Don't forget that George W. Bush spent the waning days of the 2000 election campaigning in a traditionally "Blue state" -- California -- instead of shoring up swing states (such as Florida). Of course, this very likely cost him the popular vote -- and nearly cost him the election.
Flash back to October 31, 2000 (NYT):
"Casting an aura of confidence, Mr. Bush insisted that his decision to spend some of the last days of the campaign in a state that has been a cornerstone of the last two Democratic presidential victories would pay off with an upset here.
''I tell you, there are going to be a lot of shocked people on Nov. 7 -- starting with my opponent,'' Mr. Bush told a delighted crowd in a hotel ballroom here. He said political experts who had labeled the state as safely in Vice President Al Gore's column ''don't understand what's happening in California.''
''The pundits, like my opponent, have taken California for granted,'' he said.
As the audience roared, Mr. Bush proclaimed, ''We're going to send a message to the rest of the country: California is back.''