Politico reports and Geraghty confirms. Michigan went blue four years ago so McCain doesn’t lose any electoral votes here, but compare the 2004 map with the state of play at the moment at RCP or Electoral-Vote. He can spare 16 of Bush’s EVs and still win the election even if he doesn’t flip any blue states; as things stand now, he’s looking at -7 in Iowa and -5 in New Mexico, with Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Nevada, and even Missouri and North Carolina(!) up in the air. The three Kerry states he has a realistic shot at are Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, but most polls have him behind in each (with a few polls showing a big Obama lead in Minnesota and a recent surge in Wisconsin). Even if he comes back and steals all three, they’re good for only 24 EVs. Obama could wipe out the gain by winning Florida or almost any combo of two of the six states I named above. In fact, including leaners, lefty site FiveThirtyEight has The One with fully 336 EVs right now versus barely 200 for Team Maverick. There is, in short, no more margin for error. Assuming Iowa and New Mexico are lost causes and Obama can hold the rest of Kerry’s cards, every last toss-up state that went for Bush four years ago has to break McCain’s way.
Exit question: Which swing state will Maverick pull out of next? Exit answer: This one.