Election 2012 – Early Summer – Presidential Race

The 2012 Campaign Heats Up With Summer


The heated 2012 Presidential Election is starting to enter the middle stretch of ground as the Republicans have now officially unofficially nominated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to be their candidate to take on the incumbent, President Barack Obama.

After the Texas primaries were decided last month, Romney clinched the 1,144 delegates to be named the GOP nominee, ending a lengthy battle in which many other candidates had surged forward in the polls, most notably Rick Santorum, who never could win the big state, and Newt Gingrich, who could never win states outside of his Deep South home region.

So it will be Obama vs. Romney for all the marbles.  One can expect a good turnout at the polls in November, but just the sheer amount of voters one way or the other really doesn’t matter.  If you recall from government classes, the popular vote really doesn’t mean much in the Presidential Elections in our great country.  No.  One must refer to the Electoral College to determine who is the winner in 2012 instead.

The first to 270 wins the White House.

Firstly, there are a great share of states who have (since the 1992 Election) voted lock-step with one party or the other in nearly every election.  There are the “Deep Blue” states like California and New York who vote Democrat, and there are “Deep Red” states like Utah and Texas that vote Republican.  And then there are others who are traditionally swing states (like Ohio and Pennsylvania), whose mix of urban and rural, corporate and union mixes unsettle matters until it is time to cast their ballot.

For this exercise, let us tabulate which states are likely to fall into each candidate’s column.

Obama (D):  Maine (4), New Hampshire (4), Vermont (3), New York (29), Massachusetts (11), Connecticut (7), Rhode Island (4), New Jersey (14), Maryland (10), District of Columbia (3), Delaware (3), Michigan (16), Illinois (20), Minnesota (10), Washington (12), Oregon (7), New Mexico (5), California (55), and Hawaii (4)

Given this assumption, President Obama’s electoral vote total reaches 221 in 19 states/DC.

Romney (R):  South Carolina (9), Georgia (16), Alabama (9), Mississippi (6), Tennessee (11), Kentucky (8), Arkansas (6), Louisiana (8), Texas (38), Oklahoma (7), Kansas (6), Nebraska (5), South Dakota (3), North Dakota (3), Montana (3), Wyoming (3), Idaho (4), Utah (6), Arizona (11), and Alaska (3).

With these states in his back pocket, Governor Romney tallies 165 electoral votes for 20 states.

That leaves 12 states still “in play”.  Some of these are swing states due to voting for Obama in the last election versus John McCain, but recent legislative elections would suggest the GOP has come into favor in the past 4 years.


The governorship was up for a recall election (along with 4 state senators) last week and all but one spot remained with the GOP.  Governor Scott Walker was retained after a recall measure passed following a collective bargaining rights reduction for public employee unions passed.  Senator Herb Kohl (D) is retiring, and early polls point towards the Democrats losing this seat in the Senate.  Recent polling also suggests Romney has pulled ahead here.

Romney +10 (Obama 221, Romney 175)


Obama captured Indiana in a close call during the 2008 election, but polls indicate Romney has opened up a nice lead here.  The Hoosier State is a solid conservative state that does have unions in it, keeping it in play for the Democrats.

Romney +11 (Obama 221, Romney 186)


In what will be another close call, Romney has polled ahead of Obama here.  McCain won the Show Me State in 2008 and it would be difficult to imagine Obama being able to stave off a strong GOP contender this time around.

Romney+10 (Obama 221, Romney 196)


This is a big prize for whomever can win it, and my bet is, will win the presidency.  Obama has a 6 point lead in the latest phone poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports.  There will undoubtedly be a large push by the Romney camp to capture the Keystone State.

Obama +20 (Obama 241, Romney 196)

IOWA – 6

Our state is once again a swing state, having voted for Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2008.  It is a battle of city versus rural, as democratic leaning voters inhabit the larger cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Dubuque, while conservatives reside in the rural areas and in Sioux City.  Polls show this too close to call, but right now, Romney has a slight edge in the Hawkeye State.  Considering the massive wins in 2010 for the GOP in the state (retaking the House, nearly taking the Senate, and putting Terry Branstad back in the governor’s chair), Romney will win here in my opinion.

Romney +6 (Obama 241, Romney 202)


Virginia votes both like a southern state (heavily Republican) and a northeastern state (due to the D.C. influence in the north).  Right now, the candidates are tied in a dead heat.  The 13 electoral votes are crucial to Romney, but Obama could use them too.

Still in play (Obama 241, Romney 202)


McCain lost this normally very reliable state for the GOP 4 years ago, but Romney has opened up a fairly sizable lead in the latest polls.  This is a big win-back for the challenger.

Romney +15 (Obama, 241, Romney 217)


This state is typically split as well, with a good chunk of its residents living around the Las Vegas area.  Obama won it in 2008 and continues to lead now.

Obama +6 (Obama 247, Romney 217)


A state with a large Hispanic population, Obama won their vote in 2008.  He continues to have a massive lead here in the most recent polls, and should retain his votes.

Obama +5 (Obama 252, Romney 217)


A state that is trending more liberal each year is now a dead heat between the two candidates.  It is far too early to call this one, so we’ll slide it into the swing category.

Still in play (Obama 252, Romney 217)

OHIO – 18

The Buckeye State has decided national politics before and will undoubtedly do so again this election cycle.   Obama captured this state in 2008, but Romney has opened up a little lead that is crucial to his hopes of defeating the incumbent.

Still in play (Obama 252, Romney 217)


Those 29 electoral votes are massive in a race that could potentially be this tight.  Republicans have captured the governorship once again and have leaned towards more conservative candidates in the Senate and the House lately.  The latest poll gives just the slightest of edges to Romney, and my guess is he’ll take it.

Romney +29 (Romney 246, Obama 252)


Always a head scratcher as to why they are firmly in the Democratic column year after year, recent polling here suggests Romney has picked up a lot of support in the Mountaineer State.

Romney +5 (Romney 251, Obama 252)

A quick recount shows 40 electoral votes still “in play” with the latest polls not being able to right now give a state victory to either candidate.  Colorado could tilt back to the Democrats in November, and no one would be shocked if they did.  If so, that gives Mr. Obama 261 electoral votes.

Virginia has bounced very little in recent elections:  2008 – Obama, 2004 – Bush, 2000 – Bush, 1996 – Dole, 1992 – Bush, meaning the Democrats have taken one election in the last 20 years.  Being they are statistically tied, I might give an inherent bump to Romney in this one and move the needle 13 points for the GOP candidate, giving Romney 264 electoral votes.

So, it likely all comes down to Ohio once again if this plays out.  As pointed out above, Romney enjoys a slim margin in the most recent polls, but these things can change just hours before the actual election.  In case you are wondering Ohio has voted this way in the past several elections since 1980:  Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Obama.

If Obama can appeal to the unions in this Rust Belt state, he might be able to repeat his big win here.  If Romney can convince the voters he can do a better job with the economy and cut the national debt, he’ll win.  There will be an immense national spotlight pointed squarely at Ohio, with TV commercials inundating the electorate daily.

Ohio is the key to 2012.


~ by goetgre on June 18, 2012.

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