If Pennsylvania ends up in the Romney column, Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will defeat President Barack Obama. The reason is not that Pennsylvania is a “swing” or “bellwether” state, it is because if Romney wins Pennsylvania he will have also won such other true swing states as Florida, Virginia, and Ohio.
Polarization also exists in the electoral leanings of most states
We are seeing a very polarized electorate. Up to 90 percent of the population has very strong views on President Obama. We either hate him and love him. Those who love him will vote for him no matter who’s running against him, and conversely, those who hate him will vote against him no matter who’s running against him.
The individual states are similar to individual voters. Many states will not end up in the Obama column, but many others most definitely will. Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma and the like are solidly in the Romney column, whereas Vermont, California, New York and others are solidly with Obama. These Romney states are solidly “Red,” and the Obama states are equally solidly “Blue.”
Don’t expect to see Obama or Romney campaigning in or spending much time or effort in the solid states. It is a waste of money and effort for both sides.
What does the electoral vote look like right now?
Of course no votes have been cast, yet, and the actual electoral college doesn’t vote until December., however, if we add up all the solidly Red or Blue states, Obama has about a 40 electoral vote advantage, roughly 231 to 191. These totals are based on historical trends and an averaging of polling over the past few months.
Surprisingly, these numbers haven’t changed much in that period of time. This is not a very fluid election. Most people fall into the unpersuadable category – that is their opinion or Presidential preference will not change between now and election day.
What are the true swing states?
Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Nevada can truly be called swing states. Fortunately, for Romney, all of these states were won by Obama in 2008. Fortunately for Obama, he doesn’t have to win all of these states to get re-elected.
In these true swing states, it is very likely that Romney will win North Carolina. He has held a pretty consistent lead throughout the past few months in North Carolina, and Obama only won North Carolina in 2008 by about 14,000 votes out of over 4 million cast.
The rapidly growing Hispanic population has pushed Nevada into a very marginal swing state. This usually reliable Republican state is now only on the cusp of being a swing state and probably will be a solid Democratic state in years to come.
Florida, Ohio, and Virgina
Florida is not really a total Southern state. Whereas the northern part votes like a Southern state, the southern part votes like New York. The middle of the state (Disney World country) is the truly swing part of Florida. Bush won the middle and the state in 2004, Obama won the middle and the state in 2008. Polls in Florida are very close, with a slight edge to Obama.
If Obama wins Florida, it’s on to a second term. If Romney wins Florida, he still has some work to do.
Ohio is a big problem for Romney. Although most people think of Michigan as the automobile capital of the United States, the auto industry is very big in Ohio. Many of those Reagan Democrats work in the auto industry or auto industry related businesses in Ohio.
Romney made no friends in the Buckeye State when he opposed the auto industry bailout and said “Let Detroit go bankrupt.” The polls seem to reflect this. Romney has only lead in 3 out of 22 polls conducted in Ohio since the beginning of 2012, and Obama hold an average lead of 5.0 points in recent polls.
If Obama wins Ohio, it’s on to a second term. If Romney wins Ohio, he still has some work to do.
Virginia looks a little better for Romney. Obama’s average lead is only 1.2 percent in Virginia, and Romney has lead in a few more polls since the beginning of 2012. Virginia had been a reliable Republican state until Obama won there in 2008.
If Obama wins Virginia, it’s on to a second term. If Romney wins Virginia, along with Florida and Ohio, he’d still have to win Iowa or Nevada to get over 270 electoral votes.
The electoral map favors Obama at this point
The electoral map does not look good for Romney. If all of the toss up states are pushed into the column of the candidate who is currently leading in the RealClearPolitics average, Obama wins the election 332 to 206.
Pennsylvania will see some Presidential candidate visits and attention, but as the election draws closer, don’t expect a lot. Romney may end up doing to Pennsylvania what McCain did to Michigan in 2008 – pulling out to place badly needy resources elsewhere.