Sounds comfy until you realize that 13 of Maverick’s 245 come from Virginia, which has been trending blue with Jim Webb and Tim Kaine, is certain to keep trending blue with Mark Warner this fall, and was the site of one of Obama’s most impressive wins, a 64-35 demolition of Her Majesty on February 12 that saw him win by landslides across all ideological groups, including 69-30 among independents. Put Virginia in his column and he leads McCain 234-232. I’m nervous about Missouri too, which Ambinder also gives to Maverick even though Obama surprised Hillary there with one of his few battleground state wins.
Among the states credited to Obama, the only obvious one that McCain might steal is New Hampshire. Otherwise it’s all about Pennsylvania and Ohio as the toss-ups, which means Maverick needs to take a second look at Tom Ridge, pro-choice or not, and Obama needs to take a look at Ted Strickland, especially given the racial undertones to Hillary’s support there (but not just there, perhaps). Assuming Virginia and Ohio break for Obama and New Hampshire and Pennsylvania for McCain, it’s … 257-250 for our guy with Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Colorado to decide it. If Pennsylvania breaks for Obama in this scenario instead, he’s at 271 and planning the inauguration.
Exit question: 269-269?