The Pennsylvania Pivot: Closeness of Race in PA Proves President Obama is in Trouble

Bookmark and Share While many polls and the members of the media reading them have led us to believe that this Tuesday’s presidential election is going to be one of the closest in history, what we are witnessing is probably the most misleading narrative since the Chicago Daily Tribune got caught touting the headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” even though the results were actually the other way around.

Back in 1948, the tables were reversed though.  As that election approached, Newsweek polled 50 key political journalists on which candidate they thought would win.  That October 11th  issue of  Newsweek reported that all 50 of those journalist covering the election believed Dewey would win.

On Election Day, the polls indicated that President Truman had cut in to Dewey’s lead significantly.  Still though,  most all media sources continued to believe that second time Republican presidential nominee, New York Governor  Thomas Dewey, would win by a landslide.   Then came election night.

As results poured in, despite  the fact that Truman was ahead in the popular vote, broadcast journalists were still convinced that Governor Dewey was going to win the presidency in the Electoral College. It wasn’t until 4:00 am the next morning that Truman’s victory became an undeniable conclusion.  Then at 10:14 am, Governor Dewey conceded the election to President Truman.

64 years later a similar surprise is in the works and no place is that more evident than in Pennsylvania.

While White House 2012 continues to project that Barack Obama will ultimately win the Keystone State, the race in Pennsylvania is proving to be increasingly close.  A few weeks ago, Pennsylvania was not in play.  As was the case with much of  of the rest of the Northeast, Pennsylvania was so solidly behind the President  that neither President Obama that neither he nor Mitt Romney spent much time or money on campaigning in the state.  But ever since the first presidential debate, an undeniable tide started sweeping the nation.  For Barack Obama it is a receding tide that is sweeping his reelection hopes out to sea.  For Mitt Romney it’s a rising tide that is lifting his electoral boat high on the seas as a gentle breeze fills his sails and propels him to victory.  That tide is so high that now only hours before Election Day, the once dark blue state of Pennsylvania is purple with increasing flashes of red showing through.

Still, the Obama campaign would like us to believe that this is not true.  Instead they would rather we ignore the fact that a little more than a month ago President Obama held practically a ten pont percent lead over Mitt Romney but now, two days before the election, that lead is anywhere from 4 percentage points to non-existent as some polls have the race a tie in Pennsylvania.  To help convince us that this disappearance of the President’s lead is not real, Obama surrogates are calling Romney’s recent decision to campaign  in Pennsylvania an act of desperation.  Chief Obama strategist David Axelrod claims that it is a last ditch attempt by Romney to find electoral votes in Pennsylvania because he get find them in places like Ohio, Florida, or Virginia.

Other Obama surrogates claim that Romney’s campaign activity in Pennsylvania is all a head fake designed to force President Obama to waste time and money in a state in Pennsylvania instead of a state like Iowa or Wisconsin or Colorado.

Either way the Obama-Biden ticket wants to paint Romney’s new focus on Pennsylvania, they’re wrong.  If they were right, Mitt Romney would not be investing money in a new ad buy there and he would not be spending valuable and increasingly rare time campaigning there.  And if the Obama-Biden ticket was so sure that they were winning Pennsylvania, they would not be increasing their own ad buys in the state and they would not be have the campaign’s chief surrogate, former President Bill Clinton, making 4 campaign stops in Pennsylvania on the day before the election.

The truth is that Mitt Romney is not trying to get Pennsylvania’s electoral votes because he needs to make up for his inability to get them from other states.  He is campaigning in Pennsylvania because the polls show that his electoral map has expanded and that the opportunity to win more states have increased.  At the same time, just the opposite has occurred for President Obama.  In fact, President Obama’s shrinking electoral map has made Pennsylvania one of three state’s that he cannot win reelection without.

The other two must wins for the Obama-Biden ticket are Ohio and Michigan.

As shown in the chart below, White House 2012’s election projection finds that based upon the likely results in other states, President Obama has only 3 paths to victory and each of those 3 combinations requires winning Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.

Unfortunately for the President, as Election Day approaches not only is he finding himself having to fight for Pennsylvania, he continues to see himself in a tight race in Ohio and in Michigan, the third state that is a must win for him, the Obama-Biden ticket is also seeing the race tighten up.

So despite claims to contrary by Team Obama, the pivot to Pennsylvania in the closing days of the election reflects a real shift in the election.  Mitt Romney is still unlikely to win the state, but the mere fact that President Obama is threatened there means that he is in trouble.  It also means that just as was the case in 1948, the potential for some big surprises in the form of an electoral landslide for Romney that few others aside from Dick Morris, Michael Barone, and White House 2012, have predicted.

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Guide For Watching Election Night Results

   Bookmark and Share  The following is a schedule of the times that polls close in each of the states and the District of Columbia.  Keep in mind that many states are in between time zones.  This means that polls in certain parts of these states close an hour earlier than in other portions of each state.  However; the networks and their cable affiliates can not by law, officially call a state for any candidate until all the polls in that state have closed.  The times indicated here reflect the time when all polling sites in each state have officially closed.

In addition to these closing times, White House 2012 offers a timeline which includes when each state will probably be projected for Governor Romney or President Obama and it also provides an estimated running total of the Electoral College vote that each candidate probably will have at the top and bottom of each hour.

Throughout the day, the networks will be conducting exit polls.  By law they cannot reveal what the results of these polls are.  However; once voting has stopped, the networks can start using these exit polls to make their projections.  If there exit polls did not show a clear a winner in a state, that state may not be called right away.  In this election, expect that to be the case in several states.  The following timeline offers a prediction of approximately when each state will be called.

Of course there is a very good possibility that in several states, a combination of irregularities and extremely close vote totals could prohibit them from being projected for hours, days or even weeks.  If the race is actually as close  as we are being led to believe by the mainstream media in places like Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, and Ohio, it could be a long night.  However, Wh12 believes that most states will be called promptly and that the longest delay we may see in the official projection of a state will be an hour or an hour and a half.  And the two most likely states for such a delay are Ohio and Wisconsin, where the election could actually be as tight as predicted.

7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

At 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the first 6 states and 60 electoral votes in the presidential election could be called.  Unless there is a surprise result in the works, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and South Carolina should quickly be called for Governor Romney, while Vermont is quickly called for President Obama.   Media outlets probably will not be quick to call Virginia.  That may not happen till some time around 8:00 pm.  But if the official returns show Romney with a lead in certain key districts within Virginia and their exit polls showed similar trends throughout the state, Virginia could be called relatively quickly.  If it is, expect it to be  a very good sign of who will win the election.  An early projection for one candidate or the other here would be a good sign that whoever won is running much stronger than expected, not just in Virginia but nationally as well.

Obama 3 / Romney 44+ (not including Virginia)

Possible Surprises:

If Virginia is called for Romney within a half an hour of 7:00, it would be a clear indication that the race in Virginia was not quite as close as some expected and a sign of just how inaccurate polling has been due to their use of 2008 turnout models, a decision which significantly underestimates Romney’s strength.  It would also be a sure sign that Romney is probably doing far better nationally than most analysts thought possible.

7:30 pm Eastern Standard Time:

On the half hour, polls close in North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio.  Expect West Virginia to be called for Romney about one second after the polls close there.  North Carolina may take a little longer.  If it is called before 8:00 pm, that will be another sign of a strong night for Romney.

Obama 3 / Romney 49+ (not including Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio)

The Ohio Factor:

Based upon White House 2012’s analysis and projection, if Romney wins Ohio he is certain to win the election.  If he does not win Ohio, Romney still has a good chance pulling a victory off.  That said, unless exit polling from throughout the day indicates a much stronger than expected show of support for one candidate or the other, the networks are not likely to call Ohio for at least an hour.

If Ohio is called early for Obama, it could be a sign that Romney is underperforming.  It would also indicate that Obama may be benefiting from a last minute surge that could possibly play out in other battleground states in the region, such as Iowa and Wisconsin.

If Ohio is called early for Romney, start playing Hail to the Chief for him.  Not only would a quick call of Ohio for Romney  mean that he is running much stronger than he was expected in Ohio but nationally as well.  Furthermore, according to the White House 2012 analysis, President Obama can not win the Electoral College vote without Ohio in his column.

8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

At 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, the results of 17 states and 172 electoral votes are to be determined.  The only surprises that could possibly occur within this set of poll closings exists in Florida, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

Obama 99 / Romney 92+ (not including Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio)

Pennsylvania:

In Pennsylvania the surprise could be that it is not called for President Obama within a half hour of 8:00 pm.  If it is not called for the President by 8:30 pm, it will be another sign that the election is much tighter than anticipated in a state that should be solidly behind the President, and that he is in trouble.  While Pennsylvania should ultimately go for President Obama, in the small outside chance that it goes to Romney, the election will over and so is the presidency of Barack Obama. Given the certainty in how the bulk of other states are going, it is impossible for Barack Obama to reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to win reelection without Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes in his column.

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire is suppose to be close and while most polls give President Obama a slim lead there, White House 2012 is confident that these polls are over-estimating Democrat turnout by incorporating the 2008 turnout models into their 2012 polls.  This is a main reason why WH12 believes Governor Romney will ultimately win New Hampshire.  The only surprise here will be whether or not New Hampshire is called quickly for Romney.  If Romney is having a better night than expected, New Hampshire will be called for him within 15 or 20 minutes.  If President Obama happens to win New Hampshire, all this will actually mean is that Romney may not win with the electoral landslide that WH12 anticipates.

Florida:

Here again, an early call for either Romney or Obama will be quite telling.  In addition to proving the race is not as close as we have been led to believe, if it goes to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is in trouble.  If it goes to Romney, the night is not over, but the fat lady will be warming her vocal chords up to offer a a final musical tribute the Obama years.  The only real surprise in Florida will be whether or not it is called for Romney early.  If  Florida is called for Romney within a half hour of polls closing, consider that to be further indication of Romney  outperforming  expectations nationally and a good sign that he will be President-Elect before the night is over.

Late Call in North Carolina and Virginia:

During the  8 o’clock hour, if North Carolina and Virginia had not yet be called for Romney, they will be.  If Florida, Ohio and New Hampshire still have not been projected for either candidate, late projections for Romney in Virginia and North Carolina would bring his total electoral vote count to 120.  At this same point, President Obama will have 99 electoral votes.

Obama 99 / Romney 120+ (not counting Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio)

8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time:

No race here.  Arkansas should be called for the Romney-Ryan ticket before the clock hits 8:31 pm.

Obama 99 / Romney 126+ (not counting Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio)

Late Calls from Ohio, New Hampshire

Somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00 pm, unless exit polls indicated that Romney was running much stronger than expected and the networks already called them, Ohio and New Hampshire should be projected for Romney.

That would leave us with;

Obama 99 / Romney 148+  (not counting Florida)

9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

**Romney declared the winner sometime during this hour**

13 states and 153 electoral votes will be determined during the 9 o’clock hour.  60 of them are likely to go to president Obama and at least 83 will be won by Mitt Romney.

Obama 159 / Romney 231 (not including Florida and Wisconsin)

Watch Out For Wisconsin and Michigan:

Both of these states have long been considered solid blue states for the Obama-Biden ticket but in the closing days of the campaign they have become much closer than Democrats had anticipated.  White House 2012 believes Wisconsin will be won by Romney.  The big surprise here is may be whether or not it is called for Romney quickly.  A quick decision in Wisconsin for Romney’s will most likely mean that if he has not yet been declared the President-Elect, he will be within the hour.  If Barack Obama wins Wisconsin this may only mean that Romney is not winning a landslide victory in the Electoral College, but he will still be on track to winning.

Michigan should not be much of a contest.  While Romney may poll far better than most polls indicate, President Obama should still pull this state out in his favor.  Again a late call of Michigan for him means the election is too close for comfort for President Obama and that a sign that he is underperforming nationally.  A quick call of Michigan for President Obama simply means that Romney is still on target to reach the 270 votes he need to win the presidency.  If Michigan happens to be called for Mitt Romney, he will officially become the President-Elect.

Late Call in Florida and Wisconsin Puts Romney Over the Top

Florida may not be called until some point during the 9 o’clock hour, probably towards the top of the hour.  Exit polls may convince networks that his lead is strong enough to allow the networks to project Florida before 9:00 pm but if they haven’t they will now, and that will give Romney the 260 electors votes to the President’s 159.

At some point during this hour, Wisconsin will also be called.  If it goes to Romney as WH12 projects, that will give Romney 270 electoral votes and make him the President-Elect.

Obama 159 / Romney 270

10:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

Montana and Utah will be called quickly for Mitt Romney.  Nevada and Iowa may take a little longer to  but at some point during the 10 o’clock hour, expect all 4 states to go to Mitt and for Romney.

Obama 159 /Romney 291

11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

No surprises here and each state will be called quickly.

Obama 237 / Romney 298

12:00 am Eastern Standard Time

Alaska which Barack Obama has never been competitive in, goes for Romney and is called as soon as the polls close.

Obama 233 / Romney 305

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 White House 2012’s final Electoral College Projection

For a deatiled analysis visit here.

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Romney Projected to Win the Electoral College With 301 Votes to Obama’s 237

CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED ANALYSIS AND PROJECTION

Romney Holds Lead In Electoral College as Ohio Now Becomes Do or Die for the President

New analysis gives Romney a 53% chance to win while President Obama finds himself with a 44% chance to win. Meanwhile the newest analysis also shows that Ohio is do or die for the President while Wisconsin becomes a possible make or break state for Mitt Romney

White House 2012’s newest analysis of data, polls, trends, and circumstances, nationally and on the ground in individual states, continues to project Mitt Romney the winner of the presidential election.  While the closeness of the race in several states continues to make it impossible to say with absolute certainty that Romney will win the Electoral College vote, White House 2012’s analysis does currently project that at the very least, Romney will receive 285 electoral votes.  That is 15 more electors than he needs to defeat President Barack Obama who according to White House 2012’s prediction will walk away from Election Day with 253 electoral votes.

The states that are too close for comfort and continue to be responsible for  the uncertainty of the results in the Electoral College are, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Bookmark and Share Of these states, White House 2012 is currently projecting New Hampshire, Ohio, and Iowa to go to Mitt Romney, with President Obama taking Nevada and Wisconsin.  All other states are solidly behind one or the other candidate.  But the most dramatic conclusion gleamed from the information found in the analysis used to make this recent projection, is that if you consider Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin to be tossups, President Obama is left with 237 electoral votes and Romney holds 257 electoral votes.  This means that from among the remaining 5 tossup states the President has only three possible paths to victory.   Romney on the other hand has 5 possible paths to victory.

Making matters worse for the President is that this latest WH12 analysis sees a sharp turning of the tables on him.  Up till now, the narrative had been that Mitt Romney can’t win without Ohio.  This newest analysis shows just the opposite.

For President Obama, while he has three paths to victory… two less than Romney, each of one them requires that to win the election, the President must win Ohio.

For Mitt Romney, of the five routes to victory available to him, only one of them requires that he wins Ohio, and as seen in the graphic below, that path is the one which he needs only if he losses each of the other remaining tossup states.

Ultimately this means that the odds are now clearly in favor of Mitt Romney winning the election, hence the current White House 2012 electoral projection.  Based upon the winning combinations available to Obama and Romney, the President has a 44% chance of winning and Mitt Romney has a 53% chance of winning.  With less than two weeks to go before the election is held, this 9% upper hand held by Mitt Romney puts the Governor in a far better position than the President.  That is especially true given the fact that the momentum continues to be behind the Romney-Ryan ticket, not the Obama-Biden ticket.

Ohio Is Do or Die for the President

White House 2012 adds 2.2% to Mitt Romney’s final total in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.  This is a figure intended to compensate for the use of 2008 turnout models that are being used in establishing current poll results.  WH12’s formulas believes these models are under-counting Republican turnout by as much as 2.2%, hence the 2.2% added to Romney’s numbers that are ultimately figured in to White House 2012’s analysis.  Currently in Ohio, the Real Clear Politics average has President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by 2.1%. According to the WH12 formula, that means Romney is a head by a mere .01%, far too close for comfort for either candidate.  But the good news for Romney here is that the WH12 analyses now finds that whereas Ohio was once considered a must win for Romney, it is now just the opposite.  President Obama is the one who now can’t win reelection without Ohio.

Wisconsin could be make or break for Romney

While Romney now can easily win the White House without Ohio, if he doesn’t take Ohio, Wisconsin becomes the state he really needs to ensure victory.  Of the 5 paths to victory available to Mitt Romney, 3 include winning Wisconsin.  Only two of the available paths do not require Badger State victory.   So while the best way to ensure Romney of winning the election is by taking Ohio, if he can pull that off, a win in Wisconsin and either Iowa, New Hampshire, or Colorado will be enough to put Romney over the top.  If Ohio is not in the picture for Romney without Wisconsin, Romney must run the table on Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada and win all three of them.

That is possible but it points to the fact that strategically, Mitt Romney should really drop Paul Ryan in Wisconsin and have him campaign in every town, of every county in the state and use his favorite son status to deliver Wisconsin and provide the cushion the Romney-Ryan tickets needs in the Electoral College.

3% Chance of a tie in the Electoral College

Having Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin as tossup states leaves us with numeric equations that provides a 3% chance of their being a tie in the Electoral College

If this Electoral College result were to come to fruition, although there is truly no guarantee, Mitt Romney would most likely win the election in the House of Representatives where according to the constitution, in the case of a tie in the Electoral College, the election for President would ultimately go.  The House is largely expected to remain controlled by a majority of Republicans .  However, the election for Vice President is held in the Senate where Democrats are control.  At the moment, there is a good chance that Republicans can win at least a one seat majority in the Senate.  If that is so, a republican controlled Senate will elect Paul Ryan Vice President.  If Republicans fail to take control of the Senate, it is not likely but quite possible that Democrats will elect Joe Biden Vice President.

Potential for a Romney Landslide

While WH12’s currently projects Romney to win 285 electoral votes, with the closenes of the race in the five tossups states spoken about in the analusis and the momentum that is behind Romney, White House 2012 is looking at the potential for Romney to pull off a landslide win in the Electoral College that will rival the size of Bill Clinton’s lopsided total in the 1992 election.   In that matchup, Clinton won 370 electoral votes to Bush’s 168.  At the moment, WH12 to sees evidence that Romney may be on his way to a final 302 electoral votes to the President’s 236.

That includes a split in Maine’s electoral vote where some polls show Romney winning the 2nd Congressional District.  In Maine, Elecotrs are awarded by congressional districts, not on a statewide basis.

Furthermore; Wh12 sees the putside chance for Michigan to go to Romney.  That would bring his total Electoral College count to 318.

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Romney Still Winning the Election in the Electoral College But Wisconsin and New Hampshire Are Becoming Critically Important

Bookmark and Share   The latest White House 2012 analysis of polls, conditions, and circumstances in individual states projects a slightly smaller Electoral College vote total for Governor Mitt Romney than he had last week, but Romney still remains above the magic number of 270, that he needs to win in the Electoral College.

This week, WH12 has seen the battleground states of Iowa and Nevada taken out of Romney’s column and designated as toss-up states.  This switch has taken away 12 electoral votes from the Romney-Ryan ticket and brought  them from last week’s total of 291 electoral votes , to 279 electoral votes this week.  But as Mitt Romney sees 12 votes go from him to the undecided column, President Obama sees his previous Electoral College projection decrease by 10 votes as WH12 now takes Wisconsin out of the President’s column and classifies it as a toss-up state.  So President Obama now finds  his Electoral College vote drop from 247 last week, to 237 this week.

But the big story here ends up not being the new numbers projected in White House 2012’s analysis.  The real story here is the increasing importance that these numbers places on New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and probably most of all… Wisconsin.

Based upon WH12’s  current level of confidence in Mitt Romney having solid leads in all his base states* and strong leads in the once very competitive states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, combined with our increasing confidence in Romney’s ability to at least squeak out a win in Ohio, what we find ourselves with here is a race that really hinges upon Romney’s need to win any combination of New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and or Wisconsin.

With former toss-up states like Colorado, Virginia, and Florida projected to be solidly behind Romney, as seen in the map below, all the Romney-Ryan tickets needs to secure victory is Ohio.    With Romney’s base states, and locks on the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina,and Virginia, if Romney can squeak by in Ohio, he can lose New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and  Wisconsin and still win with 5 more electoral votes than he needs to secure the presidency.  That would produce an electoral vote of 275 for Romney, to 263 for President Obama.

But Ohio is too close for comfort for Romney to count on.  So the Romney-Ryan ticket must secure an optional path to victory to rely upon.  Based upon the current projection which gives Romney the battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Hampshire, ,  if President Obama wins Ohio, the only state that Romney needs is Wisconsin.   In that scenario, even if the Obama-Biden ticket won the remaining battleground states of Iowa and Nevada, Mitt would still win in the Electoral College with 271 electoral votes to Obama’s 267 electoral votes.

Without Ohio, this New Hampshire plus Wisconsin combination to victory for Romney is currently the best and most logical strategy to pursue.

In New Hampshire, the Romney-Ryan ticket is behind Obama-Biden by only approximately 1%.  That is well below the 2.2% margin of error that WH12’s projection formula adds to Romney’s numbers in an attempt to compensate for the erroneous turnout models that pollsters are using in their polls.  So by WH12’s standard, Romney is actually ahead of President Obama in New Hampshire by approximately 1.2%.    Then there is Wisconsin.

While Real Clear Politics has Obama ahead of Romney by approximately 2.8% in Wisconsin according to White House 2012 that is only a .06% lead for the President.  It is a lead so small that that it could easily by overcome.  Especially if its favorite son, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan,  focusses on Wisconsin during this last two weeks of the election. That is a point White House 2012 made last week in a post entitled  “Checkmating Obama with Wisconsin: A Romney Win in the Badger State Dooms Obama“.   Furthermore, Ryan’s focus on Wisconsin could also produce an overflow effect that impacts the close contest in Iowa which borders Wisconsin and possibly provide the margin of victory for the G.O.P. ticket there.

What this all means is that if projections that give Romney his base states and the critical battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, but he losses Ohio, the Romney-Ryan ticket can still win the election if they take Wisconsin and either New Hampshire, Iowa, or Nevada.   But under this situation, if Romney does not win Wisconsin,  Romney would have to win all three states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada.

