Barack Obama has erased traditional Republican advantages in four key bellwether counties that President George W. Bush won in 2000 and 2004, according to a new Politico/InsiderAdvantage survey. Each county is critical to the outcome in the battleground state where it is located.
In Reno, Nevada’s Washoe County, Obama leads McCain by a 46-45 percent margin, with six percent undecided. Obama posts a wider 50-44 percent lead with five percent undecided in Raleigh, North Carolina’s Wake County, and another 6-point lead in Hillsborough County, Fla., where Tampa is located. There, he edges McCain 47-41 percent, with 11 percent undecided.
Among the four counties tested, McCain leads in only one: Jefferson County, Colo., a populous Denver suburb. McCain is ahead there by a margin of 45-43 percent, with eight percent undecided.
At first glance, these Politico/InsiderAdvantage numbers might not look so troubling for McCain, who trailed Obama by 10 points in an ABC/Washington Post national survey, released Monday.
But these four counties are crucial battlegrounds in four of the most competitive states in the presidential race. In recent years, the Republican path to the White House has run through these areas.