Monday, September 22, 2008

Electoral Map Volume 1

It’s time for the late September electoral map.

Safe Obama States: (214)

California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), Iowa (7), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (15), New York (31), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (11), Wisconsin (10).

Leaning Obama (59)

Colorado (9), New Mexico (5), Michigan (17), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (21).

Safe McCain States (117)

Alabama (9), Arizona (10), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (9), Nebraska (5), Oklahoma (7), Tennessee (11), Texas (34), Utah (5), Wyoming (3).

Leaning McCain (72)

Alaska (3), Georgia (15), Mississippi (6), Missouri (11), Montana (3), North Carolina (15), North Dakota (3), South Carolina (8), South Dakota (3), West Virginia (5).

Toss Up (76)

Florida (27), Indiana (11), Nevada (5), Ohio (20), Virginia (13).

Solid Obama and Leaning Obama (273)

Solid and Leaning McCain (189)

With the election six weeks, things look very good for Obama at this point. Even without winning Florida or a single toss up state, Obama has more than the 270 needed. This certainly doesn’t mean that Obama can just cruise to victory, but it does mean that McCain will have to pour money and resources into a lot more states than Bush had to in 2004. Obama will also force McCain to spend millions of dollars in states which Bush took for granted.

It is reported that Obama plans to spend $37 million in Florida alone. This large expenditure on behalf of the Obama campaign will put a tremendous drain on McCain, who has been limited to the federal funding of $84.1 million. Obama opted out of federal funding and will probably spend in the neighborhood of $200 million between now and election day. McCain needs to spend large amounts of his federal cash in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and the Chicago market (to hit Southern Wisconsin,) in addition to Florida.

This doesn’t include the money the Republican National Committee (RNC), the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the 527s will spend. (A 527 is a type of American tax-exempt organization named after a section of the United States tax code, 26 U.S.C. § 527. A 527 group is created primarily to influence the election of candidates for public office, and are not subject to the same contribution limits as the candidates. Candidates can only receive $2300 per election cycle.)

In 2004, 527 groups spent almost $440 million. Democratic/liberal groups outspent Republican/conservative by a 2 ½ to 1 margin in 2004. Expect the 527s to spend at least as much as they did in 2004. The RNC had $76.5 million on hand at the beginning of September, 2008, whereas the DNC had only $17.7 million.

If you live in one of the dozen or so battleground states, expect to see a lot of political television advertising in the next six weeks. You can also expect phone calls, direct mail, and even someone knocking on your door for one of the candidates.

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