So it becomes clear to us that while several states remain quite important in this election, if Mitt Romney’s momentum  continues to hold, Wisconsin and New Hampshire may be the states that offer him the best assurance of a victory in the Electoral College. Especially if Ohio remains as tight as it currently is and goes down to the wire as a state so close that its results might not be known until days or even weeks after they are litigated in the courts.  However, the outcome of such litigation would be meaningless  if Romney can put New Hampshire and Wisconsin safely in his final Electoral College vote total.

In the meantime, while White House 2012’s current projection classifies 22 electoral votes as toss-ups, no matter which way they ultimately go, the most Barack Obama could get is 259 electoral votes.  That would leave and Romney with at least 20 more electoral votes than Obama and nine more than Romney needs to win in the Electoral College.

Meanwhile, if Barack Obama fails to curtail the Romentum that we currently see, it won’t be long before White House 2012 finds itself issuing the very best but still realistic projected outcome that Mitt Romney could see.  That projection may end up with a far more lopsided Electoral College than anyone is expecting.  As seen in the map below, existing trends may soon establish a projection that looks like th e map below.  It’s a Romney led Electoral College result of of 302 electoral votes to 236 electoral votes.

Right now, that is the best case scenario for Romney but if current trends to continue, it is the result we are most likely to see.  It is also a result that would include something new… the splitting of Maine’s electoral vote between Romney and Obama.  Maine, like Nebraska splits their electoral vote between their congressional districts.  Some recent polling has shown that in  Maine’s second congressional district, Romney was leading Obama 49 to 44%.  If that holds up, it would be the first time Maine ever actually split it’s electoral vote.  And it would also give Romney at least 1 electoral vote from a region of the country that Romney has been all but written off in.

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Checkmating Obama with Wisconsin: A Romney Win in the Badger State Dooms Obama

   Bookmark and Share  Mitt Romney’s continued rise in the polls has created a new narrative that continues to offer an almost infinitesimal number of possible outcomes in the Electoral College but at the same time it is increasing the number of realistic scenarios in which Romney can win and the President can lose .  Such is the reality of a race which since the first presidential debate some two weeks ago, has seen Mitt Romney turn the tables on President Obama in several key battleground states… specifically Virginia, Florida, and Ohio.  With Romney now practically even with or ahead of Obama in those states, the Romney-Ryan ticket has momentum behind them and is quickly changing electoral the game board by  forcing the Obama-Biden ticket to play catch-up for the first time in this general election.

These developments are probably most pronounced in two states which have up till now been considered solid Obama states…  Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In the case of Pennsylvania no Democrat has won the White House without it since 1948 when the Keystone State supported Republican New York Governor Thomas Dewey over President Harry Truman.  In many ways it has become for Democrats what Ohio is for a Republicans. But in recent days, Romney has significantly reduced the size of the President’s lead in Pennsylvania practically in a half.   It is a trend that the Obama-Biden campaign cannot ignore, especially since Mitt romney has not yet been aggressively campaiging for Pennsylvania or spending much money in the state.

Without Pennsylvania, assuming that Romney has Virginia and Florida, an assumption that is increasingly likely, President Obama must win the remaining battleground states of Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  That is a tall order given that the White House 2012 analysis currently projects five of those seven states to be going for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Making matters worse for the President is the fact that one of those states that the Obama-Biden campaign must win if he loses Pennsylvania, is Wisconsin, a state that he is finding even more trouble in than he is finding in Pennsylvania.

Wisconsin has been trending Republican at least since 2010 when the state elected a Republican Governor and rejected liberal icon Russ Feingold by electing a Republican T.E.A movement-backed to replace Feingold in the U.S. Senate.  Then, earlier this year,  Wisconsin became ground zero in a recent union-based recall election that pitted the entitlement mentality of the left against the fiscal responsibility mentality of the right.  In that recall election, the left lost by an even bigger even margins than they did in 2010.

It is along with this troublesome backdrop that President Obama now finds his once comfortable lead in the Badger state slipping to an uncomfortable 2.0% lead.  Add to that the fact that Romney’s running mate hails from Wisconsin and that Romney is seeing his numbers rising across the board in every state and among most all voting blocs, including independents, women and Hispanics, and what you have is an Obama-Biden reelection campaign that is struggling to remain competitive in the Electoral College.

But let us not get ahead of ourselves.  While Romney is certainly currently riding a mild surge in polls, it is no tidal wave and at the moment short of that tidal, Pennsylvania is still likely to go blue for the President.  And while Virginia and Florida are still likely to go for Romney, the Obama-Biden ticket has a good chance of taking Ohio.  A win there by the President would leave Romney with only 11 paths to victory… 11 very viable and realistic paths.  On the flip side, a loss by the President in Pennsylvania, leaves him with approximately half as many realistic paths to victory.  Some of those paths include winning a combination of Virginia, Florida, and or Ohio with a mix of other states that include Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and New Hampshire.  But  most important here is that without Ohio, Virginia and Florida,  every possible path to the 270 Electoral College votes that the President needs to wins, includes both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

What All Means;

For President Obama this means he has less and less breathing room in these last three weeks of the campaign.   It means that states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin which he is still leading in, will require him to divert much needed time, money, and resources  away from states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, where a win by the President in any one of those states would be a significant blow to Romney.

For Governor Romney this means, the mountain before him remains treacherous, but if he can maintain his current pace the top of the mountain, the top is certainly within his reach.  So Romney must continue to wage an extremely successful campaign in Florida, Virginia, Ohio.  But the latest numbers indicate that Romney should also look at Pennsylvania where even though he is not likely to win, if he invests time and money there, he will forced to President Obama to reroute resources to from Ohio and Florida in an attempt to keep Pennsylvania blue.   But at the same time Romney must also now begin to really target Wisconsin.  Recent history supports facts that show the state is open to the fiscal responsibility message of the G.O.P. and Mitt Romney.  And with Wisconsin being a state that Paul Ryan is from and still very popular in, combined with the polls showing that the race is already tight there, Wisconsin is a prime state for the Romney-Ryan ticket to pick off from the President.  It is also a state that would make it nearly impossible for the President to win the election without.

So for Mitt Romney, this means it’s time to send Paul Ryan home.  Let Paul Ryan do a non-stop tour of every county and town in Wisconsin.  If Romney can keep up his own end of the deal in Virginia and Florida, by denying the Obama-Biden ticket a win Wisconsin, Romney could win the election just by taking a combination of Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada.  And that is without winning Ohio.  With Wisconsin painted red, a win in Ohio would put Mitt Romney over the top even if he lost Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.

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Romney Increases Lead in White House 2012 Electoral College Projection

   Bookmark and Share In what is now a verifiable trend, White House 2012’s newest Electoral College projection has increased the size of Mitt Romney’s lead in the Electoral College over President Obama for the third time in a row.  In the previous projection, after forecasting Ohio for Romney for the first time, New Hampshire and Nevada where switched from Romney to Obama.  This latest forecast now places both of those states back in Mitt Romney’s column, increasing Romney’s lead in the Electoral College by a combined total of 10 electors.  This now puts Romney’s Electoral College count at 291 to the President’s 247.

