Michael Barone argues that we'll need to throw out the red-state, blue-state map for 2008:
If I were running the McCain or Obama campaign, I would be doing in-depth polling and focus groups in 30 to 40 states and nationally, as well, trying to determine which voting groups are moving or moveable toward my candidate and which are moving or moveable the other way. I would certainly not be writing off states that were lost by my party's 2000 and 2004 nominees by 5 percent or more, and I would not assume that states they carried by that much were in the bag.
Meanwhile, at the end of a characteristically fascinating post about the Republican Party's difficulties adapting to the new fundraising landscape, Patrick Ruffini ponders how the Obama campaign might harness its financial wherewithal to try poaching reddish states from the GOP:
What does this mean for the horserace? I am not a big fan of fundraising for fundraising’s sake. Diminishing returns set in. But I think a plausible scenario is that Obama uses a 2 or 3 to 1 cash advantage is to expand the map: to play in 25 states rather than McCain’s 15-20. The most effective TV ads are those that are uncontested. Could Obama run virtually uncontested advertising in Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia to move the numbers starting in March? And organize the African American vote in the South? Or more likely, concentrate on building insurmountable leads in true swing states like Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota and force him to defend GOP-leaning Missouri and Florida?
In a year when the country's trending Democratic, a scrambled map would probably be bad news for the GOP candidate no matter what. But when you throw in Obama's current fundraising advantage and how that might be leveraged, it seems obvious that whatever McCain's potential advantages in a race against the Illinois Senator, he'll be rooting for Hillary tomorrow, not Obama as Stanley Fish suggests. It's a far, far better thing for the McCain camp if Obama has spend some of his bank fending off Hillary in Pennsylvania than if he gets to start running general-election ads in Colorado and Virginia starting next week.
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