1. Can McCain win Michigan? If so, McCain is very likely to win the election.In the race to find better information on which to make important spending decisions, we hope McCain 2008 is checking out fivethirtyeight.com.
2. If McCain loses Michigan, can Obama win Ohio? If so, Obama is very likely to win the election.
3. If Ohio and Michigan are split, can Obama win Colorado or Virginia? If so, Obama is very likely to win the election, having essentially to pick off just one or two smaller states West of the Mississippi (Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana) while perhaps also having to defend New Hampshire.
These remain the paths of least resistance in this election. It is not coincidence that Obama has two winning paths to McCain's one, which matches the roughly 2:1 favorite that we make Obama in this election.
States like Florida, Missouri and Indiana represent break-glass-in-case-of-emergency states for Obama; McCain's analogous states are probably Pennsylvania, Oregon and perhaps Minnesota. If these states have become must-wins, we are talking about a scenario where a candidate is facing third-and-long: not an uncovertable position by any means, but also not the one they'd prefer to be battling from.
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