According to the White House 2012 formula, Nevada and New Hampshire are still very competitive and not solidly in Romney’s camp.  The same goes for Iowa and Ohio where WH12 considers the Romney-Ryan ticket to be currently holding a slim but still growing lead. But the most significant development in the latest forecast model is that the apparent bounce Romney received in the wake of his first debate, is now proving to be a definite trend.  More importantly, it is a trend that is revealing itself to be so pronounced that it has forced White House 2012 to now add three more states to our battleground map… Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

That is a dramatic development. Especially in the case of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is to Barack Obama what Ohio is to Mitt Romney.  Without Pennsylvania solidly in the Obama-Biden column, the Democrat ticket finds itself with significantly fewer paths to victory in the Electoral College.  This is a switch from the narrative that had defined Romney’s need to win Ohio.  No Republican has ever won the White House without it.   If Romney can’t win Ohio, he will find significantly fewer ways to accumulate the 270 electors needed to win.  White House 2012 has however stipulated that we are sure Romney can win without Ohio and in fact originally projected him to do so.  But recently polling and other factors have now turned the tables and are forcing the President to have to focus us on his m.

While White House 2012 still projects Pennsylvania to go for the President, if current trends continue, that can quickly change.  In the meantime White House 2012 is forced to now make Pennsylvania a battleground state and in what is turning out to be continued trend that is putting the President’s campaign in a more defensive posture when it comes to the electoral map, White House 2012 has also moved Wisconsin and Michigan to battleground status.

Of these three new battlegrounds, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are most profound.

Without them, President Obama must win Ohio and various combinations of other states that include such states as Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and/or Colorado.

While many factors will continue to change future projections, the analysis behind this forecast is most notable for the conclusion that at the moment, the Romney-Ryan ticket is turning the tables in the Electoral College and forcing the Obama-Biden ticket to take a more defensive electoral strategy.  It is forcing the Obama campaign to spend time and much needed resources and money in state’s that at this point in time, they had hoped were in the bag.  Meanwhile, the need to reinforce his standing in places like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and even Michigan, is taking time and money away from President Obama’s ability to work on winning other important states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and Colorado.

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Romney’s Rosy But Bumpy Road To Victory

   Bookmark and Share  According to most of the latest data made available to the public through the mainstream media, there is no denying that President Obama holds an upper hand in his reelection effort. In fact, according to most pundits, pollsters, and network political prognosticators, President Obama is almost certain to be reelected.  However, given a number of factors including the depth and duration of our dire economic condition, a proliferation of polls that are based on a 2008 voter turnout model which overestimates the enthusiasm that exists for President Obama in 2012, and a growing trend toward Mitt Romney among the critical independent voting bloc , I am not convinced that this election can be called for President Obama just yet.

It’s The Economy Stupid! Maybe?

As for the economy, now over 5 years since the recession began, over 25 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed  and despite approximately $800 billion in Obama deficit spending meant to stimulate the economy, the government’s official but undercounted unemployment rate remains above 8.0%  for 43 consecutive months.  And at the same time, all other economic indicators remain so sluggish or stagnant that it is clear that our  job growth and overall economic growth fails to even keep pace with the existing population growth rate.  Yet regardless of these glaring facts, polls would have us believe that a majority of Americans do not hold this worst economy since the Great Depression against President  Obama.  It is a conclusion which I find hard to fathom.  Especially given that if reelected to another term, the only solution President Obama seems to be offering is more of the very same Keynesian, deficit spending mentality which has sustained and prolonged the worst economic recovery in American history.  Still though,  even with history as a guide, I can not state for sure that a majority of Americans will blame the poor economy on the President.  During the Great Depression, voters did not blame FDR for the very slow recovery he commanded over, but in 1980 angry voters did hold Jimmy Carter responsible for inflation, stagflation, unemployment, and the misery index which he presided over.

The optimist in me wants to believe that most Americans do believe that President Obama should be held accountable for his failing economic policies which seem to lack the ability to turn the economy around.  However, the pessimist in me fears that the socialist tendencies promoted for generations through FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society, and now BHO’s blatant focus on the redistribution of wealth, have finally been accepted by a majority of Americans as the new norm… a norm that has a majority of Americans proudly dependent upon government.  It is a mentality demonstrated in the clip below.

If a majority of voters agree with that woman, then Barack Obama will be a two term President.  But I am not yet ready to believe that the views held by the slave to government in that video clip are the views held by most respectable and  learned American voters.

Slanted Polls and the Blatant Media Bias

The second area of doubt that I have regarding the certainty of a successful reelection effort by President Obama is based upon the polls and the interpretations of those polls being offered to voters by the mainstream media.

Now to be clear, I am convinced that most reputable polling outfits want to be accurate in their polls.  Although the current regime in Washington, D.C. finds the free market to be an enemy of the people, the free market still drives entrepreneurs, even the political entrepreneur who wishes to make a buck by gauging the sentiments of voters.  That stated, it behooves pollsters who want to be in demand in the future to get things right in the 2012 election.  So I cannot in good conscience totally discount all the current polls that are out there.  But I can and do disagree with the decision by most pollsters to rely on the 2008 turnout model which tends to overstate the strength of President Obama’s support.

I am of the opinion that in 2012, a more accurate turnout model to base this election on is the turnout seen in 2010.  I see little reason to believe that the massive anti-Obama sentiment which existed in the 2010 midterm elections does not continue to exist in 2012.  In my view even those voters who are not quite excited by Mitt Romney will still be coming out to cast their ballot for Mitt if for no other reason than to vote against President Obama.

Independent Voters

Combine those two factors with the lack of appropriate reporting regarding the fact that the all important independent vote seems to be breaking for Mitt Romney by as much as 14 to 20 percent and I believe that the Romney-Ryan ticket is on the verge of establishing an Election Day lead over  the Obama-Biden ticket.

While an undeniably polarized electorate consisting of the 94% of voters who are firmly planted on one side of the political and ideological spectrum or the other make it certain that states like California and New York will be voting for Obama while states like Missouri and Texas will be going for Romney, the six percent of the undecided independent voters in the middle will make all the difference in the remaining states that are toss-ups… particularly Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hamphire, Nevada, and Virginia.  If this pro-Romney trend among independent voters continues, and I believe it will, each of those states will cast their lot with the Romney-Ryan ticket.

The Results

I cautiously arrive at that conclusion through a combination of factors that include polling, reporting, and my own judgments and political instincts regarding all the available data that could and should be reasonably factored in the electoral equation.  At the moment though, even my own unique formula finds Mitt Romney at a disadvantage.   Using the Real Clear Politics average of polls in six of the seven current toss ups states, as a rule of thumb, I have adjusted for the overestimated Democrat turnout in the polls by giving Mitt Romney the benefit of the average margin of error in the Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Virginia.  In those six states, the average margin of error is 3.7%.   Ohio and North Carolina are also considered to be tossups  however, I believe North Carolina is a reliable state for Romney and that Ohio may be out of Romney’s reach at this point.  Therefore; I have taken both of those states out of the toss-up category.

According to my formula, the adjusted 3.7% margin for Mitt Romney would swing Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Virginia to Romney, giving him a total of 267 electoral votes.  At the moment though, President Obama holds an RCP average lead over Romney in Nevada that stands at 4.%.  That is 0.3% outside of the existing margin of error which I give to Romney.  Unless Romney closes the gap, President Obama would win Nevada and reelection to the presidency with a total of 271 electoral votes… one more than needed.  However, given the closeness of the race in  Nevada and the momentum Mitt Romney has among independent voters, I see the Golden State as being quite winnable for Romney.  If that is the case Romney will defeat President Obama in the race for President with 273 electoral votes to Obama’s 265 electoral votes.

The Problem(s) Produced By a Race That is Too Close For Comfort

As politically divided as Americans are in 2012, a very close election result is fraught with problems that could trigger historic constitutional measures into action and lead to a level of discourse not seen since the Bush v. Gore case in 2000.

