The Four Most Important Presidential Swing States In 2012

Say hello to - Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. From The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza:

This year will not be like 2008, at least as far as the electoral map is concerned.

Let’s start with the states that are genuinely a tossup. Our analysis suggests that nine of them fit well in that swing category: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Republicans will, rightly, point to history in these nine states — a view that suggests at least the possibility that Obama’s 2008 victory was anomalous. Before his wins in 2008, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia had all voted for the Republican presidential nominee in the previous two elections.

If all six of those states revert to their 2000/2004 form, Republicans carry Indiana (as seems likely) and Obama wins no other state that he lost in 2008 (as seems likely), the incumbent would drop to 258 electoral votes and lose the presidency. But if Obama wins any one among Florida, North Carolina, Ohio or Virginia, he will be reelected.

If Romney can turn Wisconsin — and its 10 electoral votes — or Michigan (16) or Pennsylvania (20) to his side while also winning the vast majority of the six swing states mentioned above, he will have a bit more wiggle room for a national victory.

There’s no doubt that the 2012 playing field will be narrower than the one Obama dominated in 2008. But the president still retains far more flexibility than Romney in building a map that adds up to 270 electoral votes.

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-16 17:01:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy