Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Is Obama in General Election Trouble?

Obama campaign electoral map

Above electoral map: The Obama Campaign's Official Electoral Map Includes Eight Key Swing States

Prime time has arrived for the prime election pundits and gurus. The Republicans are salivating at the prospect of defeating Obama in November. Is it probable or even possible? The elections pundits are very good at what they do and these folks are serious number crunchers who surface every 2 to 4 years. On some level, the process is simple because there are reliably blue states and reliably red states. Then, there are the notoriously fickle, contentious and difficult to predict swing states.

Where are the pundits on the November presidential election? It's all about the electoral college vote and the process starts with a floor of red or blue firewall states.

Stuart Rothenberg, The Rothenberg Political Report, gives Obama 237 and Romney 206 electoral votes right out of the starting gate. It's all about getting to the magical 270 electoral votes that declares the candidate the winner. There are 538 electoral votes.

Rothenberg identifies 95 pure toss-up electoral votes from his list of critical swing states:

Colorado 9
 Florida 29
 Iowa 6
 New Hampshire 4
 Nevada 6
 Ohio 18
 Virginia 13
 Wisconsin 10

Clearly, Florida is the most critical state to win because of its big bag of 29 electoral votes. If Obama can win Florida, he's at 266 (237 + 29) and he only has to take one other state to win. Romney, on the other hand, must get 66 of the 95 swing state electoral votes so he's got a far more formidable challenge than Obama because he has to win a much bigger percentage of the swing states than Obama. You better believe that the Obama campaign will be focusing on 'get out the vote' efforts in Florida.

While Obama crushed McCain in 2008 with 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173, Obama only narrowly won Florida 51-48. The swing states are swing states precisely because of narrow victories.

Rothenberg's analysis is here.

Most of the pundits are in agreement that the advantage goes to Obama.  The New York Times gives Obama a floor of 217, Romney a floor of 206 and calculates the toss-up electoral votes at 115, here.

The pundits like to play it safe because a bad call severely damages their credibility.  In reality, I believe that by the time the general election kicks into high gear that the swing states will narrow to about 4, give or take a state, and will include Florida and Virginia.

Obama's problem is that he may not be able to romance the enthusiastic crowds that he successfully mobilized in huge numbers in 2008.  These folks are not happy campers and definitely did not get the 'change' they expected.  A low Democratic turnout will most assuredly shift the advantage to Romney because the Republicans will absolutely turnout to vote against Obama.

Either way, the American people will get stiffed once again.  The Republicans and the Democrats have bankrupted the nation, waged murderous un-affordable wars and destroyed the economy.  At the end of the day, the Republicans and Democrats have the exact same bosses and are wholly owned subsidiaries of the same folks:  the banksters, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and crony capitalist pigs.

Meanwhile, I will opine "why didn't the American people listen to Ron Paul?".

Judy Morris

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