Mahtesian's Counties to Watch

There are races to watch lists and anticipatory hourly breakdowns all over the Internet. Imagine what will happen in about 10 minutes when exit polls start ...
by | November 4, 2008
 

There are races to watch lists and anticipatory hourly breakdowns all over the Internet. Imagine what will happen in about 10 minutes when exit polls start leaking out.

Charlie Mahtesian, national political editor at Politico and my predecessor here at Governing, has put up his list of 25 key counties.

His top five are Washoe County, Nevada (where McCain needs a win); Douglas County, Nebraska (where Obama can pick up a spare electoral vote); Bernalillo County, New Mexico (where Obama needs to pick up his statewide margin); Dona Ana County, N.M. (where McCain needs to tap into independents in order to carry the state); and St. Louis County, Missouri (where McCain needs to keep Obama's margin down).

Those will all be interesting places but since most of them are out West I'm guessing they'll be less compelling tonight than places like Fairfax County, Virginia, or Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In fairness to Charlie, his list includes several Philadelphia-area jurisdictions, as well as Prince William County, which is next to Fairfax and was home to a massive Obama rally last night.

And figuring out how Obama won (assuming he does, of course) will be fascinating for political demographics freaks and Charlie's list will be a good starting place for thinking about all this in the months to come.

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