Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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New electoral math

Of the many impacts Sarah Palin has already had on the campaign, the biggest one may be the change in the electoral math.

Since Obama sowed up the nomination in June, his camp has maintained that they would campaign aggressively in traditional red states such as Georgia, North Carolina, South Dakota, Montana and Virginia.  And for good reason: all those state polls had shown Obama within striking distance of McCain, which was yet another indication of McCain's uphill slog.  In the least, they were going to force McCain to burn dollars defending his home turf.

Fast forward to today, and the latest polls in four of those states -- Georgia, NC, SD and Montana -- show double digit Mccain leads, and Virginia -- which was thought to be Obama's best chance at a "back-breaking" pickup -- is now leaning McCain.  The scuttlebutt is that Obama is reallocating resources from those states to Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, where Palin is thought to be making inroads with suburban voters.

The electoral map had been working in Obama's favor for months.  I had simply assumed that  he was going to pickup Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada -- three states that President Bush had won -- and possibly New Hampshire, Iowa, and Missouri.   McCain was going to have to make it up by winning either Michigan or Pennsylvania.

Palin's western sensibilities, however, have turned the polls almost overnight; McCain is now leading New Mexico and Nevada handily, and Colorado is a deadheat, even though the Democrats held their convention there.  Iowa and Missouri are now out of reach for Obama, though New Hampshire remains competitive. 

And to make matters worse for Obama, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- two states that John Kerrry won in 2004 -- are now dead heats, while McCain has opened a double digit lead in Ohio, a state where Bush narrowly defeated Kerry.  Pennsylvania, in particular, has moved six points in favor of McCain since Sarah Palin's speech, which has not gone unnoticed by team Obama; they've had either Biden or Obama in the state every day this week. 

The reason: suburban moms and hunters.  All three states have huge hunting populations and cultural conservatives, two groups where Palin polls strongest.  Just more fallout from the Palin effect.  

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Reader Comments (5)

Interesting update. It would be incredible if McCain could take Pennsylvania. Let's hope the Palin glow continues.

I'll continue to be interested to see how the shakeout of the candidates' popularity evolves ahead of the first debates and how much the debates will swing things.

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Priest

I need a "Trig is Bill Clinton's love child" scandal to derail this thing.

September 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

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