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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

Suppose that instead of a relatively decisive win by Barack Obama on Election Day, we instead have a very close election.

Wish state might the McCain campaign really, really wish that they hadn’t insulted?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not technically a state, but rather, a commonwealth.

Five separate polls of Virginia have been released within the past 48 hours. Zogby has Obama ahead by 7 points there, the Washington Post by 8, SurveyUSA by 9, Public Policy Polling also by 9, and Virgnia Commonwealth University by 11.

Virginia, with 13 electoral votes, is a bit more electorally potent than Colorado; Obama could afford to lose either New Hampshire or New Mexico if he won there (though not both), which is not true about the Rocky Mountain state. We are currently projecting Obama to win every John Kerry state, except New Hampshire, but plus Iowa, by double digits. If Obama wins all of those states plus Virginia, he’s at 268 electoral votes, meaning that any more electoral votes anywhere in the country would win him the election.

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