Regardless of what the polls might indicate, an election comes down to the number of electoral, not popular votes. If you’d like to play along as an armchair pundit, open up the following sites in seperate tabs:
- CNN’s Electoral College Map changes occasionally “based on several factors, including polling, voting trends and ad spending.” The current map gives Obama 243 electoral votes, far ahead of McCain with 189, but leaves several states too close to call. Nevada (5), Colorado (9), Missouri (11), Michigan (17), Ohio (20), Virgina (13), Vermont (4), and Florida (27).
- FiveThirtyEight.com uses computer models culling data from a wide range of polls, weighting them with fancy algorithms so complex they’d make Karl Rove’s brain implode. Right now, it looks bad for Obama – they’re predicting McCain will gain 289 electoral votes vs. 249 for Obama… likely set over the top due to winning Florida’s 27 votes.
- LA Times Interactive Electoral Vote Map allows viewers to give the electoral votes however they see fit, and provides a tally along the way. My own analysis, using CNN’s map to help fill in the blanks, provides a scenario that, again, shows that just like in 2000 it will all come down to Florida. And considering Florida voted overwhelmingly in support of Bush in 2004, it looks bad for Obama.
As the most populous state, California has the most electoral votes – 55 – which few would argue will go to Barack Obama, so don’t be surprised as both Obama and McCain spend less time here and more in states like Michigan, Ohio, and especially Florida, where winning or losing there will make or break a Presidential bid.