Obama's Five-Fold Path To 270 Electoral Votes

Four more years of President Barack Obama is certainly not ideal. That said, it is important to take a critical but objective look at the 2012 electoral map. The Washington Post's Chris Cilliza and Aaron Blake do a solid job of analyizing the swing state landscape.

Note: I am not sure Obama is going to win New Hampshire and it's four electoral voters, particularly if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney wins the GOP presidential nomination. Additionally, the "Expansion Path" is most unlikely of the five scenarios put forward by The Fix duo.

One important point before we start: The Obama team used as its baseline for each of these five scenarios the 246 electoral votes that Massachusetts Sen.John Kerry (D) won in his 2004 loss to President George W. Bush. That means that Obama could lose none of the states he and Kerry carried in 2004 and 2008 — including swing states like New Hampshire and Wisconsin — and have the numbers add up. The paths are ranked from most likely to least likely for Obama.

1. Florida path: If Obama wins the 29 electoral votes in Florida, he’s at 275 and a winner.

2. West Path: This scenario requires Obama to sweep Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada and then also take Iowa, where he won overwhelmingly in 2008 but Kerry lost narrowly in 2004. (Add those four states up, and Obama is at 272 electoral votes.)

3. Midwest path: The industrial Midwest has turned against Democrats in a major way since Obama carried every state in the so-called Rust Belt three years ago. But, if Obama wins only Ohio and Iowa, he’s at 270 electoral votes and a winner — albeit by the thinnest margin possible.

4. South path: In 2008, Obama was the first Democrat to carry North Carolina since 1976 and to win in Virginia since 1964. If he repeats that feat in 2012, he gets to 274 electoral votes.

5. Expansion path: Three years ago, Democrats were confident that they would have won Arizona had Republicans not nominated homestate Sen. John McCain. And, with no prospect of an Arizonan on the national ticket this time around — sorry Jan Brewer— the Obama team sees the possibility of turning Arizona blue.


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@paulshanks tweeted link to this page. 2011-12-14 10:45:11 -0500
Obama's Five-Fold Path To 270 Electoral Votes - http://t.co/0TrYmFqt #TCOT #GOP
@CivicForumPAC tweeted link to this page. 2011-12-14 10:24:00 -0500
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published this page in In The News 2011-12-14 10:15:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy