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Conventional wisdom holds that this is a good year to be a Democratic presidential candidate. And many polls say that at least at this moment in time, either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama would get more votes nationally than Republican John McCain.

But The Politico writes this morning that “many top GOP strategists believe (McCain) can defeat Barack Obama — and by a margin exceeding President Bush’s Electoral College victory in 2004.”

Politico‘s David Paul Kuhn reports that:

Some Republican strategists can envision a scenario in which Obama wins the popular vote but loses in the Electoral College — he might galvanize Southern black turnout, for example, but still fail to switch a state in the region.

Among the 10 strategists interviewed by Politico for this story, there was near-uniform belief that had any other Republican been nominated, the party’s prospects in November would be nil. …

The case they make for a comfortable McCain win is not beyond reason. Begin with the 2004 electoral map. Add Iowa and Colorado to Obama’s side, since both are considered states Obama could pick off. Then count McCain victories in New Hampshire and Michigan, two states where McCain is competitive. In this scenario, McCain wins the Electoral College 291-246, a larger margin than Bush four years ago.

If Obama managed only to win Iowa from Republicans and McCain managed only to win Pennsylvania, McCain would still win by a much greater margin than Bush — 300-237.

Meanwhile, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s reference yesterday to Robert Kennedy’s assassination during comments she was making about other nomination battles that have stretched into June continues to make for lots of headlines and commentary. Here are a few:

The Washington Post — “Hillary Clinton raises the specter of the unspeakable.”

New York Post — “She said what?”

Countdown with Keith Olbermann — “You actually invoked a nightmare!”

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