Okay, one last time:
If Bush carries nearly every State he did in 2000, but loses either Florida or Ohio, its game over. While its mathematically possible for him to win without Florida and Ohio, it would require a huge and highly unlikely shift elsewhere.
If Kerry loses both of those states, in order to get to 270 (The results in 2000 were 271 – 266), he would have to pick a few other states. Remember that due to the census change post 2000, several states have seen their EC numbers change: Texas (+2), Florida (+2), Georgia (+2), Arizona (+2) California (+1), Colorado (+1), Oklahoma (+1), Nevada (+1). A number of states lost electoral votes: New York (-2), Pennsylvania (-2), Michigan (-1), Illinois (-1), Indiana (-1),
So to get over the hump, in the event Ohio AND Florida both go red, Kerry would need New Hampshire plus another state: either Colorado (273 – 265) or Arkansas (270 – 268). New Hampshire + Nevada is a 269-269 tie, (which sends the election to the House of Representatives).
Consider New Hampshire as the first swing state that is likely to be declared — it may foretell what’s to come the rest of the night. If NH is the only state to swing differently than 2000, the incumbent loses.
Here’s the WSJ‘s comments on the most recent poll:
As the presidential campaigns raced through the final weekend before Election Day, Sen. John Kerry gained ground in polls conducted in 16 battleground states by Zogby Interactive and Reuters/Zogby.
Sen. Kerry now leads in nine states, including the coveted Florida and Pennsylvania, two members of the trio that will likely be key for the winning candidate on Tuesday. The third crucial state, Ohio, is in President Bush’s column. Sen. Kerry’s lead in Florida is narrow — only one percentage point — but he leads by five percentage points in Pennsylvania, while Mr. Bush has a four-point lead in the Buckeye State. The margins in all three states, as well as in 11 others, are within the margin of error.
Pennsylvania was tied in last week’s results, while Mr. Bush led in Florida. Voters in Michigan and Minnesota also returned to the Kerry column in the most recent poll.
Presuming that all the states are won by the current leading candidates and that the other 34 states — and the District of Columbia — go as they did in the 2000 election, which isn’t guaranteed, Mr. Kerry would get 286 electoral votes and Mr. Bush would get 247. This analysis doesn’t include New Mexico, which shows up as a tie in the latest poll, but the state’s five electoral votes wouldn’t sway the final result of the election in this scenario.
Mr. Kerry leads in two states that President Bush won in 2000: Florida, which has 27 electoral votes, and New Hampshire, which has four. The only state Democrat Al Gore carried in 2000 that Mr. Kerry doesn’t lead is New Mexico.
You can see how the electoral college looks state by state here:electoral vote.com
Also, check out the 2000 Electoral College Results here.
Lastly, Opinion Journal has an interactive map you can play with: Click any state to see what a change in the projected electoral college change does to each candidate reaching 270. Fun for the whole family!
Battlegrounds States Poll – August 23, 2004
Electoral College Analysis