Thanks to the already incredibly polarized electorate and the left’s continued desire to exact revenge for the Supreme Court decision that thew the election to George W. Bush in 2000, if the presidential election turns out to be as close as it seems to be, we could easily another case of a Republican winning the White House by losing the popular vote but winning the Electoral College vote.   The ensuing tensions from such a result could reignite a popular backlash that will lead to varying degrees of civil unrest that have the potential to linger on for at the very least, a few months and possibly spark a very real attempt to do away with the Electoral College… a cause that would consume the national agenda for quite some while.

With extraordinarily large pluralities being produced for President Obama in some of the most densely populated states in the nation, i.e.: California and New York, it is quite likely that much smaller pluralities for Romney from less populated states such as Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, and Wyoming, will not be enough for the Romney-Ryan ticket to overcome the total popular vote that the Obama-Biden ticket receives but could easily allow the Romney-Ryan ticket to reach the 270 votes required to win the presidency in the Electoral College.

Making matters worse, is the fact that if the election is actually as close as the above projection indicates, in  addition to Romney losing the popular vote but winning the election in the Electoral College, if each state goes the way I predict but New Hampshire happens to go for Barack Obama instead of Mitt Romney, there would be a 269 to 269 vote tie in the Electoral College and with both candidates 1 elector short of the 270 needed to win the presidency, the election would be forced into the House of Representatives.  In that event, thanks to a likely makeup of each state’s congressional delegation, Republicans would have control in at least 26 states, enough to assure a Romney victory.  A result that will please conservatives like myself but which will send liberals running through the streets screaming.

Those are just some of the situations that could drag this election out if it remains as close as current data indicates.

But there still remains the possibility that this election will not be as close as we are led to believe it is.

With less than five weeks remaining, I contend that Mitt Romney will surprise many with a well coordinated and highly targeted campaign that will have the ability to attract the type of heavy Republican turnout that we saw in 2010.  Of course being a presidential election year, the Democrat turnout will be much higher than it was in 2010 and that will compensate a bit for the wide gap that existed in 2010, it will not be enough to overcome the anti-Obama sentiment that I believe still exists.  So much so that Romney may even be able to actually make a run at winning a state like Wisconsin and possibly also avoid becoming the first Republican to win  the White House without Ohio.  Unfortunately I do not yet see Romney winning either of those states yet though.

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State By State Approval Ratings Spell Disaster For Obama Relection Bid

Bookmark and Share   Gallup recently released their annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers and the results paint several pretty dismal pictures for the President, pictures that reflects the overall dismal economic condition that that the nation is in.
According to the analysis the President received a plurality of approval  from residents of only the District of Columbia and 10 states, while his job approval was below 50% in the remaining forty states.   Furthermore; in a majority of them, his approval was well below 45%.

This analysis is particularly troublesome given that while the President’s job approval rating nationally is below the 50% mark, the President’s reelection rests not within the national opinion as much as it does within the collective electoral college results that arrived at through the opinions reflected in each individual state.  And while a Real Clear Politics average of national polls put the Presidents approval rating at 46.5% and his disapproval rating is at 47.9%, what the Gallup state-by-state analysis shows is that the President’s challenge is actually tougher than the national polls indicate.

Gallup points out that President Obama received a 44% job approval rating in his third year in office, which is down from 47% in his second year. If that trend were to continue, Ron Paul could be nominated by the G.O.P. and probably defeat President Obama handily.  But reality dictates that Ron Paul will never see the light of day as a Republican presidential nominee, and that President Obama’s numbers are not likely to trend downward as he embarks upon a billion dollar campaign that will seek to rehabilitate his own image while eviscerating the image of his Republican opponent.

However, if the President finds his reelection effort failing to reverse the trend of his existing numbers and change the opinions that voters have of him now, he is doomed. Based upon the current trend,  If the President were to only carry those states in the Gallup poll which he he had a net positive approval rating in 2011, he  would lose the 2012 election  with 215 electoral votes, to the Republican nominee’s 323 electoral votes.

A White House 2012 breakdown of the Gallup study demonstrates how daunting a challenge lies ahead for President Obama.

Based upon his current state-by-state approval ratings, if we give President Obama each state where his rating is at 50% or above, he would lose the election by winning 159 electoral college votes from D.C., California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.  The Republican nominee would receive 379 electoral votes, 109 more than needed.

But White House 2012 tried to be a bit more realistic and decided to breakdown these numbers down by giving President Obama the benefit of the doubt by assuming he can turn his numbers around in all those states where his approval was as low as 45%.

That was not only generous, it was also responsible for a fairly more accurate picture of things.

Regardless of the numbers, there are some states that will not likely vote Republican regardless of how bad a job President Obama is doing or who the Republican presidential nominee is.  States like Washington and Oregon on the West Coast will probably remain dark blue and the president may easily turn around his downward trending approval ratings among the liberal sympathisers of those states. That accounts for 19 more electoral votes.  Then you can easily see the President take Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the Midwest.  That’s 36 more electoral votes. Then because his numbers are barely above 45% in Iowa, let’s say he can pull off some magic there, a state which he won in 2008.  That’s 6 more. Then on the East Coast, you’ll find Maine, and Rhode Island remaining true blue.  That’s another 8 electoral votes.  And throw in Pennsylvania too if for no other than reason than the Southeast portion of the state may still be strongly under the President’s spell.  That’s 20 more for a total shift of 89 electoral votes which gives President Obama 248 to the G.O.P.’s 290, a figure that still gives the win to the Republican nominee with 20 more electoral votes than needed.

With 29 electoral votes, this would make Florida the key to the President’s winning reelection.  Without it he needs Ohio with 18 electoral votes and at least one of the following other states; Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, or North Carolina.

Those four states are not goof for him right now, but he has better numbers in  them than he does in other states like New Hampshire or Arizona.

But even these state’s will be hard for Obama.  Currently his job approval is 40.4% in Colorado, 41.7% in New Mexico, 41.3% in  Nevada, and 43.7% in North Carolina.  Meanwhile his approval numbers in Florida and Ohio are at 43.6% and 42.1% respectively.

While turning these numbers around will not be impossible in the course of the lifetime that politically speaking, exists between now and November, doing so will be quite a dramatic achievement.  One that may require not just a well run campaign on the President’s part, but also a badly managed campaign on the part of whoever his Republican opponent is.

On a sidenote, I can not figure out for the life of me how the President’s job approval rating went up in a place like Wyoming.  It went up slightly in Connecticut and Maine, but those two states are known for the lunacy of their liberalism and in many cases their socialism.  But Wyoming?

As for the final outcome, no one can honestly say they know how the election will end.  But based upon a bit of instinct, the issues that will play out during the campaign, and the existing numbers, I offer my own following projections.

 It should be noted that if this scenario does come to fruition, there is the potential for an Electoral College crisis, for it offers the possibility of a tie in the Electoral College:

However I do not suspect that such a tie will occur because of the battleground states that I believe this will come down to, I foresee Republicans winning Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Mexico.

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Predicting the Politically Unpredictable in 2012

2012 will see liberal extremism leading the way for wins by Romney and Republicans and  losses for Obama and Democrats, and an  electoral college decision that leaves the left more disgusted than ever.

Bookmark and Share   When it comes to 2012, the only prediction that I am fully confident in is that the unpredictable will continue to dominate and shape politics.  It always has and always will.  Be it unanticipated scandals, of the real or manufactured kind, or be it the unforseen events and circumstances which are thought to be impossible realities on the national and international stage, or random personal events in the lives of  the players on those stages, it is the unexpected which will ultimately create our reality and determine that which in the future, will be history.

