Electoral College,  President 2012

President 2012: The Electoral College Map

Electoral College vote map of Larry Sabato

Larry Sabato, Director of the Univwersity of Virginia Center for Politics is out today with his map of the key battleground states for the Presidential race of 2012.

With 18 months to go until November 2012, there is exactly one use for a current projection of the 2012 Electoral College results. This is merely a baseline from which we can judge more reliable projections made closer to the election. Where did we start–before we knew the identity of the Republican nominee for president, the state of the economy in fall 2012 and many other critical facts?

Sabato’s map is pretty much the conventional wisdom which I wrote about previously. And, even previously here.

I think we can say that from this poll that these states:

  • Ohio – 20 (electoral votes): -2 after reapportionment
  • Virginia – 13
  • Colorado – 9
  • Florida -27: +2 after reapportionment
  • Nevada – 5: +1 after reapportionment
  • Wisconsin -10
  • New Hampshire – 4
  • Indiana – 11
  • North Carolina – 15

and add in Pennyslvania -20: -1 after reapportionment – will be in the competitive range, if the GOP nominates the RIGHT candidate.

If all of the key battleground states listed above were to flip to the Republican candidate a total of 135 electoral votes would shift. The GOP candidate would win 305 Electoral votes Vs. 230 for Obama (provided Obama wins all of the states he won in 2008). 270 votes are needed to win.

But, let’s look at Sabato’s numbers:

If you INCLUDE the “Leans” states with the “Likely” and “Safe,” the numbers are as follows:

  •     247 Democratic EVs
  •     180 Republican EVs
  •     111 Undecided

If you DO NOT INCLUDE the “Leans” states, i.e., just counting “Likely” and “Safe,” the numbers are as follows:

  •     196 Democratic EVs
  •     170 Republican EVs
  •     172 Undecided

The only disagreements I have with Sabato are his assessments of Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Those states may be in play and if I had to pick one it would be Wisconsin.

Which states do I think will be the hardest fought?

  • Colorado, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina

Which state will most likely flip to the GOP?

  • Indiana

So, there you have the Presidential race in a nutshell.

The race will be concentrated in only a few states, where except for Florida the media buys will be fairly inexpensive. So, all of this talk about President Obama and his $1 Billion campaign is a lot of hot air. The GOP nominee will not need to raise as much to be competitive in the key battleground states.

But, organization is key and if the GOP wants to win, they must select a nominee who will be competitive in these few states. Looks to me that Mitt Romney, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee will fit the bill. The others – not so much.

But, stay tuned……