Discussing issues that The United States face both foreign and domestic. A Non-partisan viewpoint where we believe in right and wrong not right and left, hopefully forming a more UNITED States of America.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Tie In The Electoral College: 269 Obama - 269 Romney

In a time of great divide in the United States, could we afford another 2000 Florida-like situation? Could it be possible that 2012 will be more controversial than 2000? While it is only July and we are 110+ days outside of the election (practically an eternity for America) there is the possibility that the next President of the United States will be chosen by the House of Representatives as neither President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will earn the magic number of 270 delegates to secure the election. 

The 2012 election will most likely be chosen by 12 "swing" states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Outside of those states, President Obama currently has the advantage meaning Mitt Romney will need about 2/3 of the remaining delegates if he is to win it all. So if Ohio or Florida is called early for Obama  on election night, he is virtually guaranteed a second term.

Looking further, some of these 12 states are close in the polls, but have not been "swinging" in recent Presidential Elections. Pennsylvania has not gone to a Republican since 1988. While Mitt Romney is the type of Republican who could win the Keystone State and the GOP may have the best chance since 1988, a semi-popular Democrat (Sen. Bob Casey) is up for reelection against an unknown candidate Tom Smith. So if Obama can't ride the coattails of Senator Casey and win in my home state, I'm popping open the champagne bottle before the Mountain Time Zone is finished voting.

Wisconsin falls into the same category. While it was close in 2000 and 2004, the Democratic nominee has claimed the state in the past six Presidential elections. In order for the 269/269 scenario to work, this state needs to flip to Romney. If Governor Scott Walker can survive the recall and a recent poll shows Romney ahead 47% - 44%, the Badger State can turn red.

Obama appears to be semi-comfortably ahead in New Hampshire and is slightly ahead in Michigan according to most polls collected by Real Clear Politics. Iowa, the state that literally was the launchpad for Obama against Hillary Clinton in the primary (and supported him over McCain in November) will be tight on election night. Rasmussen Reports gives Romney the slight edge in Iowa.

Nevada went to Bush twice, but to Obama in 2008. The Nevada Republican Party is literally in a civil war between Ron Paul supporters and the state establishment. Because of this turmoil, I see Obama taking this state again. New Mexico and Colorado have become more liberal this past decade (although Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) needs to be the blueprint for the Republican Party to attract more Hispanic voters). Since Sen. Bennett (D-CO) survived the Tea Party wave of 2010, Obama should be able to claim two of the four corner states. 

North Carolina, the state hosting the Democratic National Convention. The host site can be kind a few months after the streamers and balloons leave, but I expect this state to be a disaster for the DNC. People are skipping the convention and the recent divide between the national party/local voters on some key issues will make the Tar Heels wear a Wolfpack Red in November.

Virginia. With the exception of Wisconsin, this could be the most controversial call in the map especially if North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida go to Romney because Virginia would be ignoring the regional/demographic trend [Note: If Wisconsin and Virginia are wrong on the map above, Mitt Romney earns 272 delegates].

Before Obama won the state in 2008, the last time Virginia danced with the left in a Presidential Election was all the way back in 1964 with President Johnson. The Real Clear Politics Average has Obama with a 3 point advantage over Romney (Rasmussen has the state tied, poll within the RCP link) and Virginia likes playing "bi-polar" politics. In other words: Virginia likes to vote for a Governor and President from a different party. 

In 2000, Virginia voted for President Bush, yet voted Mark Warner (D) as Governor in 2002. 2004 went to Bush again, but felt blue shortly thereafter as it voted for Tim Kaine (D) in 2006. Two years later, the state voted for President Obama and in 2010, (if you're following the trend) they overwhelmingly voted for the the Republican candidate, Bob McDonnell [Note: Virginia Governors are limited to one term]. So expect this bi-polar trend to continue giving this state to Obama in November.

If all that plays out, the Congressional races just became way more important because neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney acquire the needed 270 delegates. If that happens, the House Chamber votes (not individually, but by state) and whichever candidate gets 26 states, gets the Presidency. This could be extremely controversial because Obama could easily win Pennsylvania on election day, yet lose that state on the House vote because there are more Republicans than Democrats representing Pennsylvania. A similar event happened in the 1824 Presidential Election. This is unlikely to happen in 2012, but it is a possibility. 

-Christian N.

Map was created at: http://270towin.com