I've been dusting off my little spreadsheet, looking at how the land lies for Tuesday's US Presidential election.
What is extraordinary, when you reflect back on the tasks which Kerry and Gore had in 04 and 00 respectively, is that Obama doesn't have to seize Ohio or Florida to win - although they would help.
If he wins all the states that Kerry won in 04 plus Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado, then he is over the 270 mark and home to tea.
To win the Kerry states, the one potentially vulnerable state is Pennsylvania where McCain has been tightening Obama's lead in the last week. However, electoral-vote.com gives the average of the 10 most recent polls there (from 30th October) as giving Obama 52% and a 9 point lead.
Obama has led all year in Iowa and New Mexico and is currently 13 and 8 points ahead respectively in those states.
Obama is 7 points ahead in Colorado.
If any one of those states goes Pete Tong, then Obama has strong prospects in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana. Or he has a shot at Montana and North Dakota.
So Obama has quite a bit of room for manoevre.
McCain has to win, without fail, in Florida, Ohio, Virgina, Colorado, North Carolina, Indiana, North Dakota and Montana.
As Votemaster puts it:
If we assume that all eight of these states are 50-50, then McCain has to flip a coin and get heads eight times in a row. The chances of this are 1 in 256. But it is worse than that since a number of these states, especially Colorado, look a lot worse for McCain than 50-50.
Or to put it another way: There is going to have to be one hell of a "Bradley effect" for McCain to win!
The Washington Post confirms all this today:
Barack Obama and the Democrats hold a commanding position two days before Tuesday's election, with the senator from Illinois leading in states whose electoral votes total nearly 300 and with his party counting on significantly expanded majorities in the House and Senate.
John McCain is running in one of the worst environments ever for a Republican presidential nominee. The senator from Arizona has not been in front in any of the 159 national polls conducted over the past six weeks. His slender hopes for winning the White House now depend on picking up a major Democratic stronghold or fighting off Obama's raids on most of the five states President Bush won four years ago that now lean toward the Democrat. He also must hold onto six other states that Bush won in 2004 but are considered too close to call.