For a better browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

FiveThirtyEight

Politics

The tendency of most commentators in this election — and certainly the tendency here — has been to frame everything through the eyes of the Democrats. If a new poll comes out showing McCain close with both Democrats in New Jersey, say, it is assumed to be on account of some or another flaw with the Democrats, and not some strength of McCain’s.

But what if instead of comparing McCain to the Democrats, we compare him to another Republican — George W. Bush. Below is the ratio of funds that McCain has raised thus far in his election campaign to the funds raised by Bush in 2004.

State              McCain '08    Bush '04     Ratio
1. Arizona $ 3,506,000 $ 3,260,000 1.08
2. New Hampshire $ 311,000 $ 615,000 0.51
3. New York $ 5,290,000 $12,215,000 0.43
4. Mississippi $ 326,000 $ 899,000 0.36
5. Utah $ 201,000 $ 566,000 0.35
6. Virginia $ 3,075,000 $ 8,780,000 0.35
7. Rhode Island $ 101,000 $ 289,000 0.35
8. Connecticut $ 1,498,000 $ 4,310,000 0.35
9. Idaho $ 128,000 $ 370,000 0.35
10. Maine $ 130,000 $ 378,000 0.34
11. Michigan $ 1,741,000 $ 5,081,000 0.34
12. California $ 6,801,000 $20,865,000 0.33
13. New Jersey $ 1,783,000 $ 6,064,000 0.29
14. Massachusetts $ 1,147,000 $ 4,155,000 0.28
15. Colorado $ 715,000 $ 2,684,000 0.27

46. Alabama $ 284,000 $ 3,126,000 0.09
47. Nebraska $ 79,000 $ 964,000 0.08
48. West Virginia $ 43,000 $ 552,000 0.08
49. Arkansas $ 109,000 $ 1,412,000 0.08
50. Kentucky $ 125,000 $ 2,424,000 0.05

After Arizona (no surprise), where McCain has already raised as many dollars as Bush did in 2004, the preponderance of states on the top of his list are on the East Coast. Five of the top ten states are in New England, and that isn’t counting New York, which might as well be. There are a couple of West Coast states scattered throughout McCain’s list — the region where he’s generally assumed to have the most advantages — but nothing overwhelming.

Now, we don’t know whether it’s a matter of East Coasters tending to have some real affection for John McCain — or having had some real disaffection for George Bush. But after looking at this list, I’d tend to take at least a little more seriously the prospect that McCain could compete in some East Coast states. Against Obama, the most likely targets are New Jersey (McCain 38% to win), and maybe Massachusetts (24%). Again Clinton, we’re likely talking about New Hampshire (75% — Clinton is actually the underdog here), perhaps Maine (24%) and Connecticut (30%), and perhaps even Delaware (30%), which is not as safely Blue as people assume.

By contrast, McCain’s inherently weakest region would seem to be the South. But neither Democrat is quite well positioned enough to take advantage of it, since Clinton will piss off some black voters and Obama will piss off some rural white Democrats. A hypothetical John Edwards nomination might have been interesting in this regard.

Filed under ,

comments Add Comment

Powered by WordPress.com VIP