Will Wilson is a former GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is hard to believe that John McCain should be worried about a 52-33 lead in a Utah poll--until one considers that that is just about exactly the margin by which Bob Dole carried that state in 1996, when he lost nationally by 220 electoral votes. Current President Bush took 67% and 71% of the vote in the Beehive State.
Barack Obama has a widely publicized money advantage; most national polls show him with a slim but solid lead; he holds a two-to-one prediction market advantage at Intrade; and he may able to challenge in states like Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia that have been considered "red' in recent elections.
Perhaps more impressively, Obama shows surprising strength even in states, like Utah, that are all-but locks to be in the McCain column. Consider Alaska, where a Democrat hasn't taken more than 36% of the vote since 1968; Obama is within shouting distance in a recent poll (albeit a Democratically-funded one). Senator Obama isn't likely to win there, of course, but it does lend credence to the idea that John McCain may carry only Republican fortresses--and that the rest of the slate could be a Democratic wave.
GOVERNING Politics is the place for news and analysis on campaigns and elections. If there's a ballot measure in California, a legislative election in Alabama, a mayoral election in Anchorage or a governor's race in Rhode Island, GOVERNING Politics probably is writing about it. We love everything about state and local politics, from polls and campaign ads to policy debates and demographic trends.