Friday, May 30, 2008

Where Did High School Go?

For the past fifteen or so months of maintaining this blog my time has been broken down into two main categories: school work and my free time (which I filled with a social life and a dedication to covering the election).

I graduate from high school next week, but the structure of my life has already changed from the simple regimen that I was so used to. Instead of school work I have real work: one job during the week covering the election and writing (starting June 9th), the other on weekends, spending nine hour shifts in the sun performing manual labor. The Saturday and Sunday nights that I used to count on as my primary opportunities to socialize or blob around the house writing and researching are now nights where I feel like doing little more than rest my muscles and sleep.

The moral of the story is that I've been finding it hard to devote much time to this blog the past few weeks. There is, however, one very exciting bit of news coming up on June 8th that will undoubtedly push me into full swing again with my writing and political enthusiasm, and I'm excited to return to this blog once I get a hang of my new summer work schedule.

Now, off to get some rest for an early morning wake-up!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who's Stronger?

If I'm in the mood for some election polls, RealClearPolitics has been my first stop, but since individual polls are so difficult to interpret, cumulative nationwide surveys like the ones at are much more interesting and are becoming more and more intriguing to consider.

Keep in mind, however, that Obama was trailing McCain by around 50 electoral votes on this site a few days ago; these polls move day to day and about a dozen states are frequently change sides.

No matter how close the above map makes Iowa and New Mexico look, I see those states going to Obama in November. On the record: Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan will go for McCain in November. Heck, throw New Hampshire and Nevada in there, too. All that is contingent upon whether or not McCain can stay as strong as he's been and was during the most difficult periods of his primary campaign. The states are their for McCain to win, he just needs to show up to fight.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hagee vs. Wright

This week's news concerns John McCain renouncing the endorsement of televangelist John Hagee, and the liberal media and blogosphere has been lapping up the story. What I've been hearing is this: McCain's earlier pursuit of Hagee's endorsement shows equally poor (or worse, as one Obama-friendly blogger wrote) judgement than Obama's continued connection (until recently) with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Quickly, before I drop this argument, I have two quick comments, and I'll make them as quick as I can:

— John McCain was NOT a member of Hagee's church, he never spent time listening to his sermons, he never brought his family to Hagee's sermons, and McCain never classified Hagee as a figure inspirational in shaping his beliefs. Obama, sadly, cannot say the same.

— Hagee and McCain have had a very smooth parting over the past few days, and Hagee just today remarked that it was "best for both of us and the country" that Hagee rescinded his endorsement of Obama. On the contrary, the Reverend Wright still stands by the things he says and his done little to get himself out of the public spotlight, only causing more damage to Obama.

Are Hagee and McCain both conservatives in the way Wright and Obama are liberals?


Does Hagee realize that it's more important for the livelihood of the Republican party this November if he avoids hogging the spotlight and lets McCain get back to campaigning?


Democrats be warned; the Republicans have united behind McCain. 100%

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Al Gore in Words and Images: A Profile

This week's profile is a video I created using footage I spent a weekend collecting from around Massachusetts and the words of Al Gore from a number of speeches, interviews, and policy forums.

This is not a biographical documentary, and it's not an opinionated documentary either. This is Al Gore "as is."

Words can be powerful and moving, especially Gore's and especially with accompanying music and images, but is Al Gore merely a master of rhetoric?

Has Al Gore failed in his efforts to effect change?

What lies beyond the inspiring words?

How much progress have we made?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Obama Must Face His "Red, White, and Blue" United States

Four years ago the soaring vision of the up and coming Senator Barack Obama united the Democrats; a future leader had a dream for America in which party politics were left behind in favor of the common good. Instead of that ideal turning into reality, it seems Obama's hope for a patriotic red, white, and blue America has played out literally.

As he shifts gear into a general election campaign, Barack Obama must now confront not one, but three Americas: Republicans, Obama-Democrats, and working-class white voters.

It's hard to decided whether or not to blame Senator Obama for the situation he is currently being confronted with. On one hand, Obama's "sweetie" and "bitter" comments have angered women and moderate to conservative rural democrats, his inability to distance himself from the inflammatory sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright (still), and Michelle Obama's statements that make us wonder why this man and woman want to be America's first family give me tremendous pause about Obama.

