Early State-By-State Numbers
Barry Ritholtz analyzes a recent article in Barron’s ($) that shows Kerry in a strong position vis-a-vis Bush in the state by state voting. It’s based on late February Zogby numbers.
“Only four of the states that we list as “in play” (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington) were Blue states in 2000, when they delivered a majority for Vice-President Al Gore. The other eight states that are “in play” now (including Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Missouri), with a treasure trove of 98 electoral votes, were part of Bush Country in 2000. That suggests the Democratic presidential candidate is holding his base of support better than the president is, allowing Senator Kerry to peel off a couple of the paler Red states from the president’s column.
“National poll numbers are irrelevant,” Zogby says. “What is relevant is how the president plays in the Red states, and how the Democrats play in the Blue states.”
Of course, this poll was conducted at what is likely the low point of Bush’s popularity during this election cycle–and quite possibly Kerry’s highest. At the end of the day, absent some major catastrophe in Iraq, I don’t believe Kerry has much of a shot in most of the eight “red” states that Zogby currently polls as “in play.”