Geraghty runs down the numbers. I hasten to remind you that at one point the GOP race was going to be a showdown between Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. Even so, all we need is one or two of those to make things oh so tight on Election Day: Michigan plus New Hampshire would be de-lovely, and even if McCain doesn’t win any of them, he’ll force Obama to spend a little extra time and cash on blue states with a purplish tinge, like New Jersey, to make sure they stay in the right column. Which, er, shouldn’t be too difficult for a guy who raises $50 million a month, unless he does the noble thing and cuts himself off at the knees by accepting public financing.
Sneak preev via Rasmussen:
Thirteen states with 159 Electoral Votes are either a pure Toss-Up or just slightly leaning to one party or the other. These are likely to be the early battleground states of Election 2008: Florida (27), Pennsylvania (21), Ohio (20), Michigan, (17), Virginia (13), Missouri (11), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Iowa (7), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), and New Hampshire (4).
It’ll be awfully hard to resist putting Crist or Ridge on the ticket to nab one of the two big prizes, huh? Unless you’re afraid of a rearguard Obama action in the south, in which case Sanford’s your man. Or rather, he would be your man if the McCain people weren’t allegedly being such jerks about him.
Horrifying exit question: We probably ended up with the nominee most likely to give the left a run for its money in the fall, didn’t we?