Saturday, November 1, 2008

Random Election Thoughts

It's not just that Obama's up in the polls - and, he is - it's that he's up in the right areas. The presidential election is only tangentially about the popular vote, instead, it's decided by the electoral college (Thanks, founding fathers! Or, wait, actually they had a convoluted mess that only vaguely resembled our current system. Why do we do it this way again?). And that means it's a state by state battle to get the requisite number of points.

Obama might eke out a win in the popular vote. If the polls are true then he's up something like 7 points nationally which means, depending on the margin of error and the course of the race over the next few hours, we could be in for a 10 point blow-out or a 2~3 point squeaker. Not even if McCain were to make up that distance and close that increasingly impressive gap (Obama's had bigger leads but not when it mattered. Now, it matters. And each percentage point gets harder and harder to move. So what would have been a paltry margin over the summer has turned into a commanding lead. Hell, a lot of people have already voted and if their votes followed the national tally then Obama's already cruising to victory.) he'd still lose.

Because while Obama's up large but not large enough he's up massively in enough battleground states that he should pull ahead. Even if he loses Ohio. Even if he drops Pennsylvania. And maybe even if he misses Florida, too (Not getting one of those big states is fine. Two is possible. Three is when the race starts to heat up but still not completely impossible.). And, 6the thing is, if the election were held today instead of merely in a few days, Obama wouldn't lose those states, McCain would.

At this point, it's not about whether Obama wins but about how much. And how he can use the slings and slurs of the past month which have branded him so out of the mainstream to, instead, turn around and paint those who stood against him as the real ones who have no clue about the American public's opinion.

No comments: