Posts Tagged ‘john’

McCain Campaign: Spain a U.S. Adversary

The Real John McCain

Election Projection 2008: August 5 Update

Our last electoral map update was on June 22. Now that we are in August, you would imagine that a lot has changed over the course of a month and a half. Not really. Surprisingly, the race has remained remarkably steady. The last major event to happen that changed the dynamics of the race was Hillary Clinton’s departure from the race in early June. This event gave Obama a big boost in support from Democrats, securing states like Pennsylvania and re-gaining leads in states like Michigan that have been Democratic for many of the past election cycles.

Looking at the map, the only states that Kerry won in 2004 that appear to be at any risk at all of flipping are New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Yet McCain has been unable to connect with working class voters in Midwestern battlegrounds and the voters in New Hampshire, who booted a pair of Republican Congressman, elected a Democratic governor and wrested control of both houses of their state legislature to the Democrats in 2006 seem unlikely to embrace John McCain’s message.

That leaves the race for the White House largely on Republican territory. While Barack Obama is spending heavily in the red states of Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, Georgia and Alaska, McCain has brushed these ad buys off as diversion tactics meant to siphon resources from the traditional battleground states of Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania and so on. With polls in Florida and Indiana with Obama ahead, and polls showing a tight race in North Carolina, Montana, North Dakota, Georgia and Alaska, it doesn’t seem that McCain can ignore these states for long.

Below is our latest map based on “safe” states (where either Obama or McCain have a 10% advantage). Compared to June 22, we are moving Wisconsin to “safe” Obama and Louisiana to “safe” McCain. The biggest movement has taken place in the gray area between “toss-up” and “lean” which we define as anything below 10%. Arizona, Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota have been moved into this gray area because they are within 10%. No, that’s not a typo. Arizona, John McCain’s home state, is now competitive. Louisiana, West Virginia and Wisconsin have been moved out.


The next map shows states that we would consider true “toss-ups”. We define this as anything below 5%. Both Obama and McCain have lost ground since our last update as a number of states can qualify as true “toss-ups”. Since June, Colorado, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota have been added as “toss-up” states. The only toss-up from June to be removed is Michigan, which is now a “lean” Obama state.


An interesting pattern is developing, and just goes to show why having a Midwestern Democratic at the top of the ticket can be so beneficial. Every state that Illinois borders in the Midwest is either leaning Obama or considered a toss-up. Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri account for 39 Electoral Votes. Throw in Illinois’ 21 and you reach a whopping 60 Electoral Votes, or approximately a quarter needed to become president. This doesn’t even include the Midwestern giants of Michigan or Ohio, nor does it include Minnesota. It is conceivable that Obama may sweep the entire Midwest’s 107 Electoral Votes, or 40% needed to become president.

Does McCain have a similar type of advantage in the West? Most of these states have been traditionally Republican, anyway, but the West has comparatively fewer Electoral Votes up for grabs than in the Midwest or the Northeast. Looking at the map, though, Arizona’s border states include California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Among them, only Utah is considered “safe” with its 5 Electoral Votes. California and New Mexico are “safe” or “leaning” Obama, and both Nevada and Colorado are pure toss-ups. While Obama could conceivably get 60 Electoral Votes out of states that border Illinois (and 107 out of the Midwest), McCain may only get 15 Electoral Votes out of the states that border his home state (including Arizona). Geographically, the Democrats picked the right candidate and the Republicans picked the wrong one.

McCain Praises GI Bill He Opposed

John McCain likes to take credit for things that he had nothing to do with. McCain took credit for the ousting of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld after he was released from his position following the landslide 2006 defeat of Congressional Republicans. Now he’s taking credit for a GI Bill that he not only didn’t vote for, but was opposed to:

I’m happy to tell you that we probably agreed to an increase in educational benefits for our veterans that not only gives them increase in their educational benefits, but if they stay in for a certain period of time than they can transfer those educational benefits to their spouses and or children. That’s a very important aspect I think of incentivizing people of staying in the military.

