NBC projection gives Obama majority of electoral votes
David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Monday October 27, 2008

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Eight days before any election results come in, NBC News is essentially predicting Barack Obama will win the presidency. The network's electoral vote projections -- which are based on an analysis of state-by-state polling, campaign efforts, early turnout and other factors -- say a majority of electoral votes will go to the Democratic candidate.

Even without factoring in the "toss up" states where the outcome is too close to predict, Obama can get more than 270 electoral votes, enough to win the presidency, assuming he prevails in states that are solidly in his column or leaning toward voting for him. NBC political director Chuck Todd said Colorado and Virgina -- two states that went for President Bush in 2000 and 2004 -- were now leaning toward Obama, putting him over the threshold.

If Obama also wins Nevada, where polls give him a narrow lead, the Democratic candidate can win the presidency without winning Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida -- the three states that have proved most critical in the last two elections. That scenario is exceptionally unlikely, however. Obama holds a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania and is up by about 6 points in Ohio, while Florida remains essentially tied.

The fact of the matter is that Obama is solidly on offense during the last week of the campaign, with the toughest fights occuring in red states.

Things are so bad for McCain that voters in his home state of Arizona are trending toward Obama.

Even some Republicans are beginning to doubt John McCain's chances.

“Any serious Republican has to ask, ‘How did we get into this mess?’ ” Newt Gingrich, the former Republican house speaker, said in an interview. “It’s not where we should be, and it’s not where we had to be. This was not bad luck.”

As Mr. Obama uses his money and political organization to try to expand the political map, Mr. McCain is being forced to shore up support in states like Indiana and North Carolina that have not been contested for decades. His decision to campaign on Sunday in Iowa, a day after Ms. Palin campaigned there, was questioned even by Republicans who noted polls that showed Mr. Obama pulling away there. But it reflected how few options the campaign really has, as poll after poll suggests that Mr. Obama is solidifying his position.
Gallup notes that history is on Obama's side. Just twice in the last 14 elections has the leader in the Gallup poll at this point in the race not gone on to win the presidency, the organization notes.

Independent number cruncher Nate Silver outlined the narrow path McCain can take to victory, but the candidate does not seem to be following his advice. The FiveThirtyEight.com analyst gives McCain just a 5 percent chance of victory.

This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast October 27, 2008.

Download video via RawReplay.com