Salena Zito

Political scientist Larry Sabato has said consistently that the vast majority of blue states will stay blue and the vast majority of red states will stay red in November. “This is the silly season, when McCain claims he’ll be competitive in California and Obama swears he’ll take Georgia and Mississippi,” Sabato says. “Well, no.”

While Obama may change the map by picking up New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia, Sabato explains, McCain has a better-than-average shot at taking Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Oregon, Wisconsin and maybe Ohio and Michigan.

“Let’s remember that the veep choices may turn a state for each candidate,” he adds, “a state not on either list.”

Still, Weaver thinks that, “without a doubt,” Obama has the ability to win in November.

“I hope and pray that he doesn’t,” he says, “but it is damned near impossible to elect the party in office to a third term in good times, much less when you have a president that is at Richard Nixon numbers.”

If Republicans squander any opportunity to make headway among independents, conservative Democrats and disillusioned Republicans, look for a really blue map to unroll on election night in November.

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.