in Red. (Original, huh?) If any of this ends up being wrong, we’re looking at a man bites dog situation, news-wise.


Now, you need 270 electoral votes to win, and this gives neither candidate a win.

I’m going to give McCain all the states that people think are “leaning McCain” … which basically means West Virginia.

The following states are considered to be ‘leaning Obama” and they are listed in descending order of likelihood of Obama taking the state based on Real Clear Politics poll averages:

Likely Obama States
State Votes Lead Votes if won
Pensyllavania 21 8.5 259
New Mexico 5 7.3 264
Nevada 5 6.5 269
Colorado 9 6.2 278
Virginia 13 6 291
Ohio 20 5.6 311

As you can see, adding a subset of these states to Obama’s total brings him past the 270 minimum. So he needs to win some, and can lose some, of these states. Keep this list of states handy on Tuesday night!

So for my estimate, I looked at all of these states, and the latest polls and other indicators strongly suggest that Obama is pretty likely to win all of them. So I turned them all blue on my map. Then, I went through the RCP averages for the remaining, “tossup” states and called them as I seez ’em. The resulting map is here:


I could be wrong about Arizona and North Dakota for McCain, and I could be wrong about Florida for Obama.

Indeed, I could be wrong about the whole dang thing, because I usually am when it comes to these things.

Obama supporters: Do not become complacent! Vote!

McCain supporters: Have you heard? Democrats vote Tuesday, Republicans vote Wednesday. Lucky Republicans, you get to go when the lines are guaranteed to be short!!!!

These maps were made on Real Clear Politics, which has a doohickey that allows you to change the states like you want. here.


  1. #1 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 1, 2008

    Actually, the Republicans are likely only to find themselves in line. Your joke is based on reality, though. Recently, a Republican group duplicated the seal of one of the toss-up states Secretary of State and targeted a mailer to Democrats with the false information that the state had extended voting to the next day. To reduce the lines.

  2. #2 chezjake
    November 1, 2008

    I mostly agree with you, Greg. The only bones of contention are Missouri and Indiana. I personally feel that Obama has a slightly better chance in Indiana than Missouri, and that if he takes Missouri he’ll also get Indiana. Just my gut feeling.

    Anyway, what are your thoughts on how many Electoral Votes Obama has to get in order for his victory to be called a “landslide” by anyone other than Democrats?

  3. #3 Anne Gilbert
    November 1, 2008

    I was a bit more conservative in my estimate of Obama’s probable electoral votes. I think he’ll end up with something between 311(which is what you get if you add in all the “leaning Obama” states, plus Ohio, I think). If you add in Florida, I got 338. I’m not sure it will go any higher than that, but I do hope you are right in your estimate. The “Rethuglican” Party needs to be sunk, and very well sunk at that.
    Anne G

  4. #4 Ian
    November 1, 2008

    I’m calling every state where Obama is above 40% in the aggregate…because I want to. So my prediction is Obama 489, McCain 49. Oh, and Andrew Rice beats Jim Inhofe for the OK senate seat. Reality? Who needs it? This is more fun.

  5. #5 george.wiman
    November 1, 2008

    Bog, I hope so. This election is killing me. I don’t know how to factor in the fraud, dirty tricks and legal challenges.

  6. #6 greg laden
    November 1, 2008

    chezjake: I think it won’t be the number. It will be the states. If he takes any of the red or reddish states that were seen as key in the last two elections … like Florida … or a couple of these states, Obama will pwn the Republicans.,

  7. #7 JanieBelle
    November 5, 2008

    Not too shabby, Greg.

  8. #8 JanieBelle
    November 5, 2008

    Doing a side by side with CNN, it looks like you only missed Indiana, and NC and MO are still to be determined.