Saturday, November 1, 2008

Upset win for McCain not yet out of the question

Conservative columnist Bill Kristol predicted an election night victory for John McCain this week during an appearance on The Daily Show, before slyly adding: “I hope a few of you took that seriously for just a couple of seconds.”

With polls suggesting Tuesday's presidential election will be easily won by Democrat Barack Obama, even the most ardent Republican pundits are having a hard time calling an upset for their leader.

But the possibility of a McCain win is not to be laughed off quite yet, especially in an electoral college system in which 270 votes offer entry to the White House, and the difference between winning and losing can come down to a handful of battleground states.

“McCain needs to do what [George W.] Bush did four years ago – hold the South and the Mountain West, plus pick off a state that's traditionally regarded as a swing state,” said Eric Rauchway, a professor of politics at the University of California Davis, who studies the electoral college system.

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