What was I saying a few days ago about Obama's streak of no good news on the Electoral college front? We had New Mexico flip on Saturday, and now...
Obama may be hurting in the Democratic primary in PA, but the exposure seems to be improving how he stands in the general election matchup polls against McCain. With the latest polls, PA flips from barely leaning McCain, to barely leaning Obama. But PA is a big state with 21 electoral votes, and PA flipping sides is enough to change the lead in the "if everybody gets their lean states" total. So Obama takes the lead.
In todays updates New Hampshire also strengthens for Obama going from a "Lean Obama" to a "Weak Obama" state.
We're now down to only 11 states and 132 electoral votes in the "lean" category... basically the states that could very easily go either way. Now, that is still a lot, but it is less than it used to be. (And of course, still no polls in DC, but..)
Anyway, the summary numbers change:
McCain Best Case - McCain 331, Obama 207
Obama Best Case - Obama 342, McCain 196
And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - Obama 281, McCain 257
Still anybody's game though, as those 11 states could easily go either way. Plus I'm sure both candidates (when the time comes) will put resources into trying to pull away some of their opponents bigger "weak" states as well. And of course, there are many months to go, and lots will happen between now and November.
But once the Democrats officially decide on a nominee (I'm betting June, but maybe August) expect a LOT of attention to be poured into those "lean" states.
(Also of course, as I've said before, there is still a small chance Clinton will be the Democratic nominee rather than Obama. This still seems quite unlikely at this time, although it is certainly not impossible. If Clinton ever takes the delegate lead, I'll redo all these charts for Clinton vs McCain... which from what I have seen so far is a very different race. The dynamics are dramatically different in many states.)