Looking at an electoral map of the country, such as the one Dick Morris put out earlier today, it’s hard to see how McCain can lose the 2008 presidential election. History shows that whenever a Democrat wins the presidency, he begins with a sizeable lead in the polls at the time of the Democratic convention. As time inches closer to election day, the Democrat invariably loses ground.
Obama’s lead is one of the slimmest in history this early in the campaign. Although the popular vote shows Obama ahead by 2 percentage points, most of that can be explained by the huge lead he has in California and the Northeast — the bluest of the blue states. For instance, a lead of 15 points among California’s 12 million voters translates into about two million votes. Assuming 100 million Americans will vote on November 4th, the imbalance in California alone accounts for Obama’s slim lead.
Looking at the remaining states on the map, I can’t see how McCain can lose.
1. All McCain has to do is pick off one or two purple states currently in Obama’s column, such as New Mexico or Colorado (or one of the yellow states on Morris’ map) and it will be all over.
2. Pick up both Pennsylvania and Ohio and it’s a sure victory for McCain. He then can afford to lose several of the smaller “swing” states now in contention and still win.
3. The polls for Obama in the primaries showed an effect in which the numbers were inflated compared to where he ended up on election day — in some cases much inflated.
This is explained by the fact that undecided voters will often tell pollsters they support the more liberal candidate, but when these moderates and independents go to the voting booth, they most often shy away from the liberal or progressive candidate and vote for the “safer” moderate or conservative.
Come November 4th, there may be not just a McCain victory, but an electoral college landslide akin to Reagan ’82 and ’84, and Bush ’88.
What McCain needs to do to ensure a Republican landslide
1. Hammer on the fact that Obama is the most liberal of the 100 Senators. McCain voted with the Republicans 90 percent of the time, a slogan that Obama is using to tie McCain to Bush. But this ought to backfire on Obama since he voted with the Democrats nearly 100 percent of the time. By comparison, the Independent “maverick” Joe Lieberman voted at a 90 percent rate with the Democrats — a record the Democrats cited in trying to oust him. McCain needs to run ads showing the Democrats’ hypocrisy on this issue: “How can Obama reach across the aisle if he is so far to the left?”
2. Emphasize McCain’s history of opposing lobbyists and special interest groups while blaming the savings and loan crisis on the Democrat’s reliance on money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to run their campaigns.
3. Counter the perceived strength of the Democrats in the current economic downturn by continuing to preach the theme of a pair of proven reformers who will shake up Washington.
4. Continue to call on George W. Bush to fire a few well-chosed political cronies in Washington as a signal of what McCain/Palin will do when they take office.
5. Portray the McCain/Palin team as representing the common people, while showing Obama/Biden as elitist insiders.
As every jet fighter pilot knows, McCain just needs to gain a slightly higher advantage over his opponent, and then hone in on him from above firing as often and as hard as possible to bring the Democrat campaign down in flames. It’s really a no-brainer.
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