They write it from the perspective of Obama backers, but it’s still applicable to McCain in the sense that these are the states to watch for him, too.
That leaves our five states in play. The victory conditions for Obama involving these five states proceed something as follows:
1. Win Pennsylvania and ANY ONE of Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, or Nevada*
2. Win Ohio and EITHER Colorado OR Virginia.
3. Win Colorado AND Virginia AND Nevada.
(* Nevada produces a 269-269 tie, which would probably be resolved for Obama in the House of Represenatives.)
Now, suppose you think that Colorado is already in the bag for Obama because of his large edge in early voting there. We can then simplify the victory conditions as follows:
1. Win Pennsylvania
2. Win Ohio
3. Win Virginia AND Nevada
That’s basically what it comes down to, although I’m sure each campaign would claim that there are a larger number of states in play.
We’ll probably know which way Virginia is going by about 7pm PST. If, indeed, this Republican stronghold switches sides and goes Obama, then it will probably be a short night for McCain.
And by short night I mean, we’ll know there’s not much of a shot and we’ll probably be better served putting in a pair of earplugs to shut out the I-told-you-so’s from the Obamaniacs and going to bed.
However, if McCain wins Virginia, and I still believe he will, then we might be up quite a while watching the returns.
Cross your fingers, say your prayers, and make your mother-lovin’ calls for McCain.
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