However, until those inevitable unknowns reveal themselves, the best each of us can do is project the logical progression of events based upon that which we do already know.  For instance, while I may not know with certainty who will win the Republican presidential nomination, I can confidently predict that if the nominee is Ron Paul, you can rest assured that a Democrat will occupy the White House come 2013.  But one need not be Nostradamus to make that prediction.  So many rational Republicans and conscientious conservatives understand that inevitability, that it makes it impossible for Ron Paul to win the Republican presidential nomination.

A bolder prediction is that come September of 2012, Mitt Romney will be making an acceptance speech at the Republican national convention.  But that too is hardly seer seeing and it should not be hard to understand why he will be the nominee.

Romney is quite a capable conservative and while there are legitimate reasons to question his conservative credentials, the facts are that you can not find anything that is not conservative about his stated vision for America.  The only real reason he has not yet locked up the nomination is not because he is not conservative enough, but because he has not been bold enough.  It it is my hope that this will change once Romney’s lock on the nomination becomes undeniable.  At that point, I believe we might very well see Mitt Romney go from playing it safe with his longstanding Republican frontrunner status and begin taking some risks with semi-bold reform proposals designed towardsd providing  TEA movement types and the significant portion of the electorate that shares anti-establishment sentiments,  a reason to believe that Romney will, at the very least, be better for America than Barack Obama.

That leads me to my second prediction and the one that I most confident of.

Come September of 2012, Republicans and even conservatives will have a hard time remembering exactly why the dislike Romney so much.  Many will still be too stubborn to admit that they like Romney, but by the time the Republican convention is over, they will indeed like him.  People do not realize the magic that is a good, well run campaign, but they soon will.  Therefore I am confident when I state that Romney will be far more liked in the latter part of 2012 than he is in the earlier part.

As the groundwork for such an emergence of a new impression of Romney is laid, speculation about who he will choose as his running mate will take on a life of its own.  The undeniable reality of the value that the obvious choice, freshman Florida Senator Marco Rubio,  will dominate, but the likelihood of his willingness to be a vice presidential candidate will probably deny Romney and the G.O.P. the benefit of his place on the ticket.  This will force Mitt Romney and Republican powerbrokers to look for the next best thing.  That search will force the likes of Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, and New Jersey’s Chris Christie to be given serious consideration and lead to a media firestorm around their possible candidacies.

Other names that will receive vast attention will come from those who were or are still competing against Romney for the top spot on the ticket. Most of that speculation will swirl around such names as Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor and rival Tim Pawlenty, and former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Romney rival Mike Huckabee.

That will be followed by the names of individuals who were onceconsidered potential Romney rivals for the presidential nomination.

That list will include Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and South Dakota Senator John Thune.

Then there will come the dark horse contenders.

As the process of picking a runnignmate that can help Romney create the type of balanced ticket which can hammer together a winning electoral coalition entertains such factors as sex, ethnicity, and the need to attract votes in regions that Romney will need to shore up, names like Tennessee’s Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and the darkest of all horses, Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno, will all receive a good degree of attention.

In the end, I believe Rubio and Ryan will not accept the nomination, Gingrich will be passed up because of too much perceived baggage and not enough realized popularity, and the final short list will leave Romney choosing from Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, John  Thune, Susana Martinez, Bob McDonnell, and Chris Christie.  Like Rubio, Jindal will probably reject the offer and  it will most likely come down to Daniels, Thune, Martinez, and Christie.  My instincts suggest that it’s an even chance for either Thune or Martinez to win out over both Christie and Daniels.

Amidst all that drama will come the multiple fights for control, of Congress.

In time, many of the  hard fought individual fights will also take on lives of their own that will grab national headlines and influence national opinions which will ultimately keep Republicans in control of the House.

On the Senate side, I see the G.O.P. taking control by picking off three of the Democrats five most vulnerable incumbents in Michigan, Missouri, and Montana.  They could also possibly take down Bill Nelson of Florida.   Additionally, the G.O.P. will pick up 4 or 5 of the open Democrat seats, winning in Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  A big surprise gain could also come from Connecticut where Joe Lieberman is retiring.  This means a net gain of anywhere from 7  to 9 senate seats and a solid majority of anywhere from 54 to 56 senate seats.  But before Republicans realize those gains, they will get some much needed help from the Democrats that they will fight to take that control from.

I expect several liberal candidates for the House and Senate to generate the type of attention and controversy that will energize conservatives and turn many independent and moderate candidates off and prevent them from getting caught up in any wave of enthusiasm for Democrats. The three liberal candidates who will go too far in their rhetoric and create the type of controversies that will produce a backlash against Democrats in general, are Florida’s Allan Grayson, Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, and Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren.

Grayson,  a Florida liberal, was defeated  in his first attempt at reelection to the House in 2010.  In 2009, his first year in office, Grayson famously took to the floor of the House and claimed that Republicans want senior citizens to to drop dead.  A year later, Floridians told him to drop dead as they gave him the boot and elected conservative Daniel Webster to replace him.

In 2012, Grayson is trying to recapture the seat and while he will fail to do so, he will again go too far and provide fodder for Republicans to use against Democrats.

In Wisconsin openly gay Rep. Tammy Baldwin is running to replace retiring Senator Herb Kohl.  Baldwin’s homosexuality is not necessarily what will make her candidacy so controversial.  However the extremism of the loyal liberal, militant, homosexual lobby that will swoop down upon Wisconsin to influence her election, coupled with Baldwin’s own liberal extremism, will undoubtedly become the epitome of liberal lunacy in the 2012 election cycle.  As such, it will go a long way in providing conservatives with the type of material that can be used nationally as examples of how out of touch President Obama and his Party are with most Americans.

Another campaign that will generate a negative national reaction to the liberalism of today’s mainstream Democrats will be the Senate campaign of Massachusetts liberal Elizabeth Warren.

Warren will be a stereotypical socialist whose extremism will help moderate incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown stay in office for his first full six year tem in the upper federal legislative chamber.

Brown’s 2009 upset victory in the special election to replace the seat long held by Ted Kennedy and his brother before him, was an early indicator of national sentiments that revealed themselves in the 2010 general election.  However, given the ideological bend of the usually deep blue Bay State, in 2012, with an incumbent Democrat president running at the top of the ticket, Scott Brown, even as a moderate Republican, should not have much of a chance for reelection.  But thanks to two factors, he will be reelected.

One of those factors is the lack of popularity for President Obama, even in Massachusetts, and Mitt Romney’s presence on the top ticket for Republicans.  While Romney will still likely lose Massachusetts to Obama, his presence on the ticket will be enough to have a positive effect further down the Republican line.  The other factor will be Warren herself.

Like Baldwin and Grayson, Warren will go too far and become a national example of the dangers of unrestrained liberalism.  In the end, that will be enough for voters of Massachusetts to want to restrain liberal extremism by reelecting Scott Brown.

Another plus will be that Elizabeth Warren will come off as so extreme and arrogant that conservative Republicans will be willing to go out of their way to support Scott Brown over her.  Even those who believe that Brown is little more than a RINO, will find Warren to be so sickeningly left-wing that even a Republican in Name Only will be prefered to the socialism that Warren represents in every way.

On other fronts, the political atmosphere for the White House will continue to sour as circumstances involving Fast & Furious and Solyndra turn in to scandals that help establish strong evidence of the Administration’s incomptenece and lack of ethics.

