Before we begin, here'92s the set-up. I project Obama with 231 solid electoral votes: California (55), Washington (11), Oregon (7), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (17), Illinois (21), Maine (4), New Hampshire (4), Vermont (3), New York (31), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Connecticut (7), New Jersey (15), Delaware (3), Maryland (10), Hawaii (4) and Washington, D.C. (3). That leaves nine battleground states, each in varying degree of lean or toss-up: Pennsylvania (21), Ohio (20), Virginia (13), Florida (27), North Carolina (15), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Colorado (9) and Iowa (7). Obama must secure 39 of those electoral votes to reach the 270 needed to win the presidency.
Each of these battleground states will be judged in the light of their 2004 turnout and results. You'92ll remember that George W. Bush defeated John Kerry, 286-251, in 2004, precisely because he won eight of these nine states.
Today'92s state: Nevada, with its 5 electoral votes.
Bush won 50-48, a difference of 21,500. Turnout: 50 percent.
What to watch for/Bottom line:
Where is the population centered in Nevada? Guess.
Bush won every county in the state but one, but only won the state by 22,000 votes (out of more than 800,000 cast). Kerry'92s lone win came in Clark County, home to both Las Vegas and Henderson, the two most populous cities in the state. More than 1.7 million call the country home, well over half the state population. Again, Hispanics are the key here. Kerry won the county with just 52 percent of the vote. Obama can and probably will do much better. It would help if he could narrow the margins in the north, say Washoe County in the northwest corner, home of Reno ('93The Biggest Little City in the World'94). Click the thumbnail to the left for a full-size map to victory in Nevada.