Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Electoral College Math - Part 5 - Pacific

The Pacific Coast is democrat leaning overall outside of Alaska.

Pacific Coast:

Solid McCain - 3
Solid Obama - 59
Lean Obama - 18

Solid McCain:
Alaska (3 votes) - Sarah Palin on the ticket solidifies this state. Alaska has long been Republican, but a couple of scandals in the leadership there have caused a lot of problems in the party. Palin however is immune from that and has an 70% approval rating. Bush won 61-36% in 2004 and 59-28-10% in 2000. Sarah Palin beat former governor Tony Knowles 48-41% in 06 and in the primary beat incumbent Frank Murkowski and another candidate John Binkley. 51-30-19%. The latest poll (Ivan Moore) Aug/September has McCain up 19.

Solid Obama:
Hawaii (4 votes) - Hawaii has long been dominated by the democrats. While it has a Republican governor, that is an aberration compared to its federal races. It only voted for Reagan recently in the 84 landslide. Incumbents do better here as well, as do veterans. On the other hand Barack Obama was born and raised there. Gore won 56-37% in 2000 and Kerry won 54-45%. Ironic part is that Bush ran best among Asians in Hawaii and not whites. That's different than the historical numbers there. The only poll was from February and had Obama up by 30 points. I don't expect that high of a route here, but a 20 pt win by Obama due to his heritage here would not surprise me in the least.

California (55 votes) - Two reason why this once swing state (when not a homer) has gone so democrat. Immigration, defense indusrty and migration. The immigrants moved this state to the left, and many of those who left were Orange County Republicans who used to work for the defense industry. Today it is a regional state with the Coastal area going left and the "inland empire" almost as Republican as Wyoming. Del Norte County, San Diego County, Orange County, San Luis Obispo County, and Ventura County also usually go Republican. It's not enough. Gore won 53-42%, and Kerry won 54-44%. The problem is mostly concentrated in two areas, One Los Angeles County which has 3 million votes and is 63% Democrat. The even bigger problem is the San Francisco Bay area. Every county that touches the bay went for Kerry. Kerry's worst bay county was Solano, which was a 57% win. His best was 83%, San Francisco. There's about 2 million voters there near the Bay. That's 5 million votes from two major areas, out of 13 million total. Take about 70% of the Bay area going democrat, plus 2 million Kerry votes from LA. That's about a 1.6 million vote defecit right off the bat. That's not counting the other strong democrat areas like Santa Cruz, Salinas, Santa Barbara, Imperial County, and Sacramento. Overall, Kerry won by 1.2 million votes. The only shot to win is by dominating the inland empire, holding the base, and picking off enough crossvotes from LA and some of the less insane Bay Area counties (San Jose). That's easier said then done. There may be 5.5 million Bush voters in California, but 6.7 million democrats. The latest polls were two August polls. Rasmussen had Obama by 13. PPIC had Obama by 9.

Leans Obama:

Washington (11 votes) - Washington State is a regional state where East Washington is conservative and very republican, and the Seattle area outvotes it enough to win. I almost posted this as solid Obama, but the latest poll (Survey USA) had this at Obama by 4. Past election results though of Kerry winning 53-46% and Gore winning 50-45% show a distinct democrat leaning here. All of the Bush counties are rural outside of Spokane, Yakima, and Clark (Vancover). That's not enough to win. King County alone has 800,000 voters (out of 2.8 million) and went 64% for Kerry. Without King County, Bush would have won by 70,000 votes. McCain can win it if he sweeps all of the suburban counties and holds the Bush numbers. Pierce County (best known by the TV show COPS), Snohomish County, and eastern King County away from Seattle are the must win areas to have a shot at carrying this state. Not impossible, but it would have to be a landslide win overall to take Washington St. I don't expect any landslides. Obama may have to work here, but it's his to lose.

Oregon (7 votes) - Similar to Washington State, but closer. There's a similar regional pattern, but Kerry won 51-47% and Gore won 47-47-5% in 2000 for a 7000 win. The difference in Oregon to Washington is that the coast away from the big city is more conservative. Suprisingly, even the Salem area (state capitol) went for Bush. The coast in Washington away from Seattle lean democrat outside of Vancover. In Oregon, only Portland metro and Eugene metro went for Kerry. The interior is 75% Bush and almost makes up for Multnomah County's 71% for Kerry vote. Unfortunately, that is about 1/5 of the vote. The key counties outside of the interior are Clackamas and Washington. Clackamas is 50/50 and Washington went 52-46. If McCain runs ahead of pace there, he has a shot. The Oregon polls favor Obama. The two August polls vary. Survey USA has Obama by 3, Rasmussen had him by 10. I think Obama is a very bad matchup for McCain in Oregon, so even with the close elections, I really can't move this into a tossup category unless a couple of Oregon polls have a McCain lead.

Overall, I'd like to see McCain compete hard in the Pacific Northwest to make Obama spend money and time there, but I'm not expecting a win here. If McCain does win Oregon, the election will already have been won with the easier pickups going his way.

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