The economy will also remain a main issue but it is likely to bottom out during 2012 and after four years, a resilient and innovative American population will have begin to move beyond the dismal economy that has become the economic norm under Barack Obama.  With no thanks to liberal economics and governance, the natural ability for Americans to adapt and to overcome hardship will begin to lead the way for a mild, citizen backed recovery of sorts that is based on American’s inherent ability to deal on their own with economic stagnation, high unemployment, and federal obstacles to growth.  This will not be enough to make most people feel secure enough about the economy, but it will provide enough stabilization for Democrats and President Obama to try to exploit by claiming they have guided us through the worst part of our most difficult economic times since the Great Depression.  The case will not be a strong one, but with a campaign war chest of nearly a billion dollars, it will be one that G.O.P. will have to strongly counter or else they will risk the possibility of having too many voters actually believing the claim.

But Republicans will get some help when the Bush tax cuts that Democrats caved in to extending, but for only a year, come back up for debate.  The timing during the course of the election will give Obama and Democrats the opportunity to again overplay their class warfare arguments and overextend themselves in their committment to being the Party of big government and big spending.

Then there are the supreme court cases that will help polarize the electorate and motivate both sides of the spectrum.

How the Supreme Court will rule in both the case of Arizona’s creation and enforcement of tough new state anti-illegal immigrant laws and on the new national healthcare law, will have at least a minimal effect on the election but even just a minimal effect could be enough to swing the electoral votes of critical swing states.  In the case of the Arizona anti-immigration law, a Supreme Court ruling in favor of Arizona could unleash an unprecedented mobilization  against Republicans by Hispanic voters who happen to heavily populate swing states like Colorado, Nevada, and maybe most pivotal of all, New Mexico.   ‘

In consideration of the Obama national healthcare law, a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the law, would go a long way in producing a strongly motivated anti-Obama vote in the general election and help swing critical states like Ohio and Florida to the Republicans.

The way I see it, the Supreme Court due in large part to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s own swing vote,  will rule against  Arizona’s anti-immigration laws based primarily on the argument that  it is preempted by federal law and foreign policy, and violates the Supremacy and Commerce Clauses of the Constitution.   That ruling will subsequently motivate the anti-Obama vote more than the anti-Republican vote.

On Obamacare, I am totally in the dark.  How that will go is in great doubt given Antonin Scalia’s previous interpretations of the federal commerce clause.  President Obama could actually benefit if he were to lose the case on the grounds that the national healthcare law exceeds the constitutional powers of the federal government and that it can not in fact force Americans to purchase something.   Such a ruling would remove some of the motivational momentum behind President Obama’s limited government enemies and his liberal base may become more fired up to turn out and vote for him.  Winning the case would simply be added stimulation for his opposition.  But which way Scalia and Kennedy go on that one is anyone’s guess.

While I am too unsure to go out a limb on those court cases, I am not too unsure of the outcome of the general election.

By the time the new political year begins to close this November, I do predict that the presidential election will be far closer than some may think, at least as far as the popular vote goes, but it will not necessarily be so close in the electoral college vote.

The way I see it, Republicans will have a lock on 258 electoral votes while President Obama will only have a likely 222 electoral votes readily available for him.  In between the two will be 5 undecided states with a combined total of 58 electoral votes.  Those states will be Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  The only way for President Obama to win will be by winning a combination of 4 states that inlcludes Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Those two states will be must wins.  That leaves him with three winning combinations.

For Republicans, they will have any one 4 winning combinations available to them. And two of those winning combinations do not require either Pennsylvania or Ohio.  I am  not quite sure what combination they will end up with but I am confident that they will win with at least 272 electoral votes and possibly as many as 316 electoral votes.  However, I think there is a very good possibility for this to be another rare presidential election that sees the candidate who receives the most popular votes, be on the losing end of the electoral college.

Given the existing imbalance in popularity that President Obama experiences in densely populated states like New Jersey, and urban dominated states such as New York, and California, the chances of him receiving more popular votes than a Republican candidate racking up big majorities in many relatively sparsely populated, rural states like Montana, Utah, and Idaho, but losing the electoral college,  is becoming increasingly likely .

Given that possibility, I can only be certain that if my prognostications which are more suspicion than prediction, happen to come to fruition, the only real certainty we can predict is that after the 2012 elections, the American electorate will be either just  as polarized as it is now,  or even more so than it currently is.

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Obama Losing Battleground States to Gingrich and Romney Gives G.O.P Big Electoral College Advantage

Bookmark and Share   In conjunction with Gallup, USA Today has issued an analysis of the 12 states considered swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

If the election becomes a closer contest than currently seen possible, these 12 states will be where the election is won or for the unlucky candidate, where it will be lost.  As noted by USA Today,  most other states and the District of Columbia are essentially in the pocket for either the Democrats or Republicans and their results are a foregone conclusion.  And according to the numbers, excluding the 12 battlegrounds, President Obama starts out with a base electoral vote of 196 votes.

On that I agree.

That same 196 number was reached in a map I prepared for White House 2012 several months ago.

On the flip side, Republicans find themselves with a base 0f 191 electoral votes.

However; the USA Today/Gallup survey finds that based upon current polling of registered voters, President Obama is trailing behind both Republican frontrunners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. According to them, “Obama trails former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among registered voters by 5 points, 43% vs. 48%, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich by 3, 45% vs. 48%.”

This is of course good news for the G.O.P.  But in my own analysis which I prepared several months ago, the news was even better and still holds true today.

While the 12 battleground states are chosen based on voting histories, the results of the 2010 midterms and demographics, my own assessment of recent electoral data in these states, combines additional  factors such as the issues, governors, and intensity level of other statewide elections and ballot initiatives that will be influencing the 2012 election [see my map below this post] . I have concluded that the real number of battleground states in  the 2012 election is actually six, not twelve.  Even though it is true that the results of all twelve swing states are not certain, my assessment finds that , Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia are far more likely to go Republican than many are willing to admit.  So while aggressive campaigns will be waged in those states, at least for the first few months of the general election campaign, the hardest fought campaigns will be waged in  Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and  Wisconsin

Based on my numbers, while President Obama maintains his locked in electoral vote of 196, Republicans start out with a base electoral vote of 264,  just six electoral votes shy of the 270 needed to be elected President.

That leaves Democrats and President Obama, with their backs against the wall.

With their base of 196 electoral votes, in my assessment, they have only 1 way to win. They would have to win all six of the real battleground states that I see the election coming down to.  If President Obama ran the board and picked up all 6 of these major battleground states, he would wind up with a final electoral count of 274, ten more than Republicans.

Republicans on the other hand, find themselves with five different available paths to victory.  All that would be required to put them over the top is a win in any one of the states of Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.  A win in New Mexico would leave Republicans one electoral vote short.  So if they do happen to take New Mexico, they will still need one of the other five swing states.

Interestingly, if the G.O.P. wins New Mexico and President Obama wins the remaining states of Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and  Wisconsin, there would be a 269 to 269 tie in the electoral college.  God help us if that happens.  While the process for breaking that tie is clearly defined, the projected makeup of the newly elected Congress, the body for which responsibility of electing the President would fall to, would likely make it a long, drawn out, and very messy process.  But White House 2012 will get in to that a later date.

For now, it is safe to say, that at the moment, whoever the G.O.P. nominates will have a much better chance to win in 2012 than some suspect. Whether you go by my six major battleground state analysis or  the USA Today/Gallup analysis of their 12 swing state study, the current atmosphere leans towards a Republican presidential victory in 2012.  But that is how it looks today.  tomorrow may be quite different.  Even if I am correct and the election really comes down to only  Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and  Wisconsin, President Obama will have the first billion dollar presidential campaign in history and that kind of money invested in to six states, could make it quite hard for Republicans to win any one them.  At least that is what President Obama and his fellow liberals hope.

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