What if…

As the Presidential polls in the US edge closer and closer one has to wonder… what will happen if the Presidential Election result is split with each candidate securing 269 electoral college votes each? As always this election will be decided in the swing states. Obama and McCain can make the best speeches of their lives however if they don’t get the swing states… they don’t win the election. California will never vote Republican… Texas will never vote Democrat… at least not in this election so as the the map below shows each candidates are guarenteed at least 150-200 electoral college votes each.

Picture courtesy of the BBC

The totally safe and likely states for Obama amounts to 200 electoral votes whilst for McCain, the total is similar at 174. Leaning to Obama at present are Iowa, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, bringing the Democrat to 222 while adding the Republican leaning states to his total, McCain has a slight edge for now in Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina, which would push him up to 227. That leaves in the toss-up category seven states with a total of 89 votes: Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The Swing States.

In 2000 and 2004 both Michigan and Pennsylvania went to the Democrats and given the momentum behind Obama’s campaign it is likely 2008 will be no different. This brings Obama to 260 just 10 short of the required 270 to win the White House. Colorado, Ohio and Virginia however are all up for grabs. Whilst they have generally voted Republican opinion polls show Obama has a very good chance in one, two if not all 3 of these states. If he does it is GAME OVER for McCain.

Having said this is McCain carries the 3 as previous Republicans have and Obama carries the two remaining smaller states, Nevada and New Hampshire, then the dreaded 269-269 split becomes a reality. A split in the electoral college would be a disaster. All in all a tie is unlikely however it certainly gives one food for thought. Full details of how this race could pan out can be found here.


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