On the other hand, the long nomination process has forced Obama to draw distinctions between himself and Senator Clinton and expose weaknesses that otherwise may not have been discovered. This is not Obama's fault, and neither is the fact that the long primary season has forced Obama's name into the national media on a 24/7 basis, diluting his image as a Washington outsider with every news cycle featuring a story on him.

Kentucky's primary results from yesterday (a 35% win for Clinton) and West Virginia's from last week (Clinton's 41% victory) expose a critical weakness for Obama along certain demographics. What I've been so disappointed by in talking about this election is that I am often criticized for bringing up the fact that voters without a college degree in Kentucky, for example, voted for Clinton over Obama nearly 3-1. These observations, apparently, "divide us" and prevent us as Demographics from working to fix the problems that face us. I've heard it all before.

Don't get me wrong, I think much of Senator Obama's message represents a fantasic injection of life and energy into the Democratic Party that has not been around for years. But at the same time I am a Democrat first and foremost, and my biggest concern is not the preservation of the Obama campaign theme, rather that a Democrat wins in November. Though there are intricacies behind each of these statements that I could discuss, the following are simple facts in my eyes:

If Obama is a weak candidate among working-class white voters, Democrats should be aware of this instead of having John Edwards hop into the picture and try to pass on some credibility to Obama. Come November, endorsements matter much less than whether or not working-class whites are comfortable with Obama over McCain.

Regardless of whether or not Obama wins the Democratic nomination (and he will), I consider it presumptuous of him to make his quasi-victory speech last night. Not only had that plan been in the works for weeks, but as the Democratic-bashers at Boston talk radio 96.9 WTKK said repeatedly yesterday, Obama is declaring victory because he has more points at the end of the third period.

Finally and most important to me, can Obama beat John McCain? Can Obama win tough battleground states that he's lost in decisive primaries? What does the poll below mean?

In a state that rallied around Barack Obama during the Democratic Primary, North Carolina voters chose Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama when McCain sits across the ticket.

My guess is that Hillary Clinton, regardless of how well she does in certain general election polls, will be effectively "out" of the campaign by June 4th. So, as I prepare to become an Obama Democrat, I want to make some predictions as to how I see the 2008 election playing out. On the record, this weekend, I'll lay out how I see November's vote going down.

Covering Kennedy

Looking for an alternative take on yesterday's news about Senator Kennedy? Tired of the gushy biographical television tributes whenever a celeb ends up in the hospital? BitsBlog is.

All the while it's hard not to be moved if you watch Senator Byrd today in Washington. Kennedy may be a politician, and it's not right to praise him unduly and judge him in a different light now that he's ill, but for some, like Byrd, Kennedy is a close colleague and loyal friend. Now is a not a time for politics, rather a time for consideration and for acknowledging Kennedy's many years of service, no matter what side of the aisle he's on.

Friday, May 16, 2008

One Man's Investment in America: A Profile

One morning in June of 2005, Dr. Mark Klein decided he should run for President.

While covering the election in New Hampshire last winter, I walked into a White Hen Pantry and noticed a man passing out fliers for his Presidential campaign. Initially, I was temped to dismiss him as another publicity hound in New Hampshire running a vanity bid for the White House. Instead, what he said to me caught my attention. Mark Klein was “sick and tired of writing letters and complaining.” Klein believed deeply in citizens actively pursuing solutions to problems this country faces and in his ability to “guide our troubled society through very rocky shoals.” Running for President was simply performing his civic duty.

Klein, a sixty-seven year old retired psychiatrist, decided to take the money he was saving to reward himself with a gift like a luxury car and begin a campaign. Klein would seek America’s highest office having never previously run for any political position. Once he completed FEC Forms 1 and 2, Klein was on his way.

Over two and a half years later Klein returned home from snowy New Hampshire to his home in Oakland, California; he had received nineteen votes in the New Hampshire Republican Primary. Dr. Klein finished second-to-last among the twenty-one Republican candidates in New Hampshire, but the significance of his campaign is bigger than the small number of votes he received.

As a psychiatrist, Klein feels he has diagnosed some of the problems of America. “I always tell patients ‘if you continue to go in this direction you’re going to have a bad end.’ What happens is they don’t listen to me until they have to go into rehab. America has meshiga,” Klein explained to me over the phone earlier this week. “If I were President that wouldn’t work for me.”

