The Electoral Map Continues To Narrow

Time is not the only thing McCain has working against him in the final two weeks of the presidential election; a lack of resources will continue to rear its ugly head.

I say this because with the lack of resources, McCain is going to have to continue to make electoral sacrifices in order to make the best use of what he has on hand.  In what is rather startling news, the newest concession that McCain has had to make is that of Colorado; apparently the McCain campaign is pulling up stakes for what it hopes is greener pastures.

There are a number of problems McCain faces in this situation.  For instance, as we saw in Michigan, having to concede a state ends up deepening the impact.  There is first the media effect; news organizations will report on the pull out which lowers morale.  Then there is the voter effect; voters like to be wooed, and when they learn they will no longer be wooed by a specific candidate, they tend to favor the other candidate.

As I hinted at in the preceding paragraph, Michigan would seem to be the best model in predicting how Colorado behaves over the course of  the next two weeks.  Michigan was just barely a leaning Obama state when McCain announced he was pulling out, but it quickly moved into the strong Obama category not long after.  Currently Obama leads there by about ten points with the trends moving decidedly in the Democratic candidate’s favor.

Colorado may only have half the electoral vote yield as Michigan, but all things considered, McCain needs every ev he can get.

Further, it’s important to point out that if McCain does leave Colorado, Colorado is gone for good.  Because McCain opted for public funding of his campaign, there’s no hope for a home stretch influx of campaign dollars that could justify him making a play for the state should polls show Colorado becoming competative again, and as we continue to see, McCain isn’t getting any kind of outside help from 527’s who don’t want to waste their resources in what is looking like a losing endeavor.

But the resources woes extend beyond what we are seeing in Colorado.  As Halperin further points out, the entirety of the McCain campaign now relies on a very small handful of states; Nevada, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  These are the only states that he can afford to play in, and should Obama decide to focus his monetary efforts in only these states, McCain’s going to get blown away.

Now, that’s the lay of the land if all six of those states were honest to goodness toss ups.  Ideally, McCain would want to see at least some of those states at least looking in his direction, but that’s just not the case.

Obama has a slight edge in Nevada with the trend moving in his direction, and the same goes for Ohio, as well as North Carolina.  Meanwhile, Florida is actually leaning towards Obama outside the margin of error.  In this realistic model of where the battlegrounds sit, this concludes the good news for McCain.

Turning our sights to Virginia, we see Pollster declaring Virginia now a strong Obama state, and the trends in Obama’s favor are surging.  Remember, Virginia is a must win state for Senator McCain.  But the biggest hurdle McCain must overcome according to his own strategy is Pennsylvania, where McCain must overcome an astonishing fifteen point deficit just to make it close.

In all six of the states McCain is intending to play for he’s down.  In all six states, the trends are moving away from McCain.  In only three of them is McCain actually within striking distance, and in two of them, McCain actually has to try to win over strong Obama states.

And he has to do it at a severe disadvantage in resources.

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