If Obama Wins, He Will Win

by Patrick Appel

Chris Cillizza says that Obama is "able to lose half a dozen (or more) swing states he carried in 2008 and still win the 270 electoral votes he needs for a second term." Bernstein yawns:

The problem with this kind of analysis is that it ignores the possibility that the Republican candidate might actually do better than the Democratic candidate overall. If that happened, it wouldn't just be the states that Obama won narrowly that would swing to the GOP; it could be lots of marginal states. Cillizza's "detailed examination" is meaningless; all he's telling us is that Obama won big in 2008 and could do a lot worse and still win. That's true -- but Democrats in 1968 and Republicans in 1976 could tell you that large swings from election to election are quite possible. As could George H.W. Bush.