Since the beginning of the year I have maintained that Barack Obama had a very good chance to carry Virginia and the latest polls tend to show that such a view was correct. True, there is still a chance the undecideds will cut for McCain, but if Obama carries northern Virginia and the older large cities by a large margin (e.g., Norfolk went 64% for John Kerry in 2004 and could well go more strongly for Obama with a high turn out), it will be nearly impossible for the reactionary parts of the state to put McCain over the top. Last night's debate performance by McCain probably did not help convince undecideds to vote for McCain based on the numerous focus group results. Here are some highlights from CNN's latest coverage:
Obama picked up 13 electoral votes when Virginia was moved from the category of tossup state to a state that is leaning toward him. That put him over the 270 electoral-vote threshold needed to win the White House.
Virginia hasn't gone Democratic in 44 years," said Alan Silverleib, CNN senior political researcher. "But a number of polls -- including our own -- now show Obama up double digits there. And, as the map shows, if Obama holds that lead, it may be enough to put him into the White House." "Conversely, McCain really can't afford to lose Virginia's 13 electoral votes. That state is a key part of the Republican electoral coalition," Silverleib added.
A new CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation survey in Virginia released Wednesday indicates that Obama holds a 10-point lead over McCain -- 53 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. "Obama is winning men and women in Virginia, and is doing well across the state east of the Blue Ridge Mountains," CNN polling director Keating Holland said.