I wonder how many people have come to The Bright Coast in the past year and have been utterly disappointed due to the lack of any new posts. Probably not a whole lot, but I can live with that. The fact is, “brightcoast” and I have moved on to bigger and better things in the past couple of years, and we simply don’t have nearly the same amount of time to devote to crafting award-winning blog posts on “law, politics, and culture,” to use part of the tagline we borrowed from our rival blog. (That “other” blog has still been going strong, though, as our USD Law professor friends generally have plenty of time on their hands to write about all things conservative.) The two of us, on the other hand, have become USD Law alums, and neither of us even lives in San Diego, anymore! That being said, and especially since we’re less than 3 months from what many are calling “the biggest election of our lives,” I’ve caught the blogging bug again, at least to write the occasional election-related post. Where better to start than to talk briefly about some of my favorite subjects: polling, the state of the race as I see it, and the electoral college.
Despite what our professor friend hopes will happen, that being, a landslide for Willard Romney, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it will never come to pass. In fact, I can almost guarantee that President Obama will be re-elected in November. Why am I so confident? Well, besides the fact that Romney is a super weak candidate, the economy will slowly improve over the next few months, and it’s just generally difficult to defeat an incumbent, the electoral math is clearly on the President’s side. For Romney to win, there would have to be a pretty significant shift across the country to his side (Obama currently leads nationally by a few points or so), and he would almost have to sweep all of the major swing states. For an excellent state of the race, check out Nate Silver’s page here, which currently gives President Obama almost a 75% chance of winning re-election. For me, the proof is in the electoral math, and I’ve created a couple of maps over at 270towin.com to illustrate my confidence. The following map shows the lay of the land, that is, I would be absolutely shocked if any of the colored states goes the other way on Election Day:
As you can see, I believe that President Obama is a mere 23 electoral votes from re-election. If he fails to win any of the above blue states, he’ll be in real trouble. I just don’t see that happening. So, if he’s at 247, where does he pick up the other 23? In my mind, there are two clear paths to victory. Here’s the first:
In the above scenario, President Obama wins Nevada (where he’s currently up 5 in the polls with a 79% chance to win) and Ohio (also currently up 5 and a 72% chance to win.) He could also replace Nevada with Iowa, where he’s up 3 and has a 67% chance to win (these percentages come from Nate Silver’s page.) So, let’s leave in either Nevada or Iowa, and show you the second-easiest path to re-election:
New Hampshire and Virginia will get the President to exactly 270. In New Hampshire, he’s currently up 4 with a 74% chance, and in Virginia, he’s up 3 with a 68% chance to win.
In conclusion, I recommend focusing on polls from the above-mentioned states over the next 3 months. If you see a bad couple of polls from any of the blue states in the first map, President Obama should be very concerned. But, if all those hold up, simply look at Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Virginia. Winning Florida, North Carolina, or Colorado would just be a bonus…these aren’t needed to win. Also as shown, the President doesn’t need Ohio to win, if he can get Virginia, New Hampshire, and either Nevada or Iowa. Many paths to victory, and many fewer paths to victory for Romney. That’s the state of the race as I see it, and that, my friends, is our first blog post in a year. Perhaps there will be more soon to come!