November 04, 2008

Battleground Colorado--2008 Electoral College Scenarios

With the polls all over the map for any number of states, here are a few of the possible Electoral Vote outcomes, with the battleground of Colorado as the focus. The first two involve John McCain retaining Colorado by the smallest of margins--say 1-2%. As I'll be discussing national and local races on CBS4 on election night, here are the key states I'll be watching as the evening progresses (poll closing times, EST):
7 p.m. Indiana, Virginia
7:30 p.m. Ohio, North Carolina
8 p.m. Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri
9 p.m. Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, North Dakota
10 p.m. Nevada, Montana
With the exception of Pennsylvania, McCain must basically win the states above the line to have a snowball's chance in Phoenix. Or, as Allahpundit advises, begin drinking immediately.

Using CNN's interactive calculator, here are a few of the possible outcomes, with a focus on the retention or loss of Colorado.

First, the proverbial "nightmare" scenario resulting in an Electoral College tie at 269-269 (2004 results, minus Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico--all Bush states):

The "best case" scenario for John McCain--the same map as above, plus Pennsylvania (290-248):

Barack Obama wins 311-227, peeling off 5 states that went to Bush in 2004--Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.

McCain could still win without Colorado if he manages to flip Pennsylvania (281-257), and doesn't lose any other states east of the Mississippi (Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina). In this scenario, McCain could lose Missouri (along with Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada) and still eke out a 270-268 win.

What are your Electoral College predictions?

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