Ben Smith got his hands on Karl Rove & Co.’s latest series of electoral map predictions. It looks like the maps have Colorado and New Mexico turning blue, Nebraska shifting back into the GOP column and Wisconsin going from red to a toss-up. Other than that, not much has changed.
These maps are really just a snapshot of rolling averages of polls, so I don’t think we’d really be talking about them if they were branded with the word Rove. Nonetheless, here’s the latest map and a link to the previous one.
Karl Rove & Co.’s Latest Electoral Map
Bob Novak released his prediction for the electoral map today, and it has John McCain squeaking by with 270 electoral votes to Barack Obama‘s 268. He actually breaks down all 50 states — Here are some interesting tidbits about swing states:
- Colorado: Novak puts it in the Democratic column and calls it “one of Obama’s best chances to win a Bush state.”
- Florida: Pointing to Cuba, seniors and vets, Novak predicts that it could very well “fade off the radar screen” for Obama.
- Indiana: Novak argues “McCain will have to work hard” to earn the Hoosier State’s 11 EV’s.
- Michigan: “Both candidates are weak in Michigan,” says Novak. But it’s still “McCain’s best chance” to win a blue state.
Other than those calls, Novak’s map looks fairly conventional and he notes that he doesn’t expect it to change much from 2004:
“The election will hinge on two regions: Lake Erie and the Mountain West. An Obama win in New Mexico or Nevada would be enough to tip the scales, but a McCain win in Pennsylvania could put the race out of reach. In the end, as always, it comes down to Ohio, where Obama’s weakness among rural whites could send McCain to the White House.”
My question to Novak — Would it kill him to develop a color map?
Hillary Clinton joined a long list today of candidates touting their electability with maps — Rudy did it; McCain followed; and Obama released his own strange map recently. In each case, the candidates released a series of maps with carefully selected polls showing that they were the strongest general election candidate.
In Hillary’s new memo, which was sent to super-D’s and first reported by Mark Halperin, the maps have her amassing 329 electoral votes to John McCain‘s 209. Barack Obama can only cobble together 246 EV’s to McCain’s 292.
What strikes us as interesting about this memo, however, is that she released the series of maps that were produced by Karl Rove. These are the same maps that Jake Tapper acquired about a week ago and The Electoral Map posted.
It’s classic Clintonian triangulation that one day Hillary would tell the Super-D’s that she’s the toughest candidate to face attacks from the likes of Rove and the next day use Rove as a credible source.
Pivoting from the Rove maps, the memo also uses averages from Electoral-Vote.com. Interestingly, the maps have Clinton winning a string of hillbilly states from the Ozarks to the Alleghenies; claiming two out of three of the Mountain West battlegrounds and even bagging the big prize of Florida.
Clinton Memo: Clinton vs. McCain Electoral Map
Clinton Memo: Obama vs. McCain Electoral Map
On the heels of Barack Obama‘s tour through the West, Marc Ambinder declares that the Illinois senator is going to have to spend a lot more time in the region if he’s hopes to reach the White House:
“The ONLY way, given the electoral college map that Obama is presented with, he can win the presidency if he loses Ohio or Pennsylvania by winning the West — by winning at least four of these states: New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and Washington. He cannot afford NOT to fight for the West. If he doesn’t fight for the West, he loses.”
The good news for Obama is that he can chalk up the electoral votes of Oregon and Washington. He ran very strongly in those two states, as first below map shows, and is still polling very well there, as Karl Rove‘s map displays. One reason for his success in the Pacific Northwest in the primaries is that he is received over 60% of the white male vote, which was one of his worst demographic groups back East and is sure to be a key swing vote come November (Jay Cost has a great graph I posted below).
As for the other three states: New Mexico certainly seems within reach if not only for the state of the GOP; Nevada remains a big question mark with its off-the-wall growth; and Colorado, the only place in America that is home to both the extremes of Boulder’s vegetarian environmentalists and Colorado Spring’s Focus on the Family disciples, is certain to be a major battleground.
Obama vs. Clinton Electoral Map — Pre-OR, WV and KY; Obama is blue and Clinton is red
Karl Rove & Co.’s Electoral Map
Obama’s Performance with Select Demographic Groups
The Southern Political Report released its report of “Dixie’s Competitive Congressional Districts” on Monday, and according to SPR’s Hastings Wyman, “This year some 21 of the South’s 162 congressional seats are more or less ‘in play,’ 12 of them currently held by Republicans, 9 by Democrats. Due to such factors as a strong tide against the party in power and the ability of probable Democratic nominee Barack Obama to bring out an unusually large turn-out among African Americans and young voters, Democrats stand the better chance of making gains this fall.”
Here’s a map of SPR’s competitive districts in Dixie followed by statsfrom SPR, Cook and CQ.
Southern Political Report: “Dixie’s Competitive Congressional Districts”
12 Republican Seats in Play
Alabama-02 (Dothan) – OPEN — Rep. Terry Everett (R) retiring
- Cook Rating: “Lean Republican”
- CQ Politics: “Leans Republican”
- Cook PVI: R +13
- 2004: Bush with 67%
Florida-13 (Sarasota) – Rep. Vern Buchanan
- Cook Rating: “Likely Republican”
- CQ Politics: “Leans Republican”
- Cook PVI: R +4
- 2004: Bush 56%
Florida-21 (Miami-Dade) – Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart
- Cook Rating: “Likely Republican”
- CQ Politics: “Republican Favored”
- Cook PVI: R +6
- 2004: Bush 57%
Once upon a time the West was solid GOP territory, but in 2008, the Democrats hope to make the region competitive.
The Los Angeles Times and the Politico have very similar but interesting articles today about how the top presidential contenders for each party are campaigning throughout the West early this week. Both Barack Obama and John McCain gave remarks in New Mexico for Memorial Day; Obama is in Las Vegas and McCain is in Denver today; and Obama visits Colorado while McCain shoots over to Reno tomorrow.
Politico’s Carrie Buddoff Brown explains the important of the region, writing, “President Bush picked up 19 electoral votes across these three states – the margin by which Democrat John Kerry fell short in the Electoral College in 2004. He edged out Kerry by five percentage points in Colorado, two points in Nevada and less than one point in New Mexico.”
L.A. Times’ Maeve Reston, Noam N. Levey and Scott Martelle break down the raw tallies, explaining, “Bush defeated Democrat John F. Kerry in the three states by a combined 127,011 votes — just 8,412 votes more than his margin in Ohio. Had Kerry won the three Western battlegrounds, he would be president.”
Our friends E.J. Kalafarski and Chadwick Matlin at Slate have a great map of where the candidates are campaigning — here’s the link to the interactive of their go-to site “Map the Candidates.” As a side note, check out how Hillary Clinton is still actively campaigning in the primary states of South Dakota and Montana.
Obama and McCain Tour the Mountain West (Map the Candidates)
And I’ll let Mark Knopfler take care of the soundtrack for this post:
Posted in Barack Obama, Colorado, John McCain, Nevada, New Mexico, West
Tagged Barack Obama, Colorado, Electoral Map, John McCain, Nevada, New Mexico, Politics, West
Readers — Sorry for the delay in updating content this last week — I was off the grid for an extended weekend. I’m back in DC now, though, and will be updating The Electoral Map regularly again.