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Romney Must Close the Deal Where the Tea Party Did Well in 2010

Our friend, Oklahoma-based political strategist Dwight Dissler, is a great numbers guy. Dwight recently observed that “the most recent legitimate polling on the presidential contest shows a race that is very tight and shifting somewhat away from President Obama.”

However, in the Electoral College, the vote that counts, Obama still maintains a substantial lead. In 2008, Obama won all ten "swing states" (states whose winner-take-all electoral votes went to George W. Bush in 2004). According to Dissler, here's how the ten swing states look right now, in the heat of the summer, before the Olympics, conventions, and Labor Day:

  • ·         Indiana has moved from Obama 2008 clearly into the Romney column.
  • ·         Three states that have always been "blue" or Democrat states – Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – have moved into the "tossup" category. So Obama will have to play some home court defense. Romney will not.
  • ·         Due to the 2010 census and subsequent redistricting, there has been a 20 electoral vote swing away from blue states to red states before any votes are cast. (e.g. NY lost two congressional seats and therefore two electoral votes; Texas gained four)

The other nine swing states, electoral votes, latest legitimate polls:

State Votes Leader
Florida 29 Romney +1
Ohio 18 Obama +2
North Carolina 15 Romney +3
Virginia 13 Tied
Colorado 9 Tied
Iowa 6 Romney +1
Nevada 6 Obama +5
New Hampshire 4 Obama +2
New Mexico 5 Obama +5

Keep in mind, in 2008, Obama won ALL of the above.

New "tossups":

State Votes Leader
Michigan 16 Tied
Wisconsin 10 Romney +3
Pennsylvania 20 Obama +5

Tea PartyIn 2004, Bush won the Electoral College 286-252. In 2008, Obama won 365-173. It's much, much better than 2008, but scarily close. Obama, at this point, is not threatening in any state McCain won in 2008. If trends hold, Romney has gained 60 votes over the hapless John McCain. However, Obama is still well above the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to hold the presidency.

If Dwight is right, and he generally is, our takeaway is that Governor Romney is trending in the right direction, but until he closes the deal in more of the swing states -- places where the Tea Party did well in 2010, such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia -- the election is in doubt.

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