Cross posted at Politics and Critical Thinking
In the final days of the election, the Obama and McCain campaigns are stumping hard in key battleground states as well as areas that were carried by the rival party. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama has made forays into territory that is either traditionally Republican or voted for Bush in 2004. “Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama will pass through Nevada, Colorado and Missouri Saturday, after appearances in Iowa and Indiana Friday -- all states that voted Republican four years ago. He will be in Ohio Sunday, another Bush state, and Virginia Monday, where a Democrat has not won since 1964.”
Obama has also outspent McCain nearly 3 to 1 in a massive advertising blitz in the last days of the campaign. “From Oct. 21 to Oct. 28, the Obama campaign spent nearly $21.5 million on advertising, compared with $7.5 million by the campaign of his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, according to the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project.”This advertising bombardment was mainly concentrated in Republican held states that are key to a Presidential victory. “More than 70% of that combined spending was in Republican states.”
McCain is doing some insurgent maneuvering of his own, trying to attack some long-established Democratic strongholds. This taken from the NY Times states, “Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee who is trailing in national polls, was making appearances in two states that voted Democratic in 2004, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.” Taking one or both of these states will be key for McCain to improve his chances for a victory. For McCain, though, this could be a problem, Obama has a commanding lead in these areas according to pollsters.” Obama leads in every state that Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry won four years ago, which gives him a base of 252 electoral votes of the 270 needed to win.” Victory in these areas is a necessity for McCain to erode Obama’s possible electoral vote count.
Nevertheless, one question remains, why is Obama pushing so hard in key Republican states if his margin of victory is so comfortable? The polls in toss up states and states which voted Republican in 04’ are varying. Washington Post, "He also has leads of varying sizes in five states Bush won: Iowa, New Mexico, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada. Were he to win all of those on Tuesday, he would claim the presidency with 291 electoral votes.” There has been talk of internal polling results from both campaigns that has shown quite a different picture than what is being represented in the media. While this reason is somewhat plausible, the more believable explanation is that the Obama camp is leaving nothing up to chance.
Polling data has been less than efficient, but there is no denying that Obama is in the lead. Where there has been a problem is the determination of how much that lead really is. If McCain is in the 2-4% range, he still has a shot of being within the margin of error, anything past that and he is out of the race. Either way, we are going to be seeing history unfold in front of our eyes.
Picture credit to Wall Street Journal.