I have reanalyzed the electoral map with the latest information. Applying some reasonable criteria (see below) to the most current information, a very reasonable conclusion is that the electoral vote not counting Pennsylvania will be Obama 252 vs. McCain 265. Neither of these numbers is above the required number to win. Starting at this base, the candidate who wins Pennsylvania wins the election.
I am not prepared to put Pennsylvania in either column for the following reasons: 1) All of the effects in my adjustment criteria (outlined below) are strongest in Pennsylvania and 2) McCain and the Republicans are putting everything they have into Pennsylvania. The numbers show that this strategy is working. No reasonable observer can claim that this strategy can’t work. It is a matter of probabilities and a McCain win in Pennsylvania is a possibility.
Here is what my new, Nightmare Map looks like:
The criteria I used to make this map:
Using data, as well as the map itself, from Real Clear Politics:
1) I assume the Bradley Factor, the Bubba Factor, the Walmart Women Factor, etc. among undecided voters as well as previously ‘committed’ voters to be four percent. Taking the best estimate available, an Obama lead of four percent or less equals a McCain win.
2) Using non-partisan polls, if recent polls show a shift towards McCain and there are a lot of undecideds in the poll, I assume that this indicates a real shift among undecideds towards McCain. In this case, I use that latest post shift number to estimate the spread, rather than the RCP spread. I don’t need to come up with a number. I just need to guess if the current trend is going to put the difference to four points or fewer.
3) States that are obviously strong Obama or strong McCain are, obviously, moved into the appropriate column.
Strictly applying these criteria to Pennsylvania, Obama still wins, but that is today. The situation has shifted from Friday to today. With the extra effort being spent by the Republicans in Pennsylvania, the situation could continue to shift between now and Tuesday, and this shift could be at a higher rate than the shift we are seeing in other states.
I just listened to an extensive interview with a reporter who has been covering Ohio, and everything he is saying is suggesting that Ohio will break for McCain. State by state, this sort of thing is happening.
By the way, if the cable news does not drop this Palin Pranked story this is going to be seen as an unfair attack on her and will give McCain Palin an extra point across the board. As a Minnesotan, I can tell you that the backlash effect can be very very painful (this is how we got Norm Coleman as Senator).
Also, by the way, the national press is going to have to stop congratulating the McCain campaign for not dragging Jeremiah Wright out in this election. They are doing this now.