Back!!

Taken a bit of a break from the blogging world for a few reasons.  First and foremost, I was working an insanely busy schedule all summer as part of the leadership team of a summer camp in New Hampshire.  Second, I have been working on some musical projects related to our work at the camp.  You can listen to a sample of some recordings we made this summer here.  I’m hoping that later this week we will have our full camp cd from the summer posted for (free) download, will link to that when it happens.  Finally, I have also been engaged in a few larger writing projects.  Am waiting to here back about a paper proposal for a conference on hermeneutics at the University of Hawaii (nerd vacation!!).  Have also been working on (and have almost finished) a shorter article responding to what I think is an excellent call by Ross Douthat for a “religious justification” for the existence of Christianity, whether on the “liberal” or “conservative” side of the political spectrum.  More on that soon.

In the political vein, since I am an avid follower and armchair analyst of political news and it is Tuesday, we are going to start something of a new tradition on this blog.  Each week I plan to put up an electoral college map as if the election were being held today and offer a little bit of analysis.  Here is this week’s map:

 

I have based this on the most up-to-date polling info available on Real Clear Politics but using my own rubric for determining how to label states:

  • Candidate has 20 pt or greater lead in a state:  “Solid”
  • Candidate has between 10 and 20 pt lead in a state:  “Likely”
  • Candidate has between a 5 and 10 pt lead in a state:  “Leans”
  • Candidates are polling within 5 points of one another in a state:  “toss up” or “too close to call.”

Of the states that are “too close to call” Obama has a slight edge in the polls in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin.  So assuming that panned out and the election was held today, Obama would win the electoral college 332 to 206.  In comparison with the RCP average of national polls which currently has Obama up 47 to 45, the electoral college percentage win would be 62 to 38.

Caveat:  the label “if the election was held today” is a bit misleading because most of the polling data trails the news.  Thus, the data we have right now doesn’t measure fully the impact of Romney’s announcement of Ryan as his running mate, for instance.  If anything, Ryan is likely to solidify Romney’s support in the South and could also put at least Wisconsin (and maybe Iowa and Ohio) into Romney’s column.  As I read the landscape, that is still not enough for a Romney win, but could significantly narrow the gap.

So that’s where we stand right now.  More on this next week and more posts on many other things to come as well!

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