Since I have spelled out the methodology and basis for my predictions in Part I of the 2012 Election Predictions, I now want to go through, state my state, what I am thinking the final elections results will look like. To start off, I have made a map of the states that I believe have absolutely no chance of changing hands this election. These are safe for either candidate. Going with the typical colors used, President Obama likely states are blue, while Governor Romney’s are red. And yes, my comments will probably contain politically conservative bits of satire here and there. That makes all of this fun!
Without having to go through the bore of listing every Obama or Romney state and their electoral vote count, I will simply give the electoral vote map and tally that I have so far (thanks to the PBS Electoral Calculator):
Barack Obama: 179
Mitt Romney: 170
I am being very conservative in my judgement of what the “tossup” states are. Almost half of the grey tossup states have only a remote chance of switching parties. But, they do have a chance. You will notice that I have states that are considered fairly safe for Republicans and Democrats in the tossup category. There’ s not need to worry though! We’ll get those states out-of-the-way first, then move on to the states where the polls seem to be very close.
The Easy Tossup States
The only way these states will change hands is if the 2012 election turns out to be like two comparable elections (in my opinion): either 1980 (Reagan defeated incumbent Carter during a bad economic time, though not predicted to earlier in that campaign), or 1996 (Clinton defeated Dole handily, though the Republicans had a landslide election in the previous mid-term). I do not see either of those happening.
I think that Oregon is the Vermont of the West Coast. It is a liberal bastion at heart, though the southern and eastern portions of the state tend to be conservative leaning. It is very hard for me to imagine Oregon going for Mitt Romney unless the Republican turnout is astronomical, and the state’s high hippy population decides to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein instead of the President. Obama gets the state’s 7 electoral votes.
One sentence can describe why Minnesota will end up with their electoral votes going to Barack Obama. They were the one state in fifty that voted for Walter Mondale over Ronald Reagan in 1984. If they were guilty in that act, it will probably take a century for them to heal. Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes will be in Barack Obama’s column.
This state is one I cannot quite wrap my head around. It seems that because of its geography, libertarian edge (they elected Gary Johnson for governor twice in the 90’s) and “out west” heritage, it would be more like Arizona or Texas in its voting trends. However, New Mexico has become a safer and safer Democrat state, likely because of the large Latino voting bloc. The state would only go Republican if this election is a Romney landslide. New Mexico is a safe Obama state with 5 electoral votes.
In 2008, I was finishing my senior year of college in northwest Indiana, and can definitely remember the shock when the final vote count came in, and the state’s electoral votes were given to Barack Obama. I was also in the part of the state that handed the votes to Obama. I can remember a few interesting things about the campaign flyers I saw, and the ACORN canvassers I ran into a few times in Gary, Indiana. Let’s just say that Indiana isn’t going to make the same mistake twice by voting in Barack Obama. They’ve been snapped out of their hypnosis, and giving their 11 votes to Mitt Romney this year.
Missouri is becoming less and less of a “tossup” state as the elections pass. The state’s conservative Catholic and Evangelical votes are moving farther and farther away from the Democratic reach. The booming parts of the state (such as Springfield and St. Charles) are heavily conservative areas. It would take a miracle for Barack Obama to win Missouri: a state he did not even carry in the 2008 election (though the margin was very small). Missouri’s 10 votes are going to Romney.
Oh, my poor home state! How I wish you would come to the light! Michigan is not a very friendly state to Republicans at a national level. Though they did swing to the right during the 2010 mid-term elections, President Obama’s constant barrage of attacks against Mitt Romney for not supporting the bailout of GM and Chrysler will hurt the challenger. The thing Mr. Romney does have going for him is being a native of the state. This, a possibly high turnout in the western side of the state (again, the prosperous, conservative part), and a low turnout in the eastern side (the economically depressed, liberal part) gives Mitt Romney the chance of carrying Michigan. As much as I don’t like to say it, though, its 16 electoral college votes will be with President Obama this cycle.
Early Sunday Morning Addendum: A poll just released this morning gives me more hope that Michigan will swing Governor Romney’s way, but I’ll still stick with my prediction. This does not mean a good Republican turnout can’t prove me wrong. I would love to be proven wrong on this one. Make my day, Michigan!
A good amount of analysts that I have seen put Nevada as a true tossup, instead of an easy one as I put it. I remember what happened in 2010 when Harry Reid seemed like he was doomed. I honestly do not believe it was because Sharon Angle was “too conservative.” Nevada went for Harry because he knows how to get the casino barons and their employees to turn out and vote for the big “D.” I see the same scenario happening again here. But there is some hope for Governor Romney. Early voting numbers are looking good for Republicans, and the state’s high Mormon population could turn out and vote one of their own in as President for the first time in history. I’m still giving Nevada and its 6 electoral votes to the Democratic side, though. Those casino union bosses can sure turn out the vote!
This is my counter to putting Nevada as an easy Obama win. I think that North Carolina voters, like Indiana’s, regret helping to put Barack Obama into office. The young, yuppie type voters in “the Triangle” and the minority population are not going to turn out in droves like they did in 2008. The polls show a closer race than I arbitrarily think is reality. Romney will put a very large Evangelical vote on the table this election: something that happened in a very diminished way four years ago. Mitt Romney is going to end up with North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes.
With these “easy tossup states” in their respective columns, I have the following map and tally:
Barack Obama: 223
Mitt Romney: 206
Please stay tuned tomorrow as I delve into the “real tossup states.” I have eight states in this category: Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida. They have a total of 109 electoral votes added together. They are the states that have seen most of the campaigning. They are the states who will decide whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be the President for the next four years.