I am totally obsessed with with the electoral college maps on Yahoo! You can play around with different scenarios to see how each candidate gets to 270. The really fun part is that there is no realistic way for John McCain to reach 270! The McCain campaign is pretending Pennsylvania is still in play but they are just fooling themselves. The only way for McCain to win is if he wins Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. Seeing as Obama is ahead in all those states, that will be quite a challenge. McCain could easily win most of those states. But all of them? I don't think so.
Just because I'm feeling generous today, I'm going to give McCain all the states where Obama is leading by less than 8 points. So we'll give him Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida. Obama still wins! New Mexico? That's pretty safe for Obama but, just for the sake of argument, McCain can have it. Sorry; not enough! McCain wants part of New Hampshire? Fine. We'll give him two points there. He still loses!
To me, the exciting state to watch on election night will be Virginia. Obama has an 8 point lead in Virginia. If he wins the state, the election will be over early. Once he wins Virginia, he doesn't need any other battleground state. Obviously, Florida would do the job, too, and if he wins Virginia and Florida, it will be a landslide. If Obama loses Virginia (and Florida), it will be a longer night. We may have to wait to see what happens in Colorado.
So, the point is, I don't think McCain has much of a chance. He has to win 8 states where Obama is now leading. Many of them are close and if he worked really hard he could erase Obama's lead in most of them. But I just don't see how he could win them all. For instance, if he spent all his resources in Virginia trying to convice people that Obama is in favor of murdering babies, he could probably win that state. But then he would end up losing Colorado or some other state so it wouldn't do him any good.
Finally, just a quick comment on the Bradley effect. The Bradley effect is a horrible racist relic brought to you by the beautiful state of California. You're welcome! In case you aren't familiar with it, it refers to a black Los Angeles mayor who lost his bid for governor even though he was ahead in the polls. Apparently, people said they were voting for him because they didn't want to seem racist but then ended up voting for the white guy. This was decades ago and I don't think it's as bad anymore. Some people mentioned it when Obama lost New Hampshire in the primaries but I think that was just because people changed their minds. I don't think we've seen much other evidence of it. Still, some analysts suggest it could account for as much as a six percent discrepancy in polling. Fortunately, even if you factor in six points, Obama still wins!
But, as Michelle Obama pointed out, a black man running for president will be the underdog until he is actually sitting in the Oval Office. So don't take anything for granted! Make sure you vote!