Look at the results in Florida and Ohio, two key McCain losses. I’m genuinely impressed by Obama’s result in Florida: he improved on Kerry’s result by around 500,000 votes, while McCain underperformed Bush 2004 by 100,000 or so.
In Ohio, with 96% of the precincts reporting, Obama underperforms Kerry by 200,000, while McCain falls 500,000 short of Bush’s 2004 total. If those numbers stand, there would seem to be room for future GOP success in Ohio and an apparent upper limit on what Democrats can expect.
And then there’s the Electoral College, which (characteristically) overstates the result because it focuses on states rather than individuals. I have defended (and will continue to defend) the E.C. Will my students now begin to listen, as their guy profited more from his E.C. mandate than from the popular vote totals?