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The US update

Zogby's polling suggests that the best VP candidate for Obama is Colin Powell, with him delivering a net positive of 32% more likely to vote Dem, compared to a net 5% for Hillary Clinton. Bill Richardson is the only other to give a net boost, at 5%. Evan Bayh, Kathleen Sebelius and Tim Kaine (who?) are net negative of 4-6%. I suspect that the Powell effect is exagerrated due to a reluctance on the part of pollees to snub an all black ticket. Given that CP would not run for the Big One, I doubt he would want to be the younger man's spear carrier, as after all, 'The vice-presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm [urine]' as John Nance Garner once put it.

Over at GOP HQ, McCain's best bets are Romney at +15% and Huckabee at +14%. Joe Lieberman does little at +3%. Others are net negative.

Given past presidential elections in my lifetime, I would not be surprised if the VP candidates come as surprises come convention time.

As to the electoral college, the very wonderful Electoral College site (it helped me win a few sucker bets on Bush last time) aggregates state polls and has OB at 207 strong to JM's 83 strong. Including weak and barely, it comes out at 292 OB, 219 JM, with 27 dead heats. 270 are needed for the brass ring. Geographically OB has the West Coast, NE, Great Lakes bar Ohio plus Hawaii, Montana, Colorado and New Mexico. McCain has the South and the Mid-West / Rockies bar MT, CO and NM. Indiana and Pennsylvania are worth 32 votes and are weak for OB, while Florida and North Carolina (42) are weak McCain.

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