Scrambling The Map (II)

I take Matt's point about the various statistical weaknesses involved in Survey USA's attempt to aggregate state-level polls and project electoral vote totals in McCain-Clinton and McCain-Obama races. Still, if you take these aggregations as indicators of which states might be in flux and where the red-blue dynamic might break down, they hint at some interesting underlying dynamics. You can see, for instance, that McCain - thanks to his credibility with liberal Republicans and center-left swing voters - has the potential to do what some Republicans hoped Rudy Giuliani would do, and put liberal-trending states in the northeast and northwest back in play for the first time in a decade. You can also see that McCain has the potential to lose ground - again, as many of us expected Giuliani to do - in the Midwest and Plains States; he's vulnerable in states like Ohio, Iowa, Arkansas, West Virginia, and even Nebraska and North Dakota, all of which went for Bush last time around. You can see that Hillary Clinton wins by essentially taking the states John Kerry captured and then improving on his showing in Ohio and Florida;, making her the candidate most likely to maintain the red-blue balance. (I'm just crying out for a link from Andrew with that line, aren't I?) And you can see that Obama, by contrast, has the potential to shake things up a bit more, picking up prairie-populist voters in North Dakota and Nebraska (to the delight of Russell Arben Fox, no doubt) and center-right suburbanites in Virginia and Colorado on his way to victory.

Is any of this dispositive? Of course not. But it's suggestive, at the very least - not only for this election, but for the shape of the political coalitions to come.