New state match-up polls released from Rasmussen Reports confirm this to be true:
Obama 51, McCain 38 - Obama by 13
Clinton 50, McCain 38 - Clinton by 12
Obama 50, McCain 38 - Obama by 12
Clinton 47, McCain 44 - Clinton by 3
McCain 47, Obama 43 - McCain by 4
McCain 47, Clinton 40 - McCain by 7
McCain 46, Obama 40 - McCain by 6
McCain 46, Clinton 40 - McCain by 6
Obama 53, McCain 38 - Obama by 15
Clinton 46, McCain 39 - Clinton by 7
Of course, polls change, so no one can say this tells us what will happen. But, as it stands right now at least, the Clinton camp doesn't have any hard evidence that supports their claim of a general election advantage. In fact, all of the data has supported the conclusion that Barack Obama is actually the more electable candidate. But again, this is all very far off.
Unfortunately, John McCain is kicking ass in polls right now. He has closed the gap with Obama in national match-ups, and is leading in must-win Democratic-lean states Michigan and Pennsylvania according to Rasmussen. However, this is reflective of the fact that McCain is the firm Republican nominee, while Democrats are still torn between Obama and Clinton. Once we have a nominee, Democratic advantages in these states should resurface (barring a complete party meltdown at the convention, of course!).
Of course, I believe the strategy of trying to win the hardcore Democratic states, plus either Ohio or Florida, is foolish since it failed in both 2000 and 2004. Gov. Mark Warner derided it as an attempt to "launch a national campaign that goes after sixteen states and then hopes that we can hit a triple bank shot to get to that seventeenth state."
But how will we ever win without these "big" states? After spending just a few minutes playing with an electoral vote calculator, I found several easy combinations of states won by Gore in 2000, nearly won by Kerry in 2004, and/or noticeably trending Democratic since that can get us to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency without Ohio or Florida (using Kerry-won states as a baseline):
-Virginia, New Mexico
-Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado
-Iowa, Nevada, Colorado
-Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico
-Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico
-Missouri, Nevada, Colorado
-Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado
And, of course, winning these states does a lot more for expanding the party base, helps out Dems in other elections, and, I believe, gives the incoming president a greater mandate... Not only that, it currently looks as it is *more likely* Democrats would win most of these states than either Ohio or Florida. Looking back at the SurveyUSA polling released last week, Barack Obama is the stronger candidate of the two in almost all of these states.
So if some of the supers actually think, as the Clinton campaign wants them to, that maybe the voices of the voters isn't the criteria by which our nominee should be picked but who they think is the more "electable" candidate, might I recommend Senator Obama. He does better in most of the above southern and western states, and the same or better in Florida and Ohio as Senator Clinton. What other criteria should we be looking at?