Thursday, October 21, 2004
Electoral Picture: Closing in!
Here is how the presidential race appears to be moving into the final week playing with this nifty interactive electoral vote counting tool:
AZ, NV, LA, AR, VA, WV are all trending strong Bush as WA + MI are trending strong Kerry - these are not really in question anymore IMO ... though tonight there is a new Detroit News Poll that shows Bush up 47-43 in Michigan (?!?!?!?!!!!)
FL is trending strong Bush but can't be taken out of the toss-up category because of the experience in 2000. Hurricanes & strong presence by President Bush alongside excellent performance by brother Governor Jeb Bush impressed residents & local Joe Scarborough feels the race there is over. One can't help but think Bush's determined efforts to meet with & assist local citizens throughout the day of that first presidential debate probably wins him some points as well. Katherine Harris provides some perspective on further reasons why Florida is not as likely to repeat the 2000 debacle as many (such as Jimmah Carter) are hoping or suggesting.
MO is the traditional Bellweather state - it's trending Bush but always up for grabs and voter fraud will play its traditionally significant role here.
OH is typically a bellweather but this time it's impacted by joblessness greater than the national average. It's trending slightly Bush but still in the toss-up category and 50-50 with a possible edge to Kerry. Bush won Ohio in 2000 but could afford to lose it (and/or NH) by winning combinations of other midwest toss-up Kerry states. Voter fraud will also be rampant here as the Democrat "Rock Cocaine for Votes" scandal has already been uncovered in Defiance County.
PA is the counterpart to MO with double the electoral punch - it's trending Kerry and a must-win for Kerry, really, but having to get Clinton up to go energize their black base is puzzling strategically unless the internal polls reveal some Kerry weakness they're truly concerned with. Bush will be returning to PA shortly. The GOP is already calling Democrat Governor Ed Rendell on his premature angst preparation.
NJ has to be considered "safe" for Kerry until proven otherwise, though the public polls are neck-and-neck with Bush giving a major speech there this week.
NH usually leans Republican but is impacted this time by migration of voters (real and otherwise) from Mass. next door. I suspect it'll play out as NH often does, close until the day of the vote and then trending Republican. Hard to call either way, though.
There are several Gore states - NM, OR, IA, WI, MN that seem to be trending to Bush & could either lead to a near hit or miss total overall with the outside chance to contribute possible electoral landslide depending on what happens in the other truly critical toss-up states. These are the states where Bush has been spending time of late and I suspect will win at least 3 out of 5.
CO is trending strong Bush with the caveat there is a ballot initiative that would break up their electoral contributions - whether that wins & whether it's constitutional, could be a factor. Bush travels to Greely 10/24. Governor Bill Owens there is significant Democrat voter fraud already under way.
ME has a system like Colorado is considering & it appears Bush is poised to possibly win some of these former Gore electoral votes.