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Electoral Fun

Rumor is that there’s an election (or a few) coming up this November.  Every 4 years I begin playing with interactive maps to see what possibilities are out there.  It’s my nerdy political version of NFL draft projections or fantasy sports.  It is always interesting to me and perhaps it will be to you as well.  Below I will have some links to follow so that you can see the maps that I’m referring to.  I cannot embed them (that I know of), so you will have to follow the links and look at the maps while reading the scenarios.

First let’s get a few of my assumptions (at this point) out of the way.

Florida is going to go to Romney.  Look, even McCain only lost Florida by 3 points in ’08.  In April Obama was soaring in Florida polls against any Republican – but things have changed.  The polls have both Romney and Obama tied (and we all know what polls like to do for democrats).  The polls matter little to me right now.  The current Medicare theme going on is going to sink Obama.  Democrats assume that the elderly are all a bunch of selfish people who only care about their entitlements and not about future generations.  Research shows different.  Let the democrats play their game and Florida will slip away.

Ohio – Every poll has been consistently blue except for Purple Strategies and Rasmussen which have been consistently red.  This is obviously a toss up, but I think a winnable one.  Over the past 4 years there have been big conservative grass roots movements in places like Cleveland.  The population has continued to shrink in the cities (liberals are moving to better cities) and the economies in the cities of Ohio are just devastating.  I’m giving the slight edge to Romney.

Wisconsin- I think Wisconsin still goes for Obama in spite of Paul Ryan and Scott Walker.  The state hasn’t gone red since Reagan and it hasn’t even been close in recent years.  Perhaps the gap is closed this year, but that means nothing in the electoral college.

Pennsylvania – Southeast Pennsylvania will still sway this state blue.  Every four years we act like this is a swing state – but it is not…not yet.  Like Ohio, however, it is a struggling state that continues to shrink because of unfriendly environment for business.  Still, the democrats have their strongholds here and this year won’t change that.

Virginia – This is a true toss up state this year and could prove the clincher for either man.  Virginia had been faithful to Republicans since Eisenhower – until 2008 where Obama won by 7 points (a considerable swing).  It is entirely possible for either candidate to win this state and it will have a ton of money poured into advertisement.  Interestingly, Purple Strategies has Romney up by 3 and Rasmussen has Obama up by 2.

North Carolina – North Carolina and Virginia are almost identical in their voting history.  Obama won the state in 2008 by the narrow margin of 49.7% to 49.4%.  That’s not going to happen this time.  Romney will be able to make up that gap and more.

Scenario #1 

Map Link

This map has Virginia going to Obama – and clinching the victory 279 to 259.  It’s going to be hard to get Virginia with all of the money that the fed has poured into the state over the past 4 years.  Further, Virginia has more federal employees than any state in the union outside of California.  Even their private business is heavily subsidized by federal dollars through contracts and partnerships.  The public sector unions in Virginia are going to do everything in their power to keep Obama in office…and they may succeed.

Still, if Romney flips Virginia red, then he wins the election 272-266 in this map.

Scenario #2

Map Link

This is the pessimistic map.  This has Obama winning almost every possible swing state (Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado).  326-212 seems VERY unlikely – but it is here for the viewing and possible.  The purpose for showing you this scenario is to juxtaposition with the most optimistic scenario for Romney in scenario #3.

 Scenario #3

Map Link

This is the most optimistic  Romney map giving him Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and even a vote from Maine.  I showed you this for the purpose of contrast.  In this VERY optimistic scenario Romney wins 292-246.  Contrast that with Obama’s optimistic map of 326-212 and we can see how little ground Romney can give up to win in today’s political environment.

Scenario #4

Map Link

This map is simply amazing because it is possible.  It assumes that Obama takes Colorado, and Virginia (which he is likely to do), and that Romney takes Florida, Ohio, and then Wisconsin.  If Paul Ryan can influence enough to eek out Wisconsin over Obama and everything else falls into place, then we have ourselves a tie.  Hardly far fetched here.

There are a few things that could decide the Presidency at this point.  Much of this would depend on the Maine and Nebraska split.  As people who keep up with electoral processes know, Maine and Nebraska split their votes based on districts (Maine has 4 electoral votes, Nebraska 5).  According to the polls they should both wind up even (Romney taking all 5 of NE and Obama 4 of ME).  However if Obama was to steal one from NE or Romney from ME then that would throw the whole election.

If this tie were to happen, then the House of Representatives would be given the responsibility to elect the President and the Senate would elect the Vice President (the newly elected congressional houses).  That would almost certainly mean a Romney win and then possibly a democrat for VP.

Of course there are other possible scenarios – but these are most likely in my mind at the moment.  There are a number of months before this election and a lot of things that will change the political environment between now and November.  I may have to revisit this topic in a couple of months.


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