How lopsided could the results of tonight’s election be? Even “Bush’s Brain,” Karl Rove is projecting a big Obama win.
Rove’s final electoral map projection has Obama winning with the most electoral votes since Bill Clinton was reelected in 1996. Rove gives Obama Ohio, Florida, and Virginia, along with New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, and Colorado. He projects that McCain will win Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, and North Dakota. Rove does point out that Florida could go either way, but even if McCain does win Florida, Obama still ends up with 311 electoral votes.
The cable news networks have been playing up the idea that Obama could win the popular vote, but still lose the election. The problem with their scenario is that it isn’t very realistic, and doesn’t match the polling data that we have seen for the past month. Sure it could happen, but in order for this to take place, McCain would have to wipe out a double digit Obama advantage in Pennsylvania where there are scores of new Democrats and 80% turnout is expected.
Rove’s map makes a lot of sense, and right in line with the consensus. The only thing I could see happening differently is Obama losing Florida, but winning North Carolina. The media loves a close election, but it looks like this one will not be a repeat of 2000 and 2004. If everything breaks absolutely perfectly for McCain, he could be in this thing for the long haul tonight, but I think it much more likely that this election is called for Obama relatively early.
I am sure that if there was any way to shade the map towards his party, Rove would have found it. The McCain campaign can make the claim that all the polls are wrong, but the one thing every single poll agrees on is that Obama is winning. When all of the polls agree on a result, they usually aren’t wrong. I guess it is possible, just not very probable.