# Some Early Electoral Math: Obama Wins

A few caveats up front about this entry. First, we are a year away from the 2012 general election, so a lot can and will change between now and then. We have not had a head-to-head debate between candidates let alone a Republican nominee. Second, we can surmise and hope and pray all sorts of things about who we wish the candidate should be for the GOP, but it would appear that Mitt Romney will be the eventual nominee. Is he my dream choice? As a long time Republican, my first choice would have been Mitch Daniels, but there is no use crying over spilled milk, would’ve, could’ve and should’ves. Additionally, in a few precious cases, Romney polls the best in hypothetical match ups with Obama, even in states where Republicans have no chance of winning. Third, I do not wish to be a spoil sport nor am I trying to write some controversial entry, but I have to look at the objective facts (which could change) at the time to create an analysis based on the electoral math.
So with that in mind, based on the most recent polls (and some of them are not all that recent), this is what we have thus far. Needing 270 electoral votes to win, the current polls indicate Obama with 291 to Romney’s 194 with another 53 outstanding because the polling is so close (or absent). Even if Romney was to win these 53 votes, he would still lose. That then means that Romney would have to retain certain states that McCain won in 2008 (but current indications are that Obama could win in 2012), plus win a couple of states in which Obama is currently leading (but the margins are on the cusp).
Currently, the only state that McCain won in 2008 that looks like Obama would win in 2012 is Georgia. Additionally, Arizona and Missouri are states that McCain won in 2008 but are so close that they are in the “outstanding” column now (although I believe they will vote for the GOP). However, if Romney were to lose these two states, the rest of the math makes little difference. If Romney takes the 53 outstanding votes, he still loses 291-247. Therefore, the task comes down to flipping two of the three states that Obama won in 2008 that are currently in the Obama column. Note that Virginia is currently in the outstanding column, but was won by Obama in 2008, so it is assumed that Romney wins all these outstanding states also, thus flipping Virginia.
Flipping Pennsylvania would not win Romney the contest as the final tally would give Obama a 271-267 margin of victory. Hence, it would come down to winning Florida AND Pennsylvania while retaining Georgia. Put another way, if Romney loses Georgia, he definitely needs both Pennsylvania and Florida. Conversely, if he keeps Georgia, then all he would need is a win in Pennsylvania OR Florida to eek out a victory. And that assumes that Romney takes all the outstanding states also which are Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Hampshire. Of those five states, two would be GOP retentions while he would have to flip the other three states just to get to the Georgia/Florida/Pennsylvania scenario.
Clearly the task is more daunting for Romney than it is for Obama. Make no mistake, Obama will have to play defense to keep Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida in his fold (along with Pennsylvania). It would appear that Ohio will play a lesser role this time around than it did in 2008 and especially 2004. It would also appear that Obama is set to lose Nevada this outing, but those losses merely figure into the smaller margin of victory for Obama in 2012. Obviously, the goal is victory, not a narrow loss.
However, take heart in this analysis. First, assuming this plays out with an Obama victory, the Republicans are on target to retain the House (albeit with a smaller margin on the order of 5-10 seats) and win the Senate. This would make Obama’s final four years that much more difficult. In addition, his signature piece of legislation- Obamacare- may be retained, but without the individual mandate thus rendering it toothless. But that is a big “IF,” and we should not pin our hopes on a Supreme Court decision. The hope is that if the GOP wins the Senate and retains the House, it will force Obama to move more towards the center and advance an agenda not beholden to his liberal backers. Well….we can dream. Regardless, it is incumbent upon us all, that despite who the eventual GOP nominee is, we rally around them and support them despite our differences or preferences today. That is the real bottom line. While Democrats sit back and laugh at the GOP candidates fighting one another, they are ignorant of the fact that four short years ago, their messiah and Hillary Clinton were locked in a bitter battle that lasted into July which was way more nastier than this GOP nomination process.

• exitsfunnel

I don’t deny that things look a lot better for Obama than they did a year ago just by virtue of the way the GOP process has played out, but I don’t think that he’s better than even money right now. Romney will be the GOP nominee – I agree that that much is clear at this point. But I think several states you list as toss-ups will almost certainly end up in the GOP column – notably NC, FL and VA. And I definitely disagree that OH will play a ‘lesser role this time around.” In fact, I think that OH will be THE swing state this year. Whoever wins Ohio wins the presidency. That’s the state whose polls I’m watching most closely in any case.

-exits

• http://www.gmsplace.com/ civil truth

…both as as an antidote against undue optimism and as an indicator of where we need to concentrate our resources.

• iidvbii

Switch Hit Mitt has the exact same polling numbers he had in 2007. I hate to burst your bubble here but his numbers aren’t improving and frankly he dies after Iowa. Iowa ends campaigns and with it consolidates the field. The problem Romney has is conservatives have rejected him, everyone one of those now supporting a Newt, bauchman, Perry and santorum candidacy has weighed, measured and found Romney wanting. These will not be Romney voters. As the field clears Romney’s relevance falls. His inability to raise his standing in the field and convert voters leads us inevitably to concession speech take two.

I personally have the dvr set, popcorn purchased and friends invited. Going to be a great night for America.

much too early to begin electoral vote projections though I do believe we should keep a close watch on that process. I agree with iidvbii that Romney will fail to take the nomination in the end. As candidates begin to drop out of the conservative ranks, most of them will gravitate to other conservatives until the Romney/Not Romney battle lines are drawn and I will personally be surprised if he can swing more than 40% max of the total primary vote between he and Not Romney. The only conservative votes to go with him will be the timorous, win at any cost crowd. I believe that Governor Perry will be the Not Romney candidate and will prevail in this. If not, Gingrich would have the play but Cain, Bachmann, and Santorum cannot withstand the process due to their lack of funds, a suitably large organization, and in Cain’s case – knowledge; as the primary time grows nearer, more and more Cain voters will see this issue and defect. Ron Paul is a brilliant economic mind but his foreign policy, military policy, and drug policy make him unelectable. Huntsman is not a conservative.

You did a good job of analysis with what you had to work with and the timeline to election though.