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Karl Rove Thinks Clinton is More Electable Than Obama

Jack Tapper acquired two interesting maps today from the consulting firm of Karl Rove & Co. The first measures John McCain against Barack Obama, and the second pits McCain against Hillary Clinton. Some of the battlegrounds are the usual suspects, but Rove has a few surprises for us.

In the McCain-Obama matchup, Rove has Obama taking 238 electoral votes to McCain’s 221, with 79 up for grabs. McCain has strong leads in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, but Obama is up in Colorado and Virginia. McCain edges Obama in a few key states such as Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and New Mexico, but Obama has resounding leads in the Pacific Northwest battlegrounds of Oregon and Washington.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect in Rove’s matchup, however, is that McCain barely gets by Obama in North Dakota and Nebraska. It’s striking that the Architect would include these two states. When the Obama camp mentioned North Dakota in a campaign memo, most pundits scoffed despite polling that indicated he could compete there. And don’t forget that Obama does better in whiter states.

As for the Cornhusker State, I wrote last week that Obama should make a run at NE-01 and NE-02 (Nebraska divvies electoral votes by congressional disrict), and after scanning Poblano’s data on these CD’s, I’m even more convinced that Obama could take Omaha. Also keep in mind that Warren Buffett has all but endorsed Obama.

For her part, Clinton doesn’t need red prairie states. Rove has her taking the big enchiladas of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio by solid margins and racking up 259 electoral votes to McCain’s 206. As for the other 79 electoral votes up for grabs, he has Clinton winning the blue collar states of West Virginia and Arkansas, and even putting Missouri into play.

Rove has her loosing the prime Obama targets of Virginia, Iowa and Colorado by solid margins and also letting Wisconsin slip. His scenarios suggest that Clinton would also get wiped clean in the Plains and in the West, and would give McCain an opening in the Pacific Northwest.

But before we enshrine Rove’s political predictions as the gospel, Tapper points to too every important caveats:

  1. “States are allocated in Rove’s exercise based on an average of public polls, which many pollsters would tell you is a rather unscientific way to look at the data.”
  2. (Paraphrased by Teagan Goddard) Rove is not exactly a neutral observer in the presidential race.

Rove & Co.’s Obama vs. McCain Electoral Map

Rove & Co.\'s Obama vs. McCain Electoral Map

Rove & Co.’s Clinton vs. McCain Electoral Map

Rove & Co.\'s Clinton vs. McCain Electoral Map

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10 Responses to “Karl Rove Thinks Clinton is More Electable Than Obama”

  1. Citizen Grim

    20 May 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Interesting. Obama will be in deep trouble if McCain manages to take Wisconsin and Michigan.

  2. toby

    20 May 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Rove? Isn’t he the guy whose woeful election strategies has the GOP in the mess its in?

  3. Patrick Ottenhoff

    20 May 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Ha — Good point toby.

  4. Ryan

    21 May 2008 at 12:01 AM

    Also, I’m not completely discounting the results, but this is Rove were talking about. Consider the source.

  5. Troy

    21 May 2008 at 7:30 AM

    I can’t hear a word Rove says without imagining that there about fifty hidden angles built into his comments designed to hand someone an election.

  6. Rick

    21 May 2008 at 6:42 PM

    Glad we got ahold of “The Maps”.

    Kind of depends on how one defines tossup states. There are an awful lot of 4% and 5% McCain states that would be tossup states, but it all depends on the assumptions.

  7. Ryan

    25 May 2008 at 3:32 PM

    Judging by the map at http://www.electoral-vote.com/ , Obama would take about 266 if he loses MI, IN and VA where he is tied with McCain or behind by 1% and Clinton would take 319 if she lost MI where she is tied with McCain. Judging by that (and Rove’s map), I’d give Clinton a 95% chance of victory and Obama something like 55%.

  8. jamie

    4 November 2008 at 5:55 PM

    OBAMA Is Going To Win McCain Needs To Ease Up With His Old Face VOTE OBAMA OR DIE


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  1. [...] Tapper posts the maps and Patrick Ottenhoff’s The Electoral Map provides further [...]

  2. [...] are based on polling and come from a GOP strategist, so take them with a grain of salt. As always, the Electoral Map has some insightful commentary. addthis_url = [...]

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