However, even with the massive headwinds against him he only lost key, winnable states like Florida/Indiana/North Carolina/one Nebraska vote, by under 3% with Ohio (under 5%) and Virginia being a bit further out but winnable under normal circumstances as President Bush showed-a total of 87 Electoral college votes.The leftist nonsense that somehow Sarah Palin cost McCain the election has been exploded by numerous (and leftist) post election studies. If we take out the unprecedented in modern times economic collapse and the Bush legacy, how much better are President Obama and Mitt Romney doing at this point?
If the states which could easily have been won by McCain/Palin i.e. under the 3% loss ceiling, and see the others as competitive, the McCain/Palin total would have been 260 electoral votes-just 10 short of the 270 required. Given the Bush years legacy it would seem unlikely that McCain would have won, but he would have come close, and without Palin it would have been unlikely he would have energized his campaign to have even reached the 260 vote high point.
As for where we are now-is Romney, after a massive jump in support following the first debate, doing that much better than McCain would have done without the economic crisis just before the election? Based on the latest polls (with Virginia and Colorado being a judgement call) it doesn't look like it. Romney would have 257 EC votes (and bear in mind that with population shifts there is a net gain of 6 EC votes to the GOP states) thus, in this scenario he is doing no better, in fact worse, than McCain/Palin.