Been awhile since I dropped in on the LAT interactive electoral map. Wanted to test the theory that Bush could still win if he lost both Ohio and Pennsylvania. Pa is a straight toss up by the polls, but has gone Demo the last three elections. Ohio remains an economic basket-case, forcing Bush to answer for that and get off his security theme. Two Kerry wins would not be an utter shock.
So I start playing around, going with a few gut calls, like Arkansas will again respond to the call of Bill Clinton and Florida will again go Dubya by the slimmest of margins. Before I know it I'm stuck on two stumpers, Wisconsin and Hawaii. Bush is parked at 265 electoral votes, Kerry at 259.
The Bushies think Wisconsin is in play because all the dairy farmers who are pissed at Kerry for supporting the evil, evil Northeast Dairy Compact will counteract blue-collar votes in the cities and the roughly one billion students and activists in Madison. Could be, but a reach.
Hawaii I know nothing about except that one poll had an amazing 12 percent coming in as undecided in what is normally a heavily Demo state. That and Michael Barone says "Hawaii is in play" so that's that.
Toss Wisconsin to Kerry and Hawaii to Bush and -- boom! -- a nice 269-269 deadlock. Extra innings. Get Congress in session and sell tickets. Wonderful.