2008 Electoral Vote Maps
SurveyUSA has “interviewed 600 registered voters in each of the 50 states” and found that, if the election were held yesterday,* Barack Obama would get 280 Electoral Votes to John McCain’s 258 while Hillary Clinton would win 276-262.
They issue the following caveats:
There are specific limitations to this exercise. The winner’s margin in each state is not always outside of the survey’s margin of sampling error. Rather than show states where the results are inside of the margin of sampling error as “leaning” or “toss-ups,” SurveyUSA for this illustration assigned Electoral Votes to the candidate with the larger share of the vote, no matter how small the winner’s margin. The Democratic nominee is not yet known. Running mates on neither side are known. These are not surveys of likely voters, these are surveys of registered voters. Those caveats stated, the exercise is a remarkable foreshadowing of how contested, and how fiercely fought, the general election in November may be, regardless of who the Democratic nominee is. And the exercise speaks to which states may vote one way or the other, depending on who the Democrats nominate.
If nothing else, it’s a useful reminder (as if we needed one after the last two elections) that we elect presidents on a state-by-state basis rather than a national popular vote.
What’s truly remarkable about these results is not the close margins but rather the variance between the two projected races. My initial reaction was “What state does Obama take that Clinton doesn’t?” It turns out that the maps are markedly different:
I’m frankly dubious that all those states are truly going to be in play. Then again, McCain is a different kind of Republican and Obama a different kind of Democrat than we’ve seen in several cycles. And Clinton is a uniquely polarizing figure.