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share save 120 16 President 2012: Larry Sabato Lays Out the Electoral College Battle for the White House
Larry Sabato electoral college map President 2012: Larry Sabato Lays Out the Electoral College Battle for the White House

From Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Larry Sabato lays out the Electoral College analysis for the race for the Presidency in 2012.

The London Olympics isn’t the only venue for world-class sport this year. Political gold is waiting to be won in November, and the only way to grab the top U.S.A. medal is to master Electoral College math. It is both deceptively easy and maddeningly complex. A candidate has to accumulate 270 votes in a tiny universe of 538, but those 538 will be generated by 130 million votes cast in 51 separate entities. A game that looks like checkers is really multi-dimensional chess.

Still, the deep polarization of party politics has simplified the process somewhat. Remarkably, about 40 states — and maybe more — have almost no chance of flipping from one party to the other in the 2012 Electoral College. If President Obama gets his way, the electoral map will look very close to the way it did four years ago; on the other hand, Mitt Romney needs to flip a relative handful of states to take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Obama’s 2008 performance was close to the high-water mark for a modern Democrat: 365 electoral votes (359 under the new 2010 census apportionment). Obama did the seemingly impossible by very narrowly pulling two long-time Republican states, Indiana and North Carolina, to his column and even winning an electoral vote in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District, while narrowly losing Missouri and Montana. Those latter two states are widely believed to have moved out of his reach for 2012.

It is a little-known Electoral College tidbit that a president reelected to a second term has always added a state to his coalition that he did not win during his first successful run. Sometimes, in the early days of the Republic, it was a state that didn’t exist during a president’s first bid. But it appears that Obama, if reelected, will break this trend. The only state John McCain won that Obama appears to have a chance of flipping is Arizona, but that is a long shot that would require a massive turnout effort by the Obama campaign among Hispanic voters.

To compare 2012 politics to war for a moment, the current electoral map is akin to World War I’s Western Front trench warfare: Massive amounts of manpower and resources will be needed to move the frontlines even a smidgen. And the less the lines move, the better it is for Obama.

Read all of the post, which is in line with my previous analysis. Watch the video embedded below:

It looks to me that the battle will be waged in even fewer states – Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Florida. Voters in those states should feel the brunt of all of the intense ad campaigns.

In any case, here is my prediction of how the Electoral College will turn out in November: Romney 275 Vs. Obama 263:

2012 Electoral College Final President 2012: Larry Sabato Lays Out the Electoral College Battle for the White House

This map is from the interactive site, 270towin.com

share save 120 16 President 2012: Larry Sabato Lays Out the Electoral College Battle for the White House

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share save 120 16 Video: President 2012: Who Will Be Mitt Romneys Vice President?
Larry Sabato’s Crystall Ball: Romney’s Perfect Vice President

You can watch Sobato’s video above or read his prognostications here.

But, I would be very surprised if Romney does not choose New Jersey Governor Chris Christie or Florida United States Senator Marco Rubio. Mitt would actually have a chance to win with either of these two articulate and LEFT battle hardened POLS.

One other I would mention would be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Forget the rest, as a team with Romney would make it more difficult for the GOP to win.

And, guess what?

Chris Christie has expressed some interest.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told ABC News he’s “not looking to become vice president” but left the door open to a conversation about it with Mitt Romney.

Said Christie: “But I also think it is extraordinarily arrogant for you to say you won’t even listen to the nominee of your party — especially for me. It’s someone who I’ve been supporting since last October vigorously around the country — that I wouldn’t take a call from Mitt Romney.”

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share save 120 16 The 2012 U.S. Senate Races That Will Determine Who Controls the Senate
US Senate Races 2012 The 2012 U.S. Senate Races That Will Determine Who Controls the Senate

Tilting the toss ups — ranking toss-up Senate races from most likely to go Republican (top, dark red tint) to most likely to go Democratic (bottom, dark blue tint)

Larry Sabato et. al have the analysis here.

Ah, the Senate. The battle for control fascinates us — and all election observers — because there are so many intriguing races and personalities. Yet, as we update our ratings today and move in a new direction on Congress’ upper chamber, it is worth stressing at the outset that no party will truly control the Senate come January 2013. There is no chance at all that Democrats or Republicans will hit the magic 60 seats required to break filibusters and thus run the Senate. Increasingly, it looks likely that the winning party will have a smaller majority than the Democrats do now (53 seats) — if there is a majority at all. The tiny margin for the winning party will enable the new Senate to do what Senates do best: a whole lot of nothing (discounting talk, of course).

I pretty much agree with their analysis. They deliver a good race by race analysis and it is worth the time to read.

The Senate races in Virginia and Nevada intrigue me and will be fiercely fought since they are key battleground states for the Presidency. If the GOP nominee, beats Obama in the state, then the Senate seat will likely go red.

In any event, there will not be a 60 vote majority obtainable by either party. So, the only people that will really care will be Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and their staffs.

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share save 120 16 President 2012: Gaming the Electoral College   A Tie Possible?
Electoral College Map President 2012: Gaming the Electoral College   A Tie Possible?

The 2008 Presidential Electoral College Results

It is easy for us political pundits to game the 2012 Presidential race with this Electoral College Vote Calculator which I mentioned previously here.

Today, Larry Sabato in his crystal ball has run through a number of electoral scenarios. They can be found here and can be gamed at the calculator site.

Have fun!

I particularly like Sabato’s Electoral College tie scenario in which the House of Representatives would determine the next President.

If Obama loses IN, OH, NC, NH, NV, FL and IA, while keeping Virginia and his other 2008 states, it is 269-269, and the House of Representatives picks the new president, with each state’s delegation having one vote and 26 votes needed for election. In today’s House, the Republican would win by a vote of 33 to 16. One state, Minnesota, has a tied delegation and presumably would not cast a vote.

Here it is in graphic form:

Larry Sobato Tie Scenario President 2012: Gaming the Electoral College   A Tie Possible?

If the economy remains as poor as it is today, I don’t think it will be anywhere close to a tie and the GOP nominee will easily win the 270 votes necessary in the Electoral College.
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