The First Read guys are updating their electoral college map. The leftysphere has been giddy about a new national poll, but of course the map is what's important. Here are the reported results and thoughts:
- Base Obama: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, MD, MA, NY, RI, VT (153 electoral votes)
Lean Obama: ME, NJ, MN, OR, WA (47 votes)
Toss-up: CO, FL, IA, MI, NV, NM, NH, OH, PA, VA, WI (138 votes)
Lean McCain: AR, GA, IN, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE, NC, ND (84 votes)
Base McCain: AL, AK, AZ, ID, KS, KY, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY (116 votes)
While both McCain and Obama get to 200 when adding up their base and lean states, it’s clear to see that Obama has an early edge with the map. Not only does he have a stronger base than McCain does (153 votes vs. 116), but he also has more potential pick-up opportunities. When you add toss-up and “Lean McCain,” Obama has the potential for another 222 votes outside his favored states. By comparison, McCain’s toss-up and “Lean Obama” comes to 185. Of course, potential sometimes means just that -- potential. At the end of the day, Obama will likely win few, if any, of those Lean McCain states. But his reach right now seems much longer than McCain’s.
This map represents gains almost across the board from the (methodologically different) Rove map of a couple of weeks ago.
The map also shows the power of Obama's fundraising advantage. He will be able run McCain all over the country, giving him little in the way of uncontested wins. Normally Dems write off the southeast, but Obama can spare some money and time in vote-rich states like North Carolina and Georgia. He probably won't win both and might not win either, but McCain will have to devote resources there, including pouring TV money into expensive media markets like Atlanta, to keep Obama at bay.
One of the oft asked questions around here is whether Obama will write off Ohio in favor of another swing state like Missouri or the newly-swingy Virginia. Between the current toss-up status and again the money advantage, he may not need to make that choice.
The First Read story goes on to say that the results over the next two weeks will reflect a bounce from securing the nomination. Not an illegitimate bounce, but it will likely drop a bit heading into July.
Jeff has some other map results up. I prefer a five-tier division like this to a straight up electoral vote count.
Finally, the map reflects some ongoing changes in demography. New Hampshire, once resolutely red, is looking increasingly blue. Similarly Colorado and Virginia look more purple with each passing cycle, though some reports indicate that Colorado is in more of an issue-dependent flux like Ohio than a demographic sea change.