by John Hawkins | October 13, 2008 10:00 am
My pal, Karol Sheinin over at Alarming News is “alarmed” that Johnny Mac is doubling down in Pennsylvania,
When I’m making a questionable call in poker, I’ll sometimes say “I’m about to look like a total genius or a total idiot.” The guy was on a bluff and my bottom pair gets me a large pot? Disco. The guy has a full-house and my bottom pair is no good? Moron.
Should a miracle occur and McCain win Pennsylvania, he will be the smartest man alive who ran the best campaign of all time. But if he invests money to lose a state that hasn’t voted Republican since 1988 and sends one and a half Democrats to the U.S. Senate, people might wonder why he didn’t focus on the states George W. Bush won a mere four years ago, and “idiot” will be too charitable.
Here’s the thing: McCain is so deep in the hole he has almost no choice but to try to win in Pennsylvania.
Let me explain.
In 2004, Bush won 286 electoral votes to 252. Keep in mind that the finish line is 270.
Well, this time around, Iowa (7) and New Mexico (5), both of which Bush won in 2004, look highly likely to go to Obama. Shave 12 off of Bush’s count and add it to Obama’s and the count is 274 vs. 264.
Now, as of today, per the RealClearPolitics averages, Obama is winning the following states that Bush won in 2004: Ohio (20), Florida (27), Nevada (5), North Carolina (15), Colorado (9), and Virginia (13). McCain, on the other hand, is not winning any states that Kerry took in 2004.
Will Obama win all of those states? Probably not, but he doesn’t need to win them all. Unless something changes, if Obama wins any of those states, he wins the election.
So, the McCain campaign has made a calculation: he’s going to lose some of those states, maybe more than one, and he’s going to need to make up the ground. Therefore, he’s not giving up on Pennsylvania. If it looks like a Hail Mary pass, it’s because it is a Hail Mary pass — but, I am not sure McCain has any other choice at this point.
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