One huge aspect of the Presidential race that seems to be getting overlooked by the media thus far is just how many "Red States" from 2004 have been put in play in 2008. Those who have listened to Conservative Talk Radio the past few days know that Sean Hannity and the other cheerleaders haven't bothered mentioning this fact to their listeners. Neither have Karl Rove or Dick Morris, who seem to be shielding the Fox News faithful from the hurt. However, a look at the race on a state-by-state level paints what must be an EXTREMELY frightening picture for the GOP.
Consider: 5 states that were double digit blowouts in favor of Bush in 2004, are toss ups at the moment. As electoral-vote.com notes about one such state, North Dakota:
This is a state George Bush won by 27 points in 2004 and 28 points in 2000. It is not supposed to be a tie. It is supposed to be a rout for any Republican. It bears watching. If Obama actually campaigns here at the very least it will force McCain devote some money and energy to a state he should win on autopilot.
Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are each essentially tied with Obama even enjoying occasional leads. These are each states that favored Bush by at least 20%, with the exception of North Carolina which Bush won by 12%.
Then there are other "formerly" red states in play.
Virginia: As everyone knows, this state has been a virtual tie for months. Bush won there by 9% in 04.
Nevada: Here Bush won by 5% in 2004. Electoral-vote.com's poll sampling formula has Obama ahead by 3%.
New Mexico:This state was a toss-up in both 2000 (barely for Al Gore) and 2004 (barely for Bush). Obama's lead here is approaching double digits.
Colorado:Went to Bush by 5% in 04. Obama currently has a small lead.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to states like Florida, Virginia and North Carolina, there is a sizeable African American population. Over 20% of Virginia residents are African American. In North Carolina, the number is around 25%. In Florida it is 15%. There are others more experienced in get-out-the-vote drives than I, but it would seem that with all due respect to John Kerry and Al Gore, both young and elderly black voters might be more motivated to wait in long lines to vote for Barack Obama, then they were to vote for just another generic white politician.
Finally, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank people like Kos and others on this site and elsewhere in the progressive movement for really helping make this happen. I feel ashamed to say I have not done more myself to help contribute to this cause. This is a grassroots movement. I doubt we would be in position to win in places like Montana, North Dakota and Indiana right now if not for the effort to grow the party in these states. This is a movement that hasn't even been going on for a decade and the payoff has been immediate.
P.S. One more piece of good news. While Kos and others have done a great job keeping us posted on individual Congressional races, the overall picture is fantastic. In the House, it appears that the Dems are poised to once and for all clean up the mess leftover from the 1994 revolution. The majority will likely grow in the Senate as well. The Congressional races are a "blowout".
Update: Thanks to all the recommenders. It is quite humbling. Glad I could cheer a lot of people up.
One thing I forgot to note. Some of the state polls had not yet factored in Palin. Could be good or bad. However, the main point stays the same. Think of it this way: ONE Kerry state is in any serious danger (New Hampshire, 4 electoral votes). Meanwhile the following Bush states are in play: Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina,North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico. That would be ELEVEN formerly Bush states in play, 6 of whom weren't even remotely close in 2004. Bottom line is, McCain has to play a lot of defense, and he doesn't even have the lead.