The election is near, the debates are over, the candidates have laid out their positions, so it all boils down to the numbers now. Today’s electoral map shows Obama with 237 “safe” electoral votes and Romney with 206 supposedly “safe” electoral votes. But are any electoral votes safe this year? I contend not, especially for Obama. However, let’s assume that Rasmussen is right with these “safe” predictions, as they historically have been, and analyze the path to 270 for each candidate. First of all, let’s look at Romney. Current polling has Romney up by 2 in Florida, up by 4 in Colorado, and up by 3 in Virginia. In all of those states, Obama is polling less than 50%, which historically means that the independents will break for Romney, so I think it is a safe bet to move those states, and their 51 electoral votes into the Romney column, giving Romney now 257 electoral votes – just 13 votes shy of victory. On the bubble for Romney is New Hampshire and their 4 electoral votes and of where Romney leads by 2, Iowa and their 6 electoral votes and of where Romney is tied with Obama, and WI and their 10 electoral votes, and again where Romney and Obama are tied. But again, in WI, NH and IA, Obama is polling less than 50% so the independents in those states should break for Romney giving him the win in all three states. Under this scenario, Romney wins the Presidency without OH.
Obama on the other hand has lost FL, VA, & CO, that is pretty much a given, so how does the path to 270 look for Obama? With 237 safe electoral votes, he is 33 shy, meaning he will need Ohio to win. Excluding Ohio, all the other toss up states; IA, NH, NV, & WI, will only bring him 26 electoral votes, and that assumes he wins NH where Romney leads. This also assumes Obama wins WI where he is tied with Romney and polling under 50%, so there is no question that Obama needs OH much more so than Romney. If Romney wins WI, this race is over, and considering that Gov. Walker just held off a fierce recall battle, and that Paul Ryan hails from the Badger state, I like Romney’s chances.
UPDATE, by Mark Noonan: October 29th, 2012 Rasmussen Ohio poll – Romney 50, Obama 48. Getting that sinking feeling Democrats?