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McCain’s 10-Day Plan

In an article for the New York Post, I give it the old college try and lay out an electoral strategy for John McCain to maximize his (slim) chances of winning.

No razzle-dazzle here: McCain simply has to pick which states he and Sarah Palin can do the most good in, and hope for the best.

I group the states into four categories. The first two categories concern blue states won by John Kerry and/or Al Gore. The latter two concern red states.

1. Give-Ups. McCain should concede Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

2. Offensive Targets. McCain should remain engaged in New Hampshire and New Mexico.

3. Defensive Targets. Some reasonably vigorous defense is required in Viginia, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and North Carolina.

4. Gambles. McCain should limit his activity in Florida, Missouri and Indiana, and hope a national surge of some kind brings those states back into his column.

For the rationale behind these groupings, please see the full text of the article.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.