I start with the proposition that Obama is going to win the 252 electoral votes (EV's) which Kerry won 4 years ago. To that I add Colorado and New Mexico, which give him 14 additional votes to put him to 266, 4 short of the 270 needed to win. This seems a pretty safe bet so far.
To this I add Iowa and Ohio, which adds 27 more EV's and gets Obama's total to 293. This also seems a pretty sure bet.
Obama is leading also in some other states (he has 375 EV's right now). It is intriguing that North Carolina is currently about even. However, I note that NC has not voted for a Northern Democrat since JFK in 1960, so it is hard to predict it will do so now. Neither Virginia or Florida have voted for a Northern Democrat since Harry Truman in 1948, so the same comment holds for those states. And then we have the odd case of Indiana, where polls show Obama leading by 7 points. But Indiana hasn't voted for a Northern Democrat since the FDR landslide of 1936! So, I'm giving these 4 states to McCain.
It is harder to do the same with Missouri, since Missouri "always" votes for the winner. I hate to jinx Obama by not predicting he will win Missouri. In over a hundred years (since 1900), Missouri has only once not voted for the winner. This was when it went for Stevenson in 1956. However, I know the state well enough to know that it is infested with rednecks, and I predict it will narrowly go for McCain, breaking its record of 12 straight times voting for the winner, just as in 1956 it broke its streak of 13 straight times going for the winner (it went for Bryan in 1900).
So, will Obama get 375 EV's or the more modest 293? Stay tuned!
3/18/16 update. I was right about Colorado, New Mexico, and Missouri, but wrong about the four swing states (Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Indiana), which all went for Obama, giving him a total of 365 EC votes. I was right about the Missouri margin being "narrow": McCain won 49.4% to 49.3%!
In 2012 Obama dropped down to 332 EV's, as Indiana and North Carolina slipped back into the GOP column.
Dick Oehrle R.I.P.
2 hours ago