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Electoral College: PA Flips to Obama, VA Strengthens for McCain

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner I mentioned that my own prediction was that we were near McCain’s high water mark in terms of General Election polls, and that as soon as the Democratic nominee was absolutely final and Obama could concentrate on the general, McCain’s margins would start to slip.

Are we perhaps seeing the first signs of this today? For the first time since the 1st of May there are poll results that are good news for Obama. Namely, my five poll average for Pennsylvania now moves the state from Leaning McCain to Leaning Obama. Pennsylvania has 21 electoral votes, so that is big. Now, it is still “leaning” which means Obama is ahead by less than 5% and the state is very much in play and either candidate could take it. But still, good news for Obama after a long dry spell.

Meanwhile though, McCain gets stronger in Virginia, moving it from “Leaning” to “Weak” meaning that McCain’s lead is now more than 5% (but still less than 10%). This effectively takes Virginia out of the “could go either way” category. With 13 electoral votes though, Virginia might be big enough for Obama to still spend some time trying to bring it back into play.

Anyway, the summary:

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 334, Obama 204
Obama Best Case – Obama 309, McCain 229

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) – McCain 281, Obama 257

Even not considering the fact that we have over 5 months before the election and a lot will change between now and then, these numbers just show this race is still very much completely wide open, with the 10 states that are “too close to call” making the range of possible outcomes huge.

As a recap, those states at the moment are: Pennsylvania (21), Ohio (20), Michigan (17), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), South Carolina (8), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New Hampshire (4) and North Dakota (3).

Who News

I haven’t posted anything of this type in a long time, but interesting piece of news:

Moffat named Doctor Who supremo
(Ben Dowell, Guardian)

Scriptwriter Steven Moffat was today named lead writer and executive producer on hit BBC1 drama Doctor Who.

Moffat, who has written a number of episodes of the show – including the acclaimed Blink episode which won him the writer prize at this year’s Bafta Craft Awards – will replace Russell T Davies.

Davies, the key creative figure behind the Doctor Who revival in 2005, stands down next year.

The appointment makes Moffat Doctor Who’s showrunner – the key creative force behind the programme – on the fifth series, which will be broadcast on BBC1 in 2010.

As well as Blink, his previous work on Doctor Who includes The Girl in the Fireplace for series two which earned him his second Hugo Award. His first was for the series one two-parter The Empty Child.

Davies said: “It’s been a delight and an honour working with Steven, and I can’t wait to see where his extraordinary imagination takes the Doctor. Best of all, I get to be a viewer again, watching on a Saturday night!”

(via doctorwhonews.com)

First Round of KY, OR Updates

86 of 103 delegates from the Kentucky and Oregon primaries are now in. That’s 83.5%.

So far we have 51 Clinton, 35 Obama. That is 59.3% for Clinton so far. A little higher than the 56.3% I had predicted yesterday, but still way way less than the 74.4% Clinton would have needed to be on pace to catch up and win.

Since the last update we also have 10 more superdelegate announcements, 8 for Obama, 2 for Clinton.

This brings our new stats to:

Delegate count is: Obama 1953, Clinton 1770, Edwards 9

In percent terms that is: Obama 52.3%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.2%

2026 delegates are needed to win.

There are 318 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 73 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 256 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 23.0% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 28.3% before KY/OR.)

Clinton needs 80.5% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 74.4% before KY/OR.)

Now, at this point, Clinton is putting a lot of emphasis on seating Florida and Michigan, so lets do a quick look at that. Clinton’s best possible scenario would be to fully seat Florida and Michigan as is based on their existing votes, and seat them full force… with all of the Michigan “uncommitted” delegates staying uncommitted.

If so, using numbers from Democratic Convention Watch, Clinton would gain 193 more delegates, Obama would gain 79 more delegates, Edwards would gain 11 more delegates, and the new magic number would be 2209.

Adding those numbers to what we have today, that would bring us to 2032 Obama, 1963 Clinton, 20 Edwards, with 403 delegates without an expressed preference yet. Obama would need 177 delegates to win (43.9%). Clinton would need 246 delegates to win (61.0%).

Now, 61.0% is not 80.5%, but it is STILL a formidable number to get from these undeclared superdelegates and uncommitted pledged delegates. Especially given the situation we’d be in, it would be almost impossible.

And this is Clinton’s best possible case on Michigan and Florida. Since Obama’s folks will have a significant (if not controlling) influence on the committee deciding this, we can be pretty sure that this “best case for Clinton” situation will NOT happen.

But even if it did… Obama is still in a much stronger position and Clinton would have a very hard time getting the win. Again, absent a complete meltdown by Obama.

Oh yeah, and McCain picks up 42 more delegates too.