I THINK THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING…. Obama appears to have successfully flipped Ohio and New Mexico, which combine for 25 electoral votes. Iowa has just been called for Obama as well. That brings the total to 32.

As a mathematical issue, this means McCain, if he’s going to win, has to win some blue states.

I’m looking at the blue states that have not yet been called, and there are four left: California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. That’s it. Period. If McCain doesn’t win one of these four, he loses the race. End of story.

Not to belabor the point, but there are some key states we’re watching — Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri — but McCain can win all of them and lose the race.

If McCain doesn’t win California, Oregon, Washington, or Hawaii, this contest is over, regardless of what happens in any other state.

Democrats have banked a lot of emotional insurance over the past several months, afraid to be optimistic. At this point, unless the networks announce that they were wrong about Ohio, Barack Obama will be the President-Elect of the United States in a couple of hours.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.