Election Projection 2008: June 22 Update

This week’s update is going to be a little different than the last. We are now going to have three maps:




  1. Will show states that favor either Obama or McCain and states that are competitive with the difference being less than 10%

  2. The second map will show the same states that favor Obama or McCain, but add a category of “lean” Obama or McCain (between 5-10%) and then “toss-up” (less than 5%)

  3. The third map is my personal prediction of how the Electoral College will turn out on Election Day. This one is not necessarily based on current polling, but trends, demographics, turnout projection and so on.


Let’s get to this week’s changes to the map. We have a few things going on here. First, we see that the post-primary bump for Barack Obama is driving up his poll numbers both in state and national polls. A new Newsweek poll has him up by 15% over McCain nationally.


The state-by-state picture is even brighter this week than it was last week for Obama. Two states have fallen into our “safe” state category this week: New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, where Obama now leads by greater than 10%. Meanwhile, Florida unexpectedly moves from “leans” McCain to “toss-up” as a poll out this week had Obama up in the state by 4%. McCain’s recent comments about off-shore oil drilling could very well hurt him even more in the Sunshine State where tourism is a key economic issue.




This week we have six “lean” McCain states (which means he is leading between 5-10%). They are: Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia. This is not good news for McCain, as five of his six states where he has a small lead are traditionally conservative Republican states, while Obama’s “lean” states include Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and New Mexico, which all voted for Bush in 2004. The only state that voted for Kerry that I have in the “lean” column for Obama is Wisconsin.





Among toss-up states are a few surprises (Alaska, Georgia and North Carolina), while the perennial battlegrounds of Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Nevada all make a showing as “toss-ups”. Virginia is also included in this category. Of the eight toss-up states 7 voted for George Bush in 2004 and only 1 voted for John Kerry in 2004. Like the “lean” category, this means that Obama is expanding the playing field while McCain is stuck with only Michigan as a potential pick-up.







National polls:



Obama 51, McCain 36 – June 20, 2008 –




State polls:



Toss-up States






McCain 45, Obama 41 – June 15, 2008 –






Obama 47, McCain 43 – June 18, 2008 –






McCain 44, Obama 43 – June 19, 2008 –






McCain 45, Obama 42 – June 20, 2008 –



North Carolina:



McCain 45, Obama 43 – June 10, 2008 –



Competitive/“Lean” States






Obama 48, McCain 42 – June 18, 2008 –



Safe” States



New Hampshire:



Obama 50, McCain 39 – June 20, 2008 –






Obama 52, McCain 40 – June 18, 2008 –

Election Projection 2008: June 9 Update

Hello everyone! The last time I posted was on May 29, 2008. Hillary Clinton was still officially in the race, but the primary season mathematically ended on her weeks prior to that. She has finally since given it up, endorsing Barack Obama this past Saturday. The wounds will begin to heal after 17 months of primary campaigning between these two rivals for the nomination. Barack Obama secured the 2,118 delegates needed to become the Democratic Party’s nominee on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, becoming the first African American nominee of any party in our country’s history. He did it with a win in Montana, the final Democratic primary of the season.

With the primaries behind us, the map is begin to shape up more favorably for Obama, as should be expected. Things will only get better for him between now and November as Hillary supporters come home, Democrats unite, voters become more familiar with Barack Obama and the economy continues to falter. This latest update sees only one state (Texas) move out of “competitive” territory while a whole slate of states move into the gray area of “toss-up” and “competitive” as we move the marker from being less than 5% to less than 10%.

As we really don’t know what to expect yet and polling remains limited in many states, it makes more sense to not rule out upsets in states like Montana, Louisiana, South Carolina, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. This mainly hurts McCain, as he is enjoying slight edges in states that would in any other year be considered solidly Republican. But since his margins in states like Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Indiana and a whole slew of states are under 10%, these states are certainly far from safe. With enough time on the ground and ads on television, Obama could put all of these places in play.


