As Goes Ohio

As we have noted here weeks ago, Senator Barack Obama has a problem with the Electoral College. He keeps winning in the wrong states, while Hillary Clinton is strong where it matters in the general election in November.

Let me explain. The Electoral College follows the winner-take-all rule. Whoever wins a state in the general election in November gets all the delegates of that state. The only exception is Maine, where delegates are distributed proportionally, but Maine has only a small number of delegates.

So far Obama has mostly won in states that are most likely won by Senator John McCain in November. Obama has strong support among Democrats in red states like Alabama, South Carolina, Kansas, and Idaho. It would be earth shattering if a Democrat wins in those places in November.

Clinton on the other side is strong in states that have many delegates such as California, Massachusetts, and New York as well as in crucial swing states, such as Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The only swing state that Obama’s won so far is Missouri.

The strongest argument against Obama might be the state of Ohio. No Democrat has ever won the White House without winning in Ohio. Had John Kerry carried Ohio in 2004 he’d be running for re-election now. Last Tuesday Hillary Clinton won Ohio by a landslide. Obama just won five counties.

Should Clinton also win Pennsylvania, she will probably be the nominee. Obama might have a hard time to make an argument for his candidacy. The Democrats need Pennsylvania in November. The state has many so-called Reagan Democrats that might find John McCain very appealing.

But should Obama win Pennsylvania, he’s the nominee.