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Romney’s electoral path to White House is narrow

The most important thing to remember when assessing a candidate’s chances for winning the U.S. presidency is that the race is a state-by-state proposition. National polls don’t mean that much. The objective is to carry enough states to amass at least 270 electoral votes.

Need I remind you that Al Gore carried the nation as a whole by more than 543,000 votes in the 2000 election but still lost to George W. Bush?

The next thing to remember is that it’s already pretty safe to say who’s going to win the electoral votes in certain states in this year’s election. There’s no way, for example, that Barack Obama is going to carry Idaho or Utah. And there’s no way that Mitt Romney is going to carry Massachusetts or Hawaii.

In light of these and other factors, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post is out with a TENTATIVE ASSESSMENT of where the Obama-Romney race stands at this point:

A detailed analysis of Romney’s various paths to the 270 electoral votes he would need to claim the presidency suggests he has a ceiling of somewhere right around 290 electoral votes.

While Romney’s team would absolutely take a 290-electoral-vote victory, that means he has only 20 electoral votes to play with — a paper-thin margin for error.

Romney’s relatively low electoral-vote ceiling isn’t unique to him. No Republican presidential nominee has received more than 300 electoral votes in more than two decades. (Vice President George H.W. Bush won 426 electoral votes in his 1988 victory over Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.)

By contrast, Bill Clinton in 1992 (370 electoral votes) and 1996 (379) as well as Obama in 2008 (365) soared well beyond the 300-electoral-vote marker.

Much of that is attributable to the fact that Democrats have near-certain wins in population (and, therefore, electoral-vote) behemoths such as California (55 electoral voters), New York (29) and Illinois (20).

The only major electoral-vote treasure trove that is reliably Republican at the moment is Texas, with its 38 electoral votes. So while George W. Bush won 30 states in 2000 and 31 states in 2004, he never came close to cresting the 300-electoral-vote mark in either race.

The only major electoral-vote treasure trove that is reliably Republican at the moment is Texas, with its 38 electoral votes. So while George W. Bush won 30 states in 2000 and 31 states in 2004, he never came close to cresting the 300-electoral-vote mark in either race.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Well Pat, I guess this is where we agree. Both coasts are pretty much liberal bastions. And that my friend is why we need the Electoral College. It’s not about a few states deciding the fate of the country and it’s not about the popular vote. It’s about a representative government. I know that’s not palatable to liberals and the duping they wish to continue, but it’s the truth. If most Americans knew why we need the college they’d understand, but again, it’s the liberals that move to belittle and marganilize it. You can crow and contort about how unfair that the populist voe may be, but isn’t it about time the voter is engaged and educated? On another note, you’d be proud of Boy Rachael tonight perpetuating the Democratic war on women. She’s foaming about the unfair wage difference between women and men. Really….how about the Attorney General coming up on contempt charges. Or say the dismal economic situation? One things is for certain, Obama won’t win enough Electoral votes to win.

  2. bill: “Boy Rachael [sic],” as you call her, has more brains than you’ll ever have. Or were you a Rhodes Scholar, as she was?

    Bigot boy!

  3. mvymvy

    Now a few states decide the fate of the country.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, will not reach out to about 76% of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.
    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided “battleground” states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win. 9 of the original 13 states are considered “fly-over” now. In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives agree already, that, at most, only 12 states and their voters will matter. They will decide the election. None of the 10 most rural states will matter, as usual. About 76% of the country will be ignored –including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. This will be more obscene than the 2008 campaign, when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.
    More than 2/3rds of the states and people have been merely spectators to presidential elections. They have no influence. That’s more than 85 million voters ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.
    Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.
    The number and population of battleground states is shrinking as the U.S. population grows.

    As of March 10th, some pundits think there will be only Six States That Will Likely Decide The 2012 Election
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-six-states-that-will-likely-decide-the-2012-election/

  4. mvymvy

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). Illinois has enacted it.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states, like Illinois, that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the primaries.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

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