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.

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

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.

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

Iowa’s Mold Breaker Might Matter

We are discovering the 2012 election cycle dynamic every day.  One thing we have learned already is that things that didn’t matter last week are crucial this week.  The thing we are learning this past week is that money matters, as Mitt Romney surrogates bought waves of negative airtime, Ron Paul bought Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, and Newt suddenly began to realize what a nice thing it would be to have campaign staffs, ground crews, or even counter advertising money.

To Huntsman’s dismay, we may be discovering that Iowa matters.  Let me put it this way.  If Newt Gingrich wins Iowa, it doesn’t really matter.  If Santorum wins Iowa, it will give him some false momentum but Iowa alone won’t matter.  If Bachmann wins Iowa, we will all drop our jaw and then move on with the real race.  If Paul wins Iowa, mainstream Republicans will spend the next few days complaining about how he did his usual ballot stuffing tricks, but then move on.

However, if Mitt Romney wins Iowa, that will be huge.  Iowa has typically stuck to mainstream, evangelical, more conservative than moderate candidates.  Iowa has granted hope to Mike Huckabee in recent years, and Michele Bachmann this year.  Now, with Mitt Romney leading in the polls, it appears that more conservative, evangelical voters are accepting that Romney will win the nomination.  In fact, in this case I wonder what type of dynamic Ron Paul is attributing to Romney’s rise.  Are Iowans viewing Gingrich, Perry and now even Santorum as third party spoilers?

I think with the Iowa dynamic, voters may actually prefer Santorum in the current field.  Instead, it appears that Iowa may end up being about who can beat Barack Obama, or more immediately, who can beat Ron Paul.  At any rate, if Mitt Romney wins, Iowa matters.  As McCain proved in 2008, voting for a candidate primarily because of electability is a tough paradigm to crack once it is set.

One thing is for sure.  If Romney does win in Iowa, Newt is dreaming if he thinks he can turn everything around in New Hampshire.

And the Winner of the Iowa Caucus is……….

Romney and Santorum may surprise all with a first and second place finish, respectively, but South Carolina will be the real winner of the Iowa Caucuses.

Bookmark and Share I am predicting that Mitt Romney will in Iowa and it will go a long way in establishing a sense of inevitability that will help him wrap up the nomination sooner than later.   However; unless Romney racks up a win with 30 or more percent, the results will not matter a great deal and in the end, the real winner will be South Carolina.

Iowa’s caucus history shows that the winners of their nominating contests do not usually go on to become the nominee and President.  More often than not, Iowa caucus voters seem more intent on sending a message to the establishment than sending a nominee to the White House.  This time may be different in the sense that Iowa Republicans may believe that their support for most of the existing candidates will not send any strong message and that Ron Paul, the only candidate for whom a protest vote for would send a clear message, is not in any way a responsible and realistically, viable candidate.   As it is, most Iowa Republicans do not support Ron Paul.  His perceived success in the state so far is due mainly to the Independent and Democrats who are allowed to vote in the caucuses if they change their Party affiliation.

This is something which Paulbots have been planning on taking advantage for a very long time and they are doing a good job at it.

But not good enough.

In the end I believe that between all the back and forth of frontrunner status for one candidate or another, Mitt Romney who has been consistently at the top of the polls in Iowa and who has the strongest organization of all the candidates in the state, will benefit from a social conservative and evangelical vote that is sharply divided between at least four candidates, and from his perceived electability against Barack Obama.  These factors will allow Romney to win the caucus, but unless he wins by an overwhelming amount, it will not do much to help him convince people that he will definitely be the nominee.  That job will be left up to South Carolina, which will actually be the big winner coming out of Iowa.

Everyone knows that Romney will win New Hampshire, so there is little suspense there.  That leaves South Carolina which follows the Live Free or Die State, as the most pivotal of all the early state contests and the greatest beneficiary of the results in Iowa.

It is where Newt Gingrich has been trying to build a firewall and hoping to establish himself as either the frontrunner or the only real viable alternative to Mitt Romney.

South Carolina is also a prelude to the Florida and the momentum provided to the candidate who wins in South Carolina will go a long way in helping that candidate’s chances of winning in the Sunshine State’s primary. 

Even in the unlikely event that Romney blew out all his rivals with a win of  30% or more,  South Carolina will still be an early contest that either solidifies Romney’s lock on the nomination or gives someone else the opportunity to be Romney’s true chief rival as the race moves forward.

These are just simple facts which will not be changed by any result that Iowa produces.  If Senator Rick Santorum happened to pull off a Huckabee-like, 2008, come-from-behind victory, Romney will still dominate in the New Hampshire primary and South Carolina will still host the contest that play a somewhat more decisive role than either New Hampshire or Iowa.

When all is said and done, Iowa will serve one chief purpose.  It will help weed out the field of candidates.  It will help to begin sealing the deal for several of the lower tier candidates, especially Rick Perry.  But even in that capacity, Iowa is not likely to end anyone’s candidacy.  Once again, that mission will be accomplished in South Carolina.

That said, in the tradition of making predictions as one year ends and a new one begins, while I hold true to the belief that Iowa will really only matter if Romney comes in anywhere under third pace, or wins with a large plurality, I also believe that the candidates will finish as follows:

  1. Mitt Romney – 26%
  2. Rick Santorum -21%
  3. Ron Paul – 17%
  4. Newt Gingrich -16%
  5. Rick Perry – 11%
  6. Michele Bachmann – 7%
  7. Jon Huntsman – 2%

I am quite uncertain about those totals, but very confident in the order of each candidate’s placement.

These results will produce several storylines coming out of Iowa.  One will be about whether of not Mitt Romney has a lock on the nomination as he is now on a path to becoming the first non-incumbent Republican presidential candidate to sweep both Iowa and New Hampshire?  The other story will be is Rick Santorum, the new Mike Huckabee and can he translate his strong Iowa showing into a victory elsewhere? 

The other stories that will provide the filler for 24 hour cable news programs, will be can Newt comeback “in South Carolina”? What happened to Ron Paul’s surge? And is this the end for Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann?

The answer to all these questions will be determined by the state which I argue will be the ultimate winner in the Iowa Caucuses…..South Carolina.

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: