Winning By One Electoral Vote

At the moment Obama is in a good position to win by a landslide in the electoral college, leading in all the states Kerry won in most (but not all) polls, along with either leading or being very close in many red states. A rare exception is a Survey USA Poll showing McCain leading in Minnesota by one percent, well within the margin of error. With all the twists we have seen this year, both campaigns are preparing for the possibility of a closer race by election day. A few weeks ago I noted the possibility of a tie or one vote settling the election, with Obama having a shot of picking up one vote in Nebraska.

Both Nebraska and Maine divide up their electoral votes by Congressional district, and both campaigns are interested in the possibility of taking one of the votes. Obama has added a field office in Nebraska.  McCain is going after the one potential Republican electoral vote in Maine. For Obama it definitely makes sense to go after the one vote in Nebraska. He showed the ability to concentrate on narrow areas to maximize his delegates in the primaries, and the same principles can be applied in the electoral college. More importantly, Obama has the resources to spare.

It is not as clear whether this makes sense for McCain, who besides being behind in the major battle ground states including Ohio and Florida, now must defend red states such as Colorado (which is looking increasingly hopeless), Virginia, North Carolina, and even Indiana. A reader at The Corner questions McCain’s strategy in Maine while Marc Ambinder believes the one electoral vote could matter.

The Cook Report looks at what might happen should there be a tie and the election go to the House.

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