New Hues for the Electoral Map: The 10 States of American Politics 2008

Dividing the U.S. into Red and Blue states or, more traditionally, into geographic regions (South, Northeast, Midwest and West) capture the country's true political differences?

Robert David Sullivan of Beyond Red & Blue doesn't think so.

In Beyond Red and Blue: The 10 States of American Politics 2008, Sullivan presents an alternative model in which the nation's counties are assigned to 10 distinct states based on their history and presidential voting patterns since 1948.

The 10 States include: Upper Coasts, Chippewa, Northeast Corridor, South Coast, Cumberland, Southern Inland, Comanche, Mega-Chicago, El Norte and Frontier.

According to Sullivan's research, no one has been elected president without carrying at least five of these "states". So how do today's candidates fare in their quest to capture a majority?

As per recent polls, Sullivan sees Obama's situation quite favorably:

This year Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, seems to be focused on three goals: increase John Kerry’s narrow 2004 margin in the Latino-heavy region of El Norte (with the goal of winning Colorado and New Mexico and becoming competitive in Florida); erase the Republican Party’s customary solid lead in South Coast (winning Virginia and possibly North Carolina, plus going over the top in Florida); and reduce the Democrats’ often-huge deficit in Cumberland (allowing Obama to take Ohio and possibly Indiana).
In contrast, John McCain's path appears more daunting, which is why he and Palin are spending so much time in Ohio and Pennsylvania:

John McCain, has only one viable strategy to counteract any Electoral College gains by Obama. He must capture Chippewa, which narrowly went for Kerry last time, to have a chance of winning the electoral votes of Michigan, Pennsylvania and possibly Minnesota and Wisconsin.
New Hues for the Electoral Map
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America's 10 political regions redefined