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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).

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