If you start with the 2004 Electoral College map and then sort through the battleground states, it becomes clear that the 08 General Election really could come down to Colorado. The recognized battle-ground states are Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada in the West and Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, New Hampshire and Ohio in the North/Northeast. Also in play is Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia along the East Coast.
Of them all, Florida has the most electoral votes and I think that, due to a number of factors, it goes to McCain. (While this is a pretty big assumption and definitely provides McCain a starting edge in the overall picture, two current polls (Rasmussen and SurveyUSA) show McCain with a 5+ point lead; additionally he has maintained a consistent polling lead of 2-7 points since the end of the Republican Primary.)
Now, leave Colorado out of it (for now) and assume that McCain wins either Nevada or New Mexico (but not both) and that he loses Indiana and New Hampshire but wins in Michigan. Then you have Pennsylvania and Ohio and I think that, given Biden’s coal comments and Obama’s gun comments, they both go McCain. Then you have North Carolina and Virginia. Combined they have 28 Electoral Votes and for the sake of this scenario, I think they will both go to Barack Obama. In summary then, among the 11 top battleground states, this scenario gives McCain 5 wins and Barack Obama 5 wins.
This leaves the vote total at 267 (D) and 262 (R) and all of a sudden Colorado’s miniscule 9 Electoral Votes become the deciding factor. And quite simply, while I may have some states wrong, the bottom line is that there are a dozen scenarios of combinations that result in either campaign being 2-8 Electoral Votes below the magical number of 270.
There are literally a million or more people working hard for either the McCain/Palin or the Obama/Biden ticket to try and make sure it’s not this close. But the reality is that we could see an election in 2008 more close than ever before and our humble Colorado could be the tipping point.
So that is the possibility… but what do you think is reality? My battleground state predictions follow.
R – Colorado
R – Nevada
D – New Mexico
R – Pennsylvania
R – Michigan
D – Indiana
R – New Hampshire
D – Ohio
R – Florida
R – North Carolina
D – Virginia