Obama 51%The race is beginning to remind me of 1980's contest between the incumbent president Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. During that campaign the economy was in the shitter, our foreign policy was in tatters, and the ruling party (in that case, the Democrats) were seen as incompetent. Despite that, voters were unsure of Reagan. The cowboy from California seemed a bit too conservative for many Americans. He lead President Carter by between 1 and 5 points through out the summer, falling behind the incumbent on a few occasions. On Election Day however, the country had had it with the failed policies of the ruling party and handed Jimmy Carter a 10-point defeat and 49 measly electoral votes.
John McCain and the entire Republican Party are in the same exact position as the Democrats of 1980, with Barack Obama playing this cycle's Reagan. Does that mean a 10-point, 44-state landslide for the Democratic ticket? Doubtful. First, too many states are solidly Republican. It would take McCain getting caught in bed with a young boy the night before the election for Obama to win that big - and even then Utah, Idaho, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Alabama would still go Republican. Second, there is still a nice hunk of the electorate that just won't be able to vote for an African American candidate. Are there enough of those racist undertones to lose Obama the election? No. But enough to keep his Electoral College score well under 400.
Only time well tell if I'm correct on this 1980-2008 parallel. In the mean time, based on CNN's polling and other state-by-state numbers, here is where I see the map as of today:
It's very optimistic and I suspect Obama's real election night number will be closer to 300, but right now the Democrat looks to be in a very good position.