Rove sees Obama win

If election were held today, Republican strategist says Democrat would prevail.

Published October 5, 2008 10:01PM (EDT)

Republican strategist Karl Rove calculates that if the election were held today Barack Obama would win.

On, he writes: "39 new state polls released in the first three days of October have given Barack Obama his first lead over the magic number of 270 since mid-July. Minnesota (10 EV [electoral votes]) and New Hampshire (4 EV) both moved from toss-up to Obama, giving him 273 electoral votes to McCain’s 163, with 102 votes remaining as a toss-up.

"If the election were held today, Obama would win every state John Kerry won in 2004, while adding New Mexico (5 EV), Iowa (7 EV), and Colorado (9 EV) to his coalition." Rove also pointed out that the state polls to which he was referring do not include any surveying done after the vice-presidential debate on Thursday; new polls which should be out by the middle of this week will reflect the impact of the veep debate on the race, if in fact, it had any.

Yet on "Fox News Sunday," Rove cautioned that the race isn't over yet: "Remember, the campaign ebbs and flows. What we're seeing here is a result of the focus of the American people, voters, on the economic problems that have dominated the news the last several weeks. What's happened then is a shift to Obama.

"Just remember, 17 days ago in the electoral college, McCain led 227 to 216. Fifteen days ago, on the eve of the news on the bailout, he led 216-215.This race is susceptible to rapid changes and we're likely to see, in the remaining four weeks, more changes," Politico reported.

Another Republican strategist showed even less optimism about McCain's prospects on Sunday. Mike Murphy, a key strategist on McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign, said on "Meet the Press:" "It's McCain’s barn that’s on fire....Thirty days out, I think McCain can win. But the fact is, [if the] election were held today, he’d lose. And I think he’s on a losing path.

"I think the McCain campaign has to look in the mirror now and decide, do we need to change up the strategy?" Murphy continued. "They’ve been running the grinding campaign on Obama. There’s a lot of good things to attack Obama about -- people have a lot of doubts about Obama. But they’ve got to fix McCain....Or in this anti-Republican environment, this trend line is very, very bad.”

By Salon Staff

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