Jonathan Martin notes at Politico that the battleground states appear to have all reached a dead-heat conclusion — with lots of undecideds — in the last Mason-Dixon polling. M-D did a credible job in the 2004 election, and this could mean either candidate could sail away with this election. In fact, Obama hasn’t hit 50% in any of these polls (via Gateway Pundit):
Colorado: Obama 49, McCain 44, Undecided 4
Florida: Obama 47, McCain 45, Undecided 7
Nevada: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 8
Pennsylvania: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 9
Virginia: Obama 47, McCain 44, Undecided 9
Ohio: McCain 47, Obama 45, Undecided 6
Missouri: McCain 47, Obama 46, Undecided 5
North Carolina: McCain 49, Obama 46, Undecided 5
As Brad Coker, who runs the Mason-Dixon poll, notes, the vast majority of the undecided voters in these states are whites.
I believe that other polling shows Florida and Nevada as close but relatively reliable McCain wins. If McCain can’t carry Florida, then he probably loses the election no matter what anyway, unless he figures a way to lose Florida but win every other state on this list. Colorado probably goes to Obama.
That leaves Pennsylvania and Virginia, and it looks like McCain could win them both. Both have high percentages of undecideds, and both are within the margin of error. If McCain wins both, he has 281 Electoral College votes even without Nevada. If Obama wins both, he has 276 EC votes even if he loses Minnesota. In a split, Pennsylvania would win McCain the election, or a combination of Virginia and Minnesota or perhaps another blue state looking to go red.
Coal could win or lose this election in both states. Team McCain needs to push that issue hard in the final hours in the Rust Belt region. Undecideds will almost certainly fall his way in the final hours of this election, as long as McCain can convince them to actually vote.