In an election year where the predominant campaign theme is “change,” Klein’s campaign was rooted in a different philosophy: returning America to the strengths it once possessed. “I was in the last generation of people raised in an America that I thought was governed by grownups. Now the country is run by a bunch of juveniles.” A campaign flyer Klein distributed in New Hampshire featured a portrait of President Dwight Eisenhower hovering behind his own. Though Eisenhower is often remembered for his command of American troops through France and Germany during World War II, Klein was not invoking his memory to make any foreign policy or military statements.

“Eisenhower was very cautious about foreign adventures, but he was also careful about fiscal responsibility” says Klein. It was around domestic issues like the economy that Klein’s political platform was centered. After telling a story about growing up the son of a butcher, working in his father’s store, and making (on good days) $1 an hour, he solemnly declared that the buying power of wages is woefully low now. In Klein’s eyes, the prospects of creating a middle class family like the one he grew up in are in jeopardy.

Klein ran for President as a Republican, and his position on a hot button issue like illegal immigration, for example, is very much in line with the GOP’s positions. “Millions of illegal immigrants drive down wages and take once good-paying blue collar jobs,” wrote Klein on his MySpace campaign page. On other issues, however, Klein found it difficult to connect with the popular policy positions of either the Republican or Democratic parties.

As a vocal supporter of the Fathers Rights Movement—a self-described civil rights campaign that fights to end what it sees as discrimination against fathers in family custody courts—Klein’s core of supporters came from the Movement. Though the Movement has a sizeable following around the country (and there are over 25 million non-custodial parents in the United States), they are often deemed too radical and extraneous to get the attention of those in the political establishment. Klein has four children and has spent much of his life helping to raise them. In Klein's view, the negative impact that current policies have on the fate of today’s children was enough to get Klein out of bed and into the Presidential race.

“The children come first!” proclaims one of Klein’s pieces of campaign literature. In order to ensure the economic livelihood of the next generation of Americans, Klein believes our government ought to pay down the national debt, regulate interest rates, and crack down on companies outsourcing jobs overseas.

I asked Klein if his adamant opposition to free trade was out of touch with the inevitable growth of globalization. Klein turned the tables on me immediately. “Are all our children supposed to work at McDonalds or Best Buy?” he asked. Klein admits he lives in an upscale bubble, but in campaigning he “ran into all these kids who were college graduates working at Starbucks—they don’t have anything. Is our future to give everything away? If that is the future, it’s nuts.”

Though Klein’s position on globalization is hardly mainstream, he argued his point clearly and with the experience of a man who’s heard the concerns of voters around the country. After all, campaigning heavily in three states, building a volunteer network, and working crowds at local conventions and straw polls was what Klein did through most of 2006 and 2007.

Though he is far from an established politician or veteran of political campaigns, Klein did have a following in the Northeast corner of Georgia. This base of support gave Klein hope that he might be able to make a small showing in Georgia. Fanning out from his corner of support, he thought he could then pick up enough momentum to get his name and candidacy into the MSM and onto voters’ radar.

Unfortunately, New Hampshire would be the last chance for Klein to make a stand. Of the states he initially campaigned in, New Hampshire was the only one in which Klein could get on the ballot (by paying a $1,000 registration fee). Although he placed highly in the Des Moines straw poll and other polls at conventions around the country, Klein feels the Republican party systematically squeezed him out of the race by denying him spots on state ballots and at the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.

Klein was aware that his campaign was drawing near an end when I met him just days before that state’s Primary. When I asked him if he did more than distribute fliers in New Hampshire, Klein explained “well that’s all I did, nobody invited me to anything [he was barred from debates and other forums]. I decided to spend every day walking around and talking to everybody. I figured if I had a shot it was by word of mouth. Anybody with a heartbeat got a brochure.”

After what he considered a “very poor result” in New Hampshire, Klein decided to return home and get back to pursuing his hobbies and spending time with his kids and grandchildren. As he wound down his campaign, however, Klein says he has no regrets about running: “The money I spent on this was my gift to the United States. To repay America for all it has done for me and my family. It’s basically a charitable gift.”

Since ending his campaign Klein has split from the Republican Party and says he is now supporting Senator Barack Obama.

A Profile Update and the Edwards Endorsement

A day and a half late already, I've just moved on to the editing phase of this week's profile.

I'll pick up the process early tomorrow morning and look to wrap things up before noon.

Meanwhile, the week's news is the Edwards endorsement of Obama. Before I head off to bed I have three brief thoughts about the move:

1) Obama's campaign should rightfully be celebrating the support of Edwards, but Edwards' waiting until this late in the nomination process to chose a candidate is not necessarily a good thing. Some said this of Governor Richardson's endorsement a few months back, but deciding to endorse in May is by no means gutsy.

2) It is said that Edwards made the decision to back Obama following the West Virginia Primary because Edwards was worried the margin of Clinton's victory coupled with the perception that Obama is a weak candidate among working class white voters would damage his credibility and the Democratic party. My problem with this...if Obama really is weak among this demographic, shouldn't we acknowledge that fact instead of trying to mount a PR push to cover it up?

3) I have always admire John Edwards a great deal, and in covering Edwards in Des Moines on caucus day this past January I was never at a loss for good things to say about him and his campaign (read HERE and HERE). Presuming Obama is the Democratic nominee, Edwards deserves a cabinet position in recognition of his fight to end poverty in America, provide greater access to higher education for students in North Carolina, and for his tireless fight to provide health care for all Americans. Though Edwards' delay in endorsing Obama indicates that he may have simply been looking for a way into a Democratic administration, Obama and America would be lucky to have him.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thoughts on West Virginia and the Next Week

I have ten minutes to write up my thoughts on tonight's results from West Virginia (as well as what I think will happen over the next few weeks for the Democrats) before I've got to get back to AP Art History studying. Here goes:

1) Hillary Clinton beat the lowered expectations that I set for her a few days ago (scroll down two posts). Yes, I'm a Hillary supporter so you could see my "expectations" as being as useless as the campaign spin that Clinton's campaign likes to dish out before a "surprise" big win, but there have been precious few times this campaign where big leads in polls have held or where candidates truly beat their own expectations (South Carolina comes to mind as a big win for Obama). Hillary is currently up by 39% (EDIT: 41%), a figure I can imagine her campaign is actually surprised about.

2) Obama is smart (though I don't think it's a very polite tactic) to transition into general election mode. Hillary Clinton's speech tonight was successful in one key area: making Obama look bad for not spending more time in West Virginia. Unlike Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire—swing states that Clinton ended up winning, but where Obama campaigned heavily—Obama spent little time in West Virginia, writing the state off as a big win for Clinton early on. The result of this strategy: Hillary Clinton wins the state in head-to-head polling with McCain while Obama loses (look at the electoral map HERE).

3) No matter what happens in Kentucky next week for Hillary Clinton, the current wave she will ride for the next few days will end after the results from Oregon come in. Unlike Clinton's win tonight in West Virginia, Kentucky will not swing for the Democrats in November and the very loud and liberal Democrats in Oregon will push Obama to victory there.

Why I Still Love Mike Gravel, Episode 3

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Wonder, I Doubt, I Know

I WONDER if John McCain's temper isn't a good quality after all to bring to a foreign policy attitude that Joe Lieberman describes as: "One of John's strengths is that our allies and friends will trust him and our enemies will fear him...McCain knows when to be tough and when to be soft."

I DOUBT Hillary Clinton will win either West Virginia or Kentucky by more than 32-34%, despite polls showing her ahead by 43% and 36% respectively.

I KNOW that the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson is one of the most biased columnists writing today and that because of writers like him in the MSM, the Clinton campaign has had an uphill battle since the South Carolina Primary.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Super Volunteers" Reshape America: A Profile

Yesterday’s two Democratic Primaries brought more than three million voters to the polls to choose between Senators Obama and Clinton, but behind those votes were thousands of volunteers from both sides. Over the past week, I spoke with three of the volunteers about their experiences.

Traditional canvassing efforts have been around for many years, and by the 2000 Election the Internet already played a significant role. There is something noticeably different about the ways in which activists have been channeling their energy in the 2008 Election. Their responses to the candidates’ calls to action are more than constructive and effective; they’re self-generated and inspired.

