Survey USA has released fifty-state polls for the general election. When looking at this data, keep in mind that about one in twenty polls is way, way off (there are 100 polls here). Here is the Clinton vs. McCain map, which is Clinton 276-262 McCain:
Solid Clinton--77 (eleven or more points): AR, DC, IL, MA, NY, RI
Lean Clinton--126 (six to ten points): CA, CT, FL, ME, MD, OH, VT
Toss Up--135 (five points or less): DE, HI, IA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NM, OR, PA, TN, WA, WV, WI
Lean McCain--136 (six to ten points): AL, CO, KS, KY, LA, MS, NV, NH, NC, OK, SC, TX, VA
Solid McCain--65 (eleven or more points): AK, AZ, GA, ID, IN, MT, NE, ND, SD, UT, WY
And here is the Obama vs. McCain map, which is Obama 280-258 McCain:
Solid Obama--163 (eleven or more points): CA, CT, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, NY, RI, VT, WA, WI
Lean Obama--66 (six to ten points): CO, DE, MA, MN, NM, OH, OR
Toss-up--186: (five points or less): AK, FL, MI, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NC, ND, PA, TX, VA
Lean McCain--25 (six to ten points): IN, MO, MT
Solid McCain--98 (eleven or more points): AL, AZ, AR, GA, ID, KY, LA, MS, OK, TN, UT, WV, WY
Despite seemingly similarity in their performance against McCain, this breakdown shows real differences between Obama and Clinton in the general election. Against Obama, McCain's "solid" and "lean" states only add up to 123, while Obama's add up to 229. In a matchup against Clinton, the "solid" and "lean" states are of equal size: 201 for McCain, and 203 for Clinton. In other words, while McCain and Clinton appear evenly matched, McCain is only able to keep it close against Obama by running up a series of narrow wins in the toss-up states.
An important pro-Clinton caveat on these polls is that they were taken before Clinton's successful night on March 4th. Since whoever has the momentum in the primary tends to have the momentum in the general election, I expect her to start performing better against McCain after those victories. An important pro-Obama finding from these polls is just how utterly myopic and stupefying her campaign's argument about "states that don't matter" actually is. Obama puts a whole range of supposedly deep red states into play, such as Alaska, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, and even Texas (although Clinton doesn't do too bad in Texas herself). There are other ways to win outside of the 2000 and 2004 paradigm. To insist that there is no way to break out of the electoral maps of recent elections is not only depressing fatalistic about Democratic chances, but it actually reinforces the Obama campaign's assertion about Clinton not being able to break out of the political arguments of the past. A new map is clearly possible, as long as we put the effort into actually running a 50-state campaign. Heavy Democratic campaigning in Texas has even put that state into play (and heavy Democratic campaigning in Ohio has virtually put that state out of play). Over the next two months, I salivate over what heavy Democratic campaigning in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana can accomplish.