Obama’s (electoral) path to victory

After Obama’s victory in the second debate, Mitt Romney’s campaign has been somewhat in free-fall. With his advisers and strategists left scratching their heads in the wake of a powerful debate performance by a popular incumbent President, Governor Romney desperately needs to re-energise his campaign in order to even remain competitive ahead of election night let alone pull a victory out of the hat.

And here’s why.

In a poll of polls, Obama is outperforming Romney in nearly every key battleground state after the second debate. From Nevada to Colorado, New Hampshire to New Mexico, Barack Obama is leading by healthier margins than he could have expected at this stage in the race; certainly better than many pundits were predicting after the first debate debacle. Critically for Governor Romney, President Obama is leading by 5% and 4% in Pennsylvania and Iowa respectively and, in my opinion, putting both states (and their combined 26 electoral college votes) out of reach of the Romney camp. When you factor in Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Hampshire (with a combined total of 38 electoral votes) all leaning to Obama by 2 to 3 percentage points, the electoral math for Mr Romney just doesn’t seem to add up.

Here’s my prediction, based on the state of the race at the moment, for the November 6th election:

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I think Obama is going to carry Florida relatively easily, given the aging population of senior citizens and the ongoing perceived threat to Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid from Mr Romney. Pundits keep talking about Wisconsin being in play given that Mr Ryan, as Romney’s running-mate, comes from the state but I really don’t see how that argument stands up especially given that Obama will almost certainly carry Massachusetts (Romney’s own home-state). Wisconsin has also been won by Democrats since the era of Dukakis in ’88; six straight wins are not likely to change colour this time round.

The ones to watch are North Carolina and Virginia; I expect them to fall into the Romney column but the polls between now and the next debate may well indicate some change. If Obama can keep them from reverting back to red, as they were during the Bush years, then Romney’s path to victory will be all but closed by the start of the last debate and he will have to pull out all the stops on the night.

Thoughts on the map? Do you agree or disagree with the states as I’ve called them?

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10 thoughts on “Obama’s (electoral) path to victory

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  2. I think Obama wins even without Florida. Among states you assign to Obama, Florida could turn out close. In some polls Obama ahead by 0.5 to 1.1 percent. If Hispanics & youth under-counted a bit, then Obama probably prevails. Senior citizens could also get last minute scare from Romney/Ryan. If there is a last minute GOP surge in Florida they could get it’s 29 electoral votes but still can’t get to 270.

    • Agreed – Florida was one that I deliberated on for quite a while before setting as ‘blue’ for November 6th. I’ve just got a gut feel that one of the issues that will cost Romney the election is the fear that the Obama campaign has, successfully, sown amongst seniors and other at-risk groups that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would all be threatened by a Republican White House.

  3. You and I must live in a different world. You description of Romney post-debate is bizarre. Obama did better than in the first debate but all he had to do is show up to accomplish that. As for your predictions you are quite generous. Obama will not take Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nevada. He may take one or two of those states.
    I actually do not think it will be close. I doubt that anyone who did not vote for Obama last time will do so in this election. Also, many Republicans were angry that McCain was our nominee so they did not vote. This will not happen again. And the polls show that Romney is doing quite well with Independents.
    The next debate focuses on foreign policy. Obama has been lying and covering up the truth in the Benghazi terrorist attack. Candy Crowley helped him in the second debate with her lie (which she privately apologized for after the debate). He will have a hard time carrying that lie through the next debate.

    • Hey Mike,

      Thanks for the comments – really insightful and well thought through. I’m quite happy to admit that I’m being relatively generous in my apportions for Obama in the electoral map; I think he’ll certainly carry Ohio and Pennsylvania but you’re right in that Florida, Nevada and Wisconsin will be harder for the Democrats to carry.

      I’m really interested to see how the third debate goes; my opinions are quite fluid so I’m open to Romney presenting himself to me in a way that resonates. Contrary to posts by a previous commenter, I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘liberal’ but more of a socially liberal fiscal conservative. I vote Conservative here in the UK General Elections but Liberal Democrat in the local elections; it’s quite common for people to ‘split’ their vote like that over here.

    • Mike,

      There is no evidence that Obama lied about Benghazi. If you believe he did, specify exactly how he lie. Ms. Crowley didn’t help Obama, she corrected Romney. There’s a difference. Also, Ms. Crowley didn’t privately apologize for anything.

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  6. Blind idiots who think obama got us in this mess. I do believe that romney would make usa safe from other countries since he won’t be so lenient. I still can’t vote for him with his and ryans constant lies and fakery. romneys policies would make single mothers suffer who work hard to provide food and shelter for their children. So screw you to those with their dumb comments about people laying around for extra food stamps and such. I literally fear for our future if romney makes it.

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