The Obama Volunteer Corps fanned out through the historic Olivewood Cemetery in Houston on a cleanup mission for two Saturdays in April as part of the community-oriented work the group performs on a regular basis. The group of more than 70 volunteers, under the direction of twenty-eight-year-old Brad Pritchett, is one of three similar organizations across the country where Obama supporters work together on largely non-political service projects. “The Corps’ main purpose is to take Senator Obama’s message of change and prove that words can inspire people to do remarkable things in their own communities,” says Pritchett. After the cleanup at Olivewood ended last month, one member of the Corps began working with the City of Houston to establish a long-term solution that would protect the cemetery.

In Santa Cruz, California a volunteer has been working feverishly for Senator Hillary Clinton on the other side of the Democratic campaign. Vickie Nam, a doctoral student at UC-Santa Cruz didn’t stop her volunteering at canvassing and phone-banking; instead she created an online business (Visit it HERE) where she sells Hillary Clinton t-shirts of her own design. A portion of the money from the site’s sales goes to the Clinton campaign and a portion goes to Wellesley College, Clinton's and Nam’s alma mater. Nam, who does not typify many young voters in her choice of candidate, penned a letter to California Congressman Sam Farr (an undecided superdelegate) arguing her case for Clinton. She wrote that young people supporting Senator Clinton are “resisting the master narrative and are perhaps demonstrating true grass-roots organization.”

After a group of Obama supporters on a local college campus were featured on a television broadcast, Ms. Nam collaborated with a producer at another area station to create and air a segment featuring young Hillary supporters. “I have always had a passion for creating outlets for adolescents and emerging adults to speak out and be heard,” she says. A second-generation Korean-American, Nam sees strength in Senator Clinton that resonates with her and has inspired her to be such an active volunteer: “I am inspired and often moved to tears by the strength that Hillary has revealed during this stormy election, but she keeps on because she loves and dreams about America.”

While Ms. Nam has been helping out Senator Clinton directly, Brad Pritchett maintains that the Obama Volunteer Corps is less about politics and more about lending others a hand. His group welcomes any volunteers to join their service efforts. However, Pritchett’s political beliefs clearly motivate his actions. He sees the civic efforts of the Obama campaign as reflecting the “desire of people wanting to embrace a political message which returns much of the power to the people, as opposed to giving it all to politicians.” For that reason Pritchett isn't surprised that Clinton volunteers have not created groups similar to his. Having a philosophy deeply rooted in the platform and vision of a candidate while simultaneously transcending the traditional boundaries of political activism the Obama Volunteer Corps has reached an unexpectedly balanced approach to activism in the midst of a heated campaign.

The creation of the Obama Volunteer Corps is not the only non-traditional effort started by supporters of the Senator. In the central Ohio town of Newark, singer/songwriter and composer Celeste Friedman recently wrote a song and created a YouTube video accompaniment called “Oh Barack!” In 2004 Friedman penned and performed a song for the Kerry campaign entitled “Carry Me Home,” but this time around she isn’t begging her Democratic candidate to fight harder, instead she has been inspired by the uplifting messages of the Obama campaign.

Friedman’s Obama tune came to her easily, she says, especially because she does not consider herself an overly political songwriter. “The one thing that was standing out the most as I was writing the song was light. It was all I could think about in the darkness of the world as it exists right now.” After becoming a supporter of Obama this January, Friedman now says she is more firmly behind Senator Obama than ever and feels she is truly counting on him now that she has put her own stamp on his campaign.

In the process of creating a video slideshow to play along with her song, Friedman collected pictures of Barack Obama with the help of over forty independent photographers on Friedman says the responses she received from Obama supporters around the web who enjoyed her song pushed her to create the video, and she has stayed in contact with a number of the project’s contributors. Though she communicated her political beliefs through a musical skill most do not have, Friedman says, “I didn’t take advantage of that like the people [activist songwriters] in the 1960’s did. I think I’m no different than anyone else in this country.” In her eyes, ‘Oh Barack’ is “a little cheesy, but it was what was coming out of me.”

