Monday, October 18, 2010

2012 Electoral Vote Preview – Obama’s Bumpy Ride to Re-Election

With the 2010 mid term elections only a fortnight away, it’s not too early to take a peek at President Obama’s 2012 re-election map. With sputtering approval ratings nationally and in individual states, his course appears to be a more challenging route than the one he traveled in 2008. To start, Obama will see a potential erosion of up to 6 Electoral College votes off  his winning 2008 total  of 365, before he even slips the key into the ignition of his re-election bus, thanks to 2010 Census redistricting. Several states will see their Electoral College votes change, with a loss among Blue States.

In 2008 Obama scooped up 44 Electoral Votes in the traditionally Republican bastions  of Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada and Indiana. He also scored victories in states which more often than not voted Republican - Ohio, Florida and Colorado, for an additional 56 EVs. Obama’s “historic” campaign turned many states blue, yet his listless job ratings, high unemployment and an overall disillusionment with the President, are causing many voters to veer these states sharply back into the right hand lane, presumably with their 100 EVs in tow.

The President isn’t getting good gas mileage either in many usually safe Blue States.  Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and New Mexico are all states were Obama’s current job approval is idling well below his 2008 winning margins. Even Massachusetts may not be as blue as some believe it to be.

(Perhaps a former Governor rumored to run can finally get that state to go red.)

The chart below reflects some recently surveyed states Obama won in 2008, his current approval ratings and their expected  2012 Electoral College votes.

State
Obama Approval
Spread
2008 Margin of Victory
2012 Electoral College Votes
Hawaii
53/37
+16
45
5
California
53/42
+11
24
55
New York
47/46
+1
27
30
Delaware
46/48
-2
25
3
Connecticut
45/47
-2
22
7
Illinois
44/49
-5
25
20
Maine
44/51
-7
17
4
New Hampshire
44/52
-8
9
4
New Mexico
43/52
-9
15
5
Michigan
42/54
-12
16
16
Colorado
42/54
-12
9
9
Wisconsin
41/54
-13
14
10
Indiana
40
NA
0.9
11
Ohio
38
NA
4
20
Virginia
45
NA
6
13
North Carolina
43
NA
0.4
15
Florida
43
NA
2.5
28
Nevada
39/57
NA
12
6
Penn
43

10
20

Now some quick math points to a very precarious starting point for The Messiah, in order to reach the 270 Electoral Votes needed to win. First lower his 365 to 359 due to the Census. Next, project the historically GOP states return their 100 EVs (’08 value) to the Republican fold, dropping the total to 259. One could stop there, as this is below the 270 goal. But just for kicks, throw in the shaky upper mid-West states of WI and MI, along with jobs stressed PA and a fickle NH and there’s another 52 subtracted, for a starting total of 207 EVs.

This scenario would indicate the GOP starting with 273 EVs, enough to win back the Presidency. The projection doesn’t take into account other blue and purple states which will a decidedly more reddish hue after the mid-terms, such as New Mexico, New Jersey and even the President’s home turf of Illinois.

All of these factors should have the dashboard warning lights flashing on Obama’s GM manufactured Re-Election Bus.

But there are miles to go on this journey and politics is a highway with many detours, lane changes and newly discovered routes. As Obama plans his trip, he can look to others who have gone before him, using their benchmarks as a compass. But unless he begins fueling the nation’s engine with jobs, he may very well find himself stuck at the starting gate.

6 comments:

BOSMAN said...

It sure is a ROCKY ROAD for Obama.
Isn't it Great!!!

BTW Doug, Great analysis of the data as always!

Anonymous said...

Doug,

Glad to see you and Bosman together over here. Both of you were my favorite posters over there. I agree with the others who have commented about ROS. It has changed. The stories are uninteresting and there's wat to many polls on the home page. You have to dig around over there to find any interesting ones.

zeke

Doug NYC GOP said...

Well thank you Zeke. Aside from my wife, nice to know I earn "Favorite" status somewhere in this crazy world. Looking forward to seeing you often here. You have a good sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

I can't see Obama winning a second term under any circumstance. We'de have to do something stupid like nominate Huckabee or Palin.

John

Revolution 2010 said...

Great post and analysis Doug,It will be hard to keep up with you and Bos.

I believe that 2012 is ours to lose. If we take the house AND congress, we need to play Obama as an obstructionist, BEFORE he gets the idea to do it to us.

Doug NYC GOP said...

You are right Rev10 - I see many paths to victory for the GOP in 2012. A number of scenarios can play out, including a intra-party challenge to Obama by Madame Hilary.

At the very worst, if Obama rebounds and it is tight, I see the Electoral map much like 2000 or 2004, but FL and OH won't be as close. Hard to see him rebounding there in 2yrs.

At best it could be close to a 1980 Reagan style showing.