OK, Not Quite 35

Since we learned the nominees, I have said that Obama would win "comfortably" over McCain. But two months ago -- on the heels of the Palin pick -- I upped my prediction to a blowout in which Obama would win 35 states. I have repeated that prediction steadfastly.

It is not to be -- just the "comfortable" win.

Obama has, at this hour, won all 20 states that John Kerry won (including DC), plus seven: Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. It appears likely that he will also win North Carolina and Indiana, which makes 29 states. He might also win Missouri and Montana, for 31.

I had thought that North and/or South Dakota, along with Montana, might be winnable; but my real mistake was in thinking that Obama could win a couple of deep Southern states -- out of Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and South Carolina, even Texas. In fact, they were not close at all.

By the same measure, the Senate races in those Southern states went very solidly to the Republicans -- with the close one turning out to be Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu, who was leading easily in the polls, winning a close victory.

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