This map compares strikingly to the map that we first unveiled on May 29, 2008 (shown below):


Another thing to keep in mind for Nebraska is that they distribute their electoral votes. They have a statewide winner, then winners by Congressional District. The statewide winner gets 2 of the state’s electoral votes, and the winner of each of the three Congressional District will receive 1 a piece. Polls show that Obama is statistically tied with McCain in the Omaha-anchored Congressional district in Nebraska, which could net him 1 electoral vote. He is also within five points in another, while trailing statewide by less than 10%. Right now we have Nebraska in the “competitive” category on the <10% map and on the map without toss-ups, McCain is receiving all 5 electoral votes. This may change within the next few updates. Below is my projection map without toss-up states:

ImageShack’s Election Projection 2008 is switching from primary to general election mode by introducing the 2008 Election Projection page and map. I will include two maps: one will be based on polling, state demographics, historic trends and previous results and the other will be my personal projection for November 4, 2008 between Barack Obama and John McCain. Both maps are included below. I will update the site with state-by-state analysis as soon as I have the time.

The Democrats start off with a huge advantage. This week Scott McClellan came out with details from his upcoming book. The information he reveals is nothing really new (we already knew that the White House lied to the American people and used propaganda). That said, his book goes to show how deep the dislike for the Bush administration runs… it goes all the way to former administration officials.

McCain is going to have to deal with an unpopular president, a recession, the war, $4 gasoline and the fact that Democrats have millions of new voters. On top of that, he will trail Obama dramatically in cash-on-hand and will face a 50 state organization in Obama’s that we haven’t ever seen before. The poll in Mississippi showing Obama behind by 6 points, the polls in Indiana having him up and Virginia where it is in single digits – all states that have voted Republican for decades (two of which have since 1964 – are clearly in play. Of them, I only expect Obama to win Virginia, but forcing McCain to compete in deep red Republican states almost guarantee victory.


The next map is of states that I expect to be in play this fall. These “swing states” are largely familiar to those that have followed politics since 2000. Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania. But Obama is expected to bring a number of states to the table that both Al Gore and John Kerry were unable to win.


Four of the swing states are in the Southwest: Nevada, New Mexico Colorado and Texas. They account for 53 electoral votes, or roughly 1/5 of the 270 electoral votes needed to become president. The other bloc of states are in the South: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and yes – Mississippi – account for 61 electoral votes or nearly 1/4 of the needed 270. People fail to remember that Mississippi has the highest percentage of African Americans in the United States. The Northeast, which includes liberal New England, is trending heavily Democrat. New Hampshire elected a Democratic governor in 2006 and two Democratic House members. Former NH governor Jeanne Shaheen is expected to beat Bush Republican John Sununu and take his Senate seat. While New Hampshire will undoubtedly be competitive (especially considering McCain’s history in the state), I think it will continue its Democratic trend. Pennsylvania is the only other state in the Northeast that will be competitive.

The real battleground will yet again be the Midwest. Of the 270 electoral votes needed, 69 will be up for grabs in the Midwestern “battleground/swing states”. That’s over 25% of the needed electoral votes to become president. Wisconsin and Iowa were both decided by about 10,000 votes in 2000 and 2004. Ohio was the difference between a Bush and Kerry administration in 2004. Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri haven’t budged at all, despite the close margins. Michigan and Minnesota will prove elusive for the Republicans yet again in 2008, and Missouri will elect both a Democratic governor and help elect Barack Obama.

This year I expect Minnesota won’t be very close and neither will Iowa. I expect Obama will win both by more than 5%. If you include Minnesota and Iowa in the “swing states” list, the Midwest will have 86 electoral votes that are truly competitive – or 1/3 of the needed electoral votes to win. The economy will be McCain’s biggest drag in Michigan and Ohio where economic concerns are high on voters minds. Missouri is a bellweather state that tipped the balance of power in the Senate in 2006. Had Gore won the state in 2000, he would be president. Obama narrowly won Missouri, as well as other Illinois border states Iowa and Wisconsin. He lost to Hillary in Indiana by 14,000, but polls have him up or tied against McCain. Unless Obama makes a play for the state, I don’t expect him to win it. That said, if he picks someone like Evan Bayh to be his VP, he may have a serious shot at winning the state. Otherwise, it will be much closer than it has been in decades.

