Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What to expect with the electoral college

In my next post, I'll talk about how I plan on covering the election. However, I want to let you know what you can expect nationally tonight.

Barack Obama needs to win all of the states John Kerry won plus an additional 18 electoral votes. Iowa, with 7 electoral votes, is considered Obama country, which puts him needing11 more. McCain claims that blue state Pennsylvania is up for grabs, but for simple math, we'll factor that in when it happens.

I broke down the states according to when the final polls close in that state. I divided them into three categories, with designated colors:

1) States won by John Kerry (blue)
2) States won by George W Bush considered safe McCain (red)
3) States won by Bush that are either considered Obama or toss up (green)

So, based on when polls close, here is the breakdown of what you get (all times mountain), with what states are in the "green" category:

5:00 PM Obama 3 McCain 16 "Green" 39
Georgia (15), Virginia (13), and Indiana (11)
5:30 PM Obama 3 McCain 21 "Green" 59
Ohio (20)
6:00 PM Obama 103 McCain 54 "Green" 97
Florida (27), Missouri (11)
6:30 PM Obama 103 McCain 60 "Green" 112
North Carolina (15)
7:00 PM Obama 175 McCain 120 "Green" 137
Arizona (10), Colorado (10), New Mexico (5)
8:00 PM Obama 175 McCain 125 "Green" 152
Iowa (7), Montana (3), Nevada (5)
9:00 PM Obama 252, McCain 129, "Green" 155
North Dakota (3)
11:00 PM Obama 252, McCain 132, "Green" 155

When you see "Obama -18," it means that by the above math, Obama still needs 18 electoral votes to 270. Likewise, "Obama +18" would mean that if McCain wins all the green and red states and Obama the blue, Obama finishes with 288 electoral votes.

This is going to be a fun ride.


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