I’ve heard a number of right-leaning commentators talk about the various paths to victory McCain might have, usually including Florida or Ohio, plus perhaps Missouri, North Carolina and others. Here’s the interesting thing. If you check out this map based on recent polling you find that Obama has 264 electoral votes pretty much tied up. What that means is that McCain can win all 4 of the states I just mentioned (which seems unlikely, but possible) and others that look more likely to go to Obama. All Obama needs is 7 votes, which he can get from a single state like Colorada where he’s ‘only’ leading the polls by 7%.
Polls can be wrong, so wrong in fact that it’s better to talk about how wrong rather than whether they are or not. And electoral-vote doesn’t get round that by aggregating many polls (they were wrong until the day before the election in 2004, for example). But listening to pundits can make you think that McCain can win if he plays his cards well; in fact it appears that he can win, but he’ll have to play all of his cards brilliantly.