I screwed up yesterday transcribing the results from Zogby Interactive in Iowa. Oops. Sorry, there were 36 states yesterday, I was in a hurry and got a little sloppy. The end result is that while Obama's lead in Iowa has indeed diminished based on the Zogby results, once I corrected the numbers while they got close (5.2%) they didn't quite fall below the 5% threshold for me to switch the state from "Weak Obama" to "Lean Obama" and thus into the swing state category. So I'm correcting that today. Apologies for the error. Of course, this makes yesterday's results even more glum for McCain. More on that in a bit.
In the mean time, there was also a new poll in New Jersey showing tightening there. Obama's lead in the state drops under 10%, moving it from "Strong Obama" to "Weak Obama".
McCain Best Case - McCain 277, Obama 261
Obama Best Case - Obama 362, McCain 176
If everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - Obama 306, McCain 232
OK, so now with Iowa back out of the swing state category, lets look at this again... McCain's BEST CASE... McCain winning all the swing states... that is all the states where the leading candidate is ahead by less than 5%... he has 277 electoral votes. Of course, that is giving McCain DC since it (still) has no polls. That will never happen. So take DC away, and McCain has only 274. Ouch.
Looking at this another way, without ANY swing states (but giving him DC) Obama already has 264 electoral votes. He only needs SIX electoral votes to win. All he has to do is manage to carry any ONE of Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado or South Carolina. If he managed none of those (or Montana or North Dakota) but did win Nevada, we'd have an electoral tie.
But Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, South Carolina, and Nevada are now MUST WIN states for McCain. He needs to win ALL of those swing states in order to win. He is currently ahead in five of those states, but he is behind in three of them. And he needs ALL of them.
Of course, that is where the polls stand today. They can and will change quite a bit between now and the election. That is assured. But really, when is McCain going to start making a race of this?