As pundits around the country declare the Democratic nomination sealed up and predict the course of events in the coming months, thousands of “super volunteers,” both Republicans and Democrats, won’t stop until every vote has been cast and counted. Celeste Friedman has an upcoming gig for which she will (somehow) have to write a song about John McCain to perform in front of a group of parents and children. The Obama Volunteer Corps will continue working on Houston-area service projects even after the November election. Meanwhile, Vickie Nam recently delivered a shipment of 400 Hillary Clinton signs to be transported to Oregon, the next stop on a long and busy campaign trail.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lost in the Valley

I sat silently in front of the television on Sunday night as the end credits began to roll. I could do little more than stare blankly into the darkness of the living room and massage my eyes.

The final ten minutes of In The Valley of Elah left me saddened, frightened, moved, and shaken to the core on a level I hadn't felt since watching The Pianist as a young teenager.

I have an understanding with myself that I don't like to discuss how I liked or disliked a film until I've sat on it for a day or so and let my feelings solidify. Instead of talking, showering, checking my email, or doing anything else, I headed for bed and picked my iPod up on the way. I thought I'd have a song or artist to listen to whose music would tap into the way I was feeling.

I scrolled down from A to M and found songs of patriotism, rusty old Ford pickups, death, and anarchy (though not very many of those). Nothing I listened to connected with me in the way I needed. Alan Jackson and Rushlow Harris' tribute songs to soldiers were difficult to handle after the brutal stories from Elah, but Neil Young's words of protest or Wyclef Jean's diatribes against President Bush and foreign wars seemed similarly inappropriate.

Over the past day or so I've spoken with a few people about In the Valley of Elah and it has become clear to me that it is a film absorbed differently by everyone who watches it.

I still haven't figured out how to put my feelings down in words, but this morning I found a song buried on my iTunes that chips away at the deep personal inquiry that Elah has stirred in me?

"War" by Haunt. (listen HERE)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Where Cash Flows

There's a page on the Capitol Eye website that tracks donations to the political campaigns of the Democratic superdelegate (check out the site HERE).

The page is very factual and doesn't play sides beyond noting that Barack Obama's campaign has given 3 times as much money to superdelegates as Hillary Clinton has.

Perhaps the most interesting set of statistics has to do with superdelegates from Indiana and North Carolina?the sites of next week's two important primaries. I've compiled the data below:

North Carolina superdelegates:

Rep. Heath Shuler — 

Obama campaign contributes $10,000
Clinton campaign contributes $0.

Indiana superdelegates

Rep. Baron Hill —

Obama campaign contributes $12,500
Clinton campaign contributes $2,500

[NOTE: Baron Hill has backed Barack Obama...wouldn't you?]

Rep. Brad Ellsworth —

Obama campaign contributes $10,000
Clinton campaign contributes $0

Rep. Joe Donnelly —

Obama campaign contributes $7,500
Clinton campaign contributes $0


We will have to wait and see how Shuler, Ellsworth, and Donnelly's superdelegate votes go, but the facts speak for themselves for the moment.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Silence is Golden

There are some things we wish would never be brought up again, and for anyone stuck in the middle of the Clinton v. Obama circus, reminding us of the now long-forgotten John Edwards campaign is one of them.

Joe Trippi (one of Edwards' top campaign advisors) published an article today about the regret he feels for not trusting his instincts to try to convince Edwards to stay in the presidential race. Trippi's writing is the kind of gut-wrenching display of hindsight that not only makes us wish Edwards were still around to try his luck against Hillary and Obama, but makes us very sorry Trippi did nothing to prevent Edwards from pulling out of the race.

I officially backed Hillary Clinton on January 13th of this year, after the Iowa Caucus and Senator Clinton's win in the New Hampshire Primary, so I don't know if I would have become an Edwards supporter or voter had he stuck around a little while longer, but there was one "very, very, very rare circumstance" under which we were told Edwards might want to consider remaining in the race: if no clear winner were determined quickly between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama...

...fancy that...

Read the article HERE.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Was it all worth it?

Was it all worth it? is a nifty site that shows United States maps overlayed with head-to-head polling between Clinton/Obama v. McCain.

In their polling data released today, an Obama v. McCain race yields the Democrats only two new states, Iowa and Colorado. Likewise, the Republicans pick up New Hampshire and Pennyslvania, as well as hang onto Ohio. In the simulation Obama loses the general election 243 to 269.

The map and its accompanying polls beg one significant question: where did Barack Obama?s wins in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Alaska, and Virginia go? The answer is: right into the hands of the Republicans.