2008 Electoral College Maps

Stephen Green has gotten decidedly ahead of the curve, noodling out some Electoral College scenarios for a McCain-Obama matchup in November.

He figures 41 states are already in the bag for one party, meaning the race starts as a virtual tie of 229 for the GOP and 227 for the Democrats. That means a best case scenario for McCain at 311 Electoral Votes to 227 for Obama and Obama’s best case is a 309-229 win.

2008 Electoral College Maps McCain Best Case - VodkaPundit2008 Electoral College Maps Obama Best Case - VodkaPundit

Needless to say, it’s way too early to predict this with any confidence. Indeed, it’s not a lead pipe cinch that Obama is the Democratic nominee, although it’s certainly starting to look that way.

My gut tells me that Obama would have a decided advantage over McCain and McCain would have a small advantage over Clinton but there are too many unknown variables. And I’m not sure that the 2000 and 2004 baselines will apply with two moderates facing off.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Indeed, it’s not a lead pipe cinch that Obama is the Democratic nominee

    Hell, now that McCain’s skeletons are coming out of the closet, Romney’s camp is floating a trial balloon about getting back into the race.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Romney’s camp is floating a trial balloon about getting back into the race.

    True that. But, barring a WHOLE LOT MORE coming out on that front or McCain’s health precluding him from being the nominee, that one’s over.

  3. Tlaloc says:

    Hell, now that McCain’s skeletons are coming out of the closet, Romney’s camp is floating a trial balloon about getting back into the race.

    Link?

    I suspect this campaign will end up showing a very different dynamic than 2004 or 2000. As things stand now I would expect the dems to make some surprising in-roads into areas long though safe republican, more like 2006. Obviously the election isn’t today and that dynamic might change.

    It’ll be interesting to see if 2008 vindicates Dean’s 50 state strategy.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    I think that the extreme cases are actually a little more extreme than Steve’s scenarios suggest. I think that in the Republicans’ best case scenario they hold onto both Ohio and Florida while in the Democrats’ best case scenario they take both Ohio and Florida.

    Both are possible; I think the best case Democratic scenario is somewhat more likely. As you noted it’s too early to tell.

    I note with a smile that fellow native Missourian Steve Green puts Missouri in the winner’s column under both of his scenarios, maintaining Missouri’s tradition of picking the winner, a tradition that’s held up pretty well since the American Civil War.

  5. James Joyner says:

    Link?

    Yesterday’s LAT and widely picked up elsewhere.

  6. James Joyner says:

    I think that in the Republicans’ best case scenario they hold onto both Ohio and Florida while in the Democrats’ best case scenario they take both Ohio and Florida.

    Agreed. They were swing states in each of the last two elections and I don’t think they’re suddenly in the “gimme” category with non-polarizing candidates representing both parties. He’s probably right that Ohio’s Republican party is in sad shape but that often doesn’t matter in presidential races.

  7. Anderson says:

    I just can’t buy that Florida’s a lock for the GOP.

  8. Tlaloc says:

    I note with a smile that fellow native Missourian Steve Green puts Missouri in the winner’s column under both of his scenarios, maintaining Missouri’s tradition of picking the winner, a tradition that’s held up pretty well since the American Civil War.

    Fair weather friends indeed. πŸ˜›

  9. Tlaloc says:

    Yesterday’s LAT and widely picked up elsewhere.

    I wasn’t calling him a liar, just didn’t see it. πŸ™‚

  10. legion says:

    No sweat, Tlaloc πŸ™‚ I tried to post something about it yesterday, but the site filter tagged the comment as spam for some reason.

    As for McCain, I doubt the lobbyist thing will really keep Repubs from holding their noses & voting for him (unless some REALLY unsavory sex things come out as well). The FEC issues, however, could truly cripple him in the remainder of the primary season. Sometime this week, he’s likely to hit a hard limit – where federal law prohibits him from spending any more money in the primaries. He can’t get released form that limit unless the FEC meets to approve it, and it can’t meet until they have a quorum, and they can’t get a quorum because Bush keeps throwing tantrums about the board appointments. While I don’t think it’s deliberate – it relies too much on McCain’s hubris and campaign staff incompetence – it would be hilarious if his run was crippled by Bush’s political maneuverings.

  11. Stephen Bainbridge asked some similar questions, which I answered here.

    Keep in mind, this is the gun-to-my-head-at-a-way-early-date scenario. I expect it to change a lot (and frequently) between now and November.

  12. just me says:

    and it can’t meet until they have a quorum, and they can’t get a quorum because Bush keeps throwing tantrums about the board appointments.

    Traditionally the GOP picks its members the DNC picks theirs, and they are nominated in pairs one GOP and one DNC, the Dems want to control who the GOP nominee is.

    I don’t think this is a Bush tantrum, sounds more like a dem one to me.

    But you are dead on that this pretty much hamstrings McCain.

  13. yetanotherjohn says:

    Put things in perspective. The American political game is played in the middle. 1/3 will support the GOP candidate and 1/3 will support the Dem candidate (I would like to say unless either party put up a red butt baboon, but …).

    The press has been fawning on Obama, but remember, the press is not believed by large portions of the population.

    McCain starts with 34% “definitely for him”. Obama has a similar 34% and Clinton a 32%. That is the standard 1/3 for/against. But look at the middle. McCain has the full center to play with. Obama has already lost 10% of the center and Clinton 13% of the center. Now this is early days. The republicans haven’t started pointing out some of Obama’s votes that the left will be proud of but the center will reject. Even so, when you start needing 8 out of every 9 ‘up for grabs’ vote to get a majority, you have an up hill climb. Don’t forget, there is a political correctness incentive to say that you are open to the idea of the first Black president or the first female president. There is no such restraint on expressing opinions about an old white male. So these poll numbers may be hiding an even larger antipathy for the democratic nominees.

    The MSM will be in the tank for Obama and the election will be decided on a state by state basis. Even so, this is a center right country and if the democrats continue to nominate hard left candidates, we may not see another democratic presidential majority vote for another 30 years.

  14. The one question I haven’t seen addressed is: what happens to the Democrats if the fight goes all the way to Denver, including rules battles over FL and MI — and Hillary loses?

    I think everyone agrees that a bitter Clinton nomination would sink Hillary. But could she take down Obama, too — or help him?

  15. Lou says:

    Does anybody believe that Hillary will back out of the race? She has nothing to lose by staying in until Denver. She is going to be the Senator from NY until the cows come home so why not go all the way.

  16. Paul says:

    I think she’ll drop out if she loses TX and OH, and maybe if she loses only one. She does have something to lose by staying in — a shot at 2012 if Obama loses, and the Bill Clinton legacy, which, despite his unpopularity with some here and the recent beatings it has taken, is still in pretty good shape in the place-in-history category.

    Yetanotherjohn makes some good points, but it could be a mistake to place too much stock in the poll numbers. Even if they accurately reflect what people think today, what people “definitely” think does change.

  17. Gary Denton says:

    Just a couple linksfor EV projection nerds –

    Really geeky

    A really good site once the primaries end.

  18. DL says:

    “I would expect the Dem’s to make some surprising in-roads into areas long though safe republican”

    And why not? The GOP candidate (moderate – says who?) supports the wacko Kyoto protocol fraud, detests law when it’s about border control, loves to kill human embryos for medical experimentation, doesn’t believe in free political speech, fights conservatives in his base and those appointed as candidates for the Supreme Court.

    He does think an extremist like Hillary will make a good president though.

  19. spencer says:

    If by November the unemployment rate is approaching 6% would you stick with this analysis?