Opinion

Paths to Victory Part III: The ‘First Five’

There are ten states that may be classified as “toss-up states”. It is nearly impossible to make completely accurate predictions concerning these ten states. Five of these ten states are within 2% points according to realclearpolitics.com and may be referred to as the “Final Five.” The other five may be referred to as the “First Five.”

The First Five comprises Florida (27), Pennsylvania (21), Michigan (17), Indiana (11) and New Mexico (5). The First Five will be hotly contested and will see much campaigning.

In recent history, the most controversial of these states is Florida. McCain is currently leading in Florida by an average of 3% points and also has history on his side. In 2000, Bush won the state of Florida in an incredibly contentious election. The bad news for the Obama campaign is that Bush extended his margin of victory in Florida in the 2004 election. Currently, McCain is the favorite in this state.

The most important of these states to Democrats is Pennsylvania. Obama is currently in the lead in Pennsylvania by an average of 4.7% points. In the last two elections Pennsylvania has voted Democratic and the state seems to favor Obama. If the Democrats should lose this state, a victory for the Republicans is almost guaranteed.

Another remarkably important state for Democrats is Michigan. Michigan has voted for Democrats in the last two general elections and Obama currently leads by an average of 2.8% points. Michigan is crucial to a Democratic victory and without it chances for the Democrats would seem slim.

New Mexico is another state that is currently leaning towards Obama. Obama currently leads in New Mexico by an average of 4.3% points. New Mexico was won by Al Gore in 2000, but also won by Bush in 2004. Both victories were by narrow margins and the state is hotly contested once again.

Indiana is a state that the Obama campaign has hoped to steal from the Republicans. However, McCain is leading in the state by an average of 4.7% points. Indiana has gone strongly Republican in the last two elections and it seems as though the state favors McCain.

If we allocate the electoral votes to the candidates that are leading in the particular First Five states, Obama continues to lead with 260 electoral votes to McCain’s 227.

September 24, 2008

Reporters

Thomas Prieto

Contributing Columnist


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