How Romney won’t win

7 Aug

Three words: the Electoral College.

Politics 101 returns.

First, you need to understand the United States is a republic, not a true democracy.

We elect people to represent us, where a true democracy is like the town meeting, where everyone has a say and a vote.

The Electoral College was something the founding fathers wrote into the US Constitution as a compromise between the people or Congress directly electing the president and vice-president.

We’ve also have been told it was done in reaction to the small states who feared that the two most populous states at the time,  NY and VA,  would simply determine the winner by themselves if the president were elected by a popular vote.

Feel free to pick one.

The more we look the upcoming presidential election, the more we are convinced Mitt Romney doesn’t have a chance to win.

It’s simple mathematics.

Each state has a group of people who are supposed to take the will of the voters (as measured by who won the presidential election in their state) and cast the votes for who actually gets to be President.

The Electoral College determines the winner, not you at the ballot box.

Some follow the people’s will, some don’t – but that’s a story for another time.

The winner is the one to get 270 Electoral College votes.

The road to Romney getting 270 isn’t there.

Let’s start off with Pennsylvania.

There has been good reason for Democrats to worry about this so-called battle-ground state.

Obama won it by 10 points in 2008.

Obama benefited from all the unique circumstances of 2008 that helped him across the country.

But if ever there were a state where the “well, we gave the black guy a chance and he blew it” might catch on, it’s Pennsylvania.

But it probably won’t.

The jobless rate there is 7.5 percent, well below the national average.

Democratic voter registration has held its own.

The Philly suburbs have grown and Pennsylvania has been trending back toward Obama lately.

He now holds a lead there of nearly seven points, and he’s close to 50 percent approval.

Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes, and is tied with Illinois for fifth biggest in the country.

Democrats have been able to count on those votes for 20 years.

Losing them isn’t going to happen this year.

So Pennsylvania is off the boards.

This is how we think election night will break out:

11:00 pm on the east coast and four eastern states haven’t declared a winner yet.

Ohio (18 electorial votes), Virginia (13), North Carolina (15), and Florida (29) are still the unknowns.

In some Western states, the polls haven’t closed, or the races are too tight to project just yet – like Colorado and Nevada.

Arizona has just been called for Romney.

At this point, Romney actually leads, 188 to 182.

We’ll assume Obama has won Iowa (6), where his lead has been stable at three or four points, and New Hampshire (4), where Obama has a similar fairly small but stable lead, and Michigan (16), where the gap appears to be opening up a little.

So it’s a six-vote Romney edge.

And that’s still with the big Eastern four still up in the air.

Here’s how Romney loses:
California (55) goes with Obama.
That’s a given.

It’s also obvious he’s going to win Washington (12) and Oregon (7), where neither side even bothered to spend a dime.

Throw in Hawaii (4).

That takes Obama up to 260.

That’s something to keep in mind for election night:
Whatever Obama’s number is at 10 pm Eastern, add those 78 electorial votes which are also guaranteed to him.

If he wins Nevada (6) and Colorado (9), it’s over.

In other words, Obama can lose the big Eastern four – Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida: all of them – and still be reelected.

And barring some huge screw up, he’s not losing all four of those states.

If he wins just one — say Virginia, the smallest of the four — then Romney has to win Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

While possible, these are states where he has been behind, narrowly but consistently, for weeks or months.

The list of states where Obama holds a narrow but consistent lead is a long one:

Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
Michigan and Wisconsin are no longer really narrow.
Florida is more or less a dead heat.

The bottom line is that of the dozen or so key swing states, Romney leads only in one: North Carolina.

And that lead developed only over the summer.

Could something change the whole race in the next 3 months?
Of course.

But all of the supposedly game-changing events of the last few weeks haven’t changed much of anything.

An expected extremely close election stands a surprisingly good chance of being not that close at all.

One Response to “How Romney won’t win”

  1. Anonymous August 7, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Very detailed and though-out analysis. Eye-opening to me.

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