That’s all I have for now. I will update’s Election Projection 2008 each week if news and polls warrant.

Hillary/McCain: Out of Touch on Gasoline

Maybe Hillary Clinton and John McCain should become running mates? Not only are they using the same talking points against Obama on the campaign trail, they’re proposing the same plans! Weeks after John McCain announced a plan to cut an 18 cent gasoline tax that would do little to save people money on $4 gasoline, Hillary Clinton outlined the exact same program.

The problem? All of the pandering does little to save consumers money, and may actually result in even HIGHER gas prices. Anyone who has a basic understanding of economics would know that higher demand means higher prices. So by eliminating the 18 cent gasoline tax, demand would rise and so will price. The result: oil companies will make more money at the expense of our highways and consumers.

What else is wrong with the Hillary/McCain proposal? It would cost the federal government an estimated $9 billion over the 3 months that the “gas tax holiday” would occur. Not only would we not be repairing our highways over the summer, we would be putting our entire infrastructure at risk. The bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last year proves we can not afford either Hillary or McCain to be president. It also would result in an estimated 300,000 job losses. So much for jump starting our economy, Hillary.

John McCain Confuses Sunnis and Shiites

John McCain is running for president, yet apparently he does not know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. This is scary stuff, people. A man running on his “experience” (much like Hillary Clinton) is simply confused. It’s one thing to say he “misspoke”, as many media outlets contend. It is entirely different when it is something he says all the time (one, two, three times, for your reference).

This man wants to be president? First “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”, now al Qaeda is being trained by Iran. Then he counts on poor old Joe Lieberman to bail him out. Give me a break. This guy is not prepared to be president. He is, quite frankly, too old and out of touch.

Change is Coming

Just five days after winning a historic victory in nearly all-white Iowa by 9%, Barack Obama fell just 2% of beating Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. I won’t lie, I didn’t expect him to lose. I thought a big win was coming, but it didn’t happen tonight.

Let’s keep this loss in context:

1. Barack Obama was down by double digits weeks ago.
2. Hillary won by a little more than 5,000 votes or 2%.
3. Women made up 57% of the Democratic vote.
4. Women supported Hillary 47-34% over Obama.
5. John McCain won with 38% of the vote in the Republican primary. He drew much of his support from independents, who helped Obama win Iowa. It seems that the poll numbers showing Obama ahead so far might have led to these independents voting for McCain instead.
6. Independents yet again overwhelmingly supported Obama over Hillary.

Two states down, one thing is clear: Obama is supported by independents by more than 2-1 over Hillary Clinton. If Democrats want to win in November like we did in 2006, we need independent voters to support us in the way that they support Barack Obama. I’m a liberal Democrat. I want change. We aren’t going to get it without the support of independent voters. These voters can not stand Hillary. Neither can Republicans. That much is clear from Iowa and New Hampshire.

I support Barack Obama for his opposition to the war since day one. He was on the right side of history. I support Barack Obama because having a president who is black and has a name like that will send a message to the rest of the world: America has changed. We are not the country of the Baby Boomer generation. We are tolerant of people’s race and religion. Discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and gender are over.

We can change this country. It started in Iowa and it ends in November. In the weeks ahead, Nevada and South Carolina will decide. On February 5, states like Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia will vote, as well as others. Nearly half of the nation will vote on Super Tuesday. The “Clinton coronation” that was supposed to be was the “Clinton correction” in Iowa with Barack Obama’s 9% win. Hillary might have won in New Hampshire, but by 1/3 the percent of Obama’s in Iowa. It is clear now that there will be a fight for the nomination. With the support of independents, Democrats and Republicans, Barack Obama can become the next president of the United States. Now that Iowa and New Hampshire have decided, it’s your turn. Vote.