Opinion

Paths to Victory Part IV: The ‘Final Five’

The “Final Five” states comprise Ohio (20), Virginia (13), Colorado (9), Nevada (5) and New Hampshire (4). The Final Five will determine the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. Even if the election is won by a large margin, the Final Five will be important indicators as to the outcome and margin of victory.

New Hampshire is a particularly interesting state. McCain has strong ties to New Hampshire. It is the state that provided McCain with energy in the 2000 Republican primaries and reestablished his campaign in the 2008 Republican primaries with important victories. New Hampshire voted for George W. Bush in 2000, but voted for John Kerry in 2004. Currently, Obama holds a negligible lead of less than an average of 1% point in the state.

Colorado and Nevada are Western states that will play important roles in this election. Currently McCain leads Nevada by an average of 1% point and Obama leads Colorado by the same amount. The Democrats have been very focused on Colorado, as indicated by the fact that they held their convention in Denver.

Virginia is a state that has become more Democratic over time due to the exurbs of Washington, D.C. It is a large state that is crucial to both Democrats and Republicans. A Democratic victory in Virginia would push Obama over 270, but the state has voted Republican in the last two elections by 8% points. McCain holds a highly negligible lead in the polls of less than 1% point.

Ohio is also a very important state for both Republicans and Democrats. No Republican has won the presidency without winning Ohio since Abraham Lincoln. McCain currently leads Ohio by a negligible average of 1.3% points. Assuming the Obama campaign secures the states previously mentioned, victory in Ohio would win the election for them. Due to the reasons listed above, Ohio will be the main focus of the campaign.

The McCain campaign has two routes to victory that deal with the Final Five: (1) winning Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada, or (2) winning Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and New Hampshire. McCain is limited in his options to attain victory, but every state other than New Hampshire voted Republican in the last two elections.

The Obama campaign has four routes to victory that deal with the Final Five: (1) winning Ohio, (2) winning Virginia, (3) winning Colorado and Nevada, or (4) winning Colorado and New Hampshire. Although it seems as though the Obama campaign has an advantage here, challenges do remain. The Obama team would have to pick up at least one Final Five state that voted Republican in the last two elections. Polls are also likely to change, especially after the debates.

One possible scenario is that Sen. Obama wins Nevada and New Hampshire and Sen. McCain wins Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado. In this case, both candidates would finish with an electoral vote of 269. In the case of a tie, the vote would go to the House of Representatives and would cause what Chuck Todd of MSNBC News calls “full employment” for journalists.

September 28, 2008

Reporters

Thomas Prieto

Contributing Columnist


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.