Until 2000, it hadn't happened in more than 100 years, but plugged-in observers from both parties see a distinct possibility of Barack Obama winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College -- and with it the presidency -- to John McCain.
Here's the scenario: Obama racks up huge margins among the increasingly affluent, highly educated and liberal coastal states, while a significant increase in turnout among black voters allows him to compete -- but not to win -- in the South. Meanwhile, McCain wins solidly Republican states such Texas and Georgia by significantly smaller margins than Bush's in 2004 and ekes out narrow victories in places such as North Carolina, which Bush won by 12 points but Rasmussen presently shows as a tossup, and Indiana, which Bush won by 21 points but McCain presently leads by just 11.
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