Saturday, February 25, 2012

Electoral Vote Maps for 2012

Here are links to three electoral maps for this year's presidential election: at NBC, Real Clear Politics, and 538 To Win.  NBC and RCP make predictions for 2012, while 538ToWin’s map is interactive and allows you to allocate states to Democrats, Republicans, and the “toss-up” category.

Both NBC and Real Clear Politics presently give Obama 227 electoral votes, leaving him with the task of finding 43 more to win the presidential race.  Their lists of who is expected to win each state are similar but not identical.

The following analysis is based upon the NBC electoral college predictions.  The list below omits the states that are leaning towards Obama, but include the toss-up states as well as the four states NBC identifies as “leaning” towards the GOP and two other states that NBC identifies as “likely GOP.”   I have also included in the list which candidate won the state in 2008, the percentage of the margin of victory, and how many electoral votes each state of those states will have in 2012.

State                                        2008 Candidate                       Electoral Votes
Victory Margin                       in 2012

NBC Toss-up States:

Colorado                                 Obama by 8.6%                                                9
Florida                                     Obama by 2.5%                                              29
Nevada                                    Obama by 13.4%                                              6
New Hampshire                       Obama by 9.5%                                                4
New Mexico                            Obama by 14.7%                                             5
North Carolina                         Obama by 0.4%                                              15
Ohio                                        Obama by 3.9%                                              18
Pennsylvania                            Obama by 10.4%                                            20
Virginia                                    Obama by 6.3%                                              13


Arizona                                   McCain by 8.8%                                             11
Georgia                                   McCain by 5.2%                                             16
Iowa                                       Obama by 7.3%                                                6
Missouri                                  McCain by 0.1%                                             10

NBC Likely GOP

Indiana                                     Obama by 0.9%                                             11
Montana                                  McCain by 2.5%                                              3

The first thing to notice is that all of the states identified as “toss-ups” were won by Obama in 2008, as well as two of the states now leaning towards the GOP.

Second, the GOP has a lot of ground to make up.  From the foregoing it appears that the Republican candidate would have to make up a gap of more than 8% in in the swing states in order to overtake Obama.  The President could win a second term simply by retaining New Mexico (5), Nevada (6), Pennsylvania (20), New Hampshire (4), and Colorado (9), each of which he won by a margin of at least 8.6 percentage points.  Republicans could sweep the rest of the states listed above and it would not be enough.

The Republicans’ goal of denying Obama 270 electoral votes is made even more difficult by the fact that Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Legislature have severely damaged the Republican brand in that state with their war on public employees.  From my perch in Ohio, it seems that will be quite awhile before any significant percentage of the 780,000 state and local employees in Ohio will vote Republican. 

But we hold elections for a reason.  Who knows what the map may look like next week, let alone eight months from now?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I cheerfully concede, for the sake of argument only, my every shortcoming and limitation. In commenting please address the merits of my arguments.