I've been saying most of this year that it's time to throw out that old electoral map of red states and blue states. Fresh evidence for this comes from Scott Rasmussen's recent state polls. Marist has a John McCain-Condoleezza Rice ticket beating a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama ticket in New York 49 percent to 46 percent and a McCain-Rice ticket beating an Obama-Clinton ticket there 49 percent to 44 percent. I'm pretty sure McCain is not going to ask Rice to be his running mate; he can't approve of her work as national security adviser when the Bush administration refused to follow his recommendation for a surge of troops in 2003 and 2004. But for McCain to be leading the Democrats' dream tickets (at least some Democrats think that's what one of those two is) in a state John Kerry carried by a 59 percent to 40 percent margin is pretty striking.
Then consider the Rasmussen polls in several western states, where Obama is either leading or trailing McCain by narrow margins. I'll put the percentages for Bush-Kerry in the adjacent columns.
In Oregon and Washington, the balance is similar to that in 2004. But McCain is plainly weaker than Bush—or Obama stronger than Kerry, in the other five. If Alaska is going to be a target state, what state isn't?
In contrast, McCain seems to be running better than Bush (or just about the same) in Rasmussen polls in some of the large states that were seriously contested in 2000 and 2004.
So the westerner McCain is running behind the Texan Bush in the West, while in an economy threatened with recession he's running better than Bush in some big industrial states. Very interesting.