Skip to comments.To Stop Mitt, Obama Targets N.C., Florida, Ohio
Posted on 08/12/2012 9:30:30 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Our presidential elections, pundits sometimes remind us, are not national contests, but rather contests in 50 states and the District of Columbia. And since most states lean heavily to one party or the other these days, the only real contests are in a dozen or so target states.
Once upon a time, most states were in play. In the 1976 contest between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, 30 states with 396 electoral votes were carried by less than 10 percent of the votes. Three-quarters of voters lived in those states.
In 2008, the field of play was much smaller. The candidates' percentage margins were less than 10 percent in only 15 states with 159 electoral votes. Less than one-third of voters lived in those states.
In 1976, all of the eight largest states were carried by less than 10 percent. In 2008, only two, Florida and Ohio, were.
Admittedly, 1976 was an extreme case. Both nominees were from regions -- south Georgia, outstate Michigan -- that were their parties' historic heartlands but where each party was in long-term decline. And 2008 was an extreme case in the other direction.
But while the list of target states has become shorter, it isn't etched in stone. It can change from election to election.
There's a tendency to ignore this because in recent history, from the middle 1990s to the middle of the past decade, voting behavior was unusually static. Only three states cast their electoral votes for different parties in the 2000 and 2004 elections.
But voters in different states and regions don't always move in tandem. The 2008 election was a good example. 2012 seems to be another.
Several analysts have noted that Barack Obama seems to be stronger in recent target state polling than one might extrapolate from national polls.
Some have argued that this is due to overly Democratic samples in some cases. Others have argued that it represents a response to ads attacking Mitt Romney's business record.
Each explanation is plausible. But I've noticed something else looking at the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls in states on various target lists and comparing Obama's current percentages in polls with his percentage of the actual vote in November 2008.
In three states, Obama currently is polling only 3 or 4 percent below his actual vote in 2008 -- North Carolina, Florida and Ohio. Probably not coincidentally, these were three of the four states where his winning percentages were lowest (in the fourth, Indiana, he seems far behind this year).
In 2008, the Obama campaign was able to spot openings in previously safe Republican states and use its money advantage to carry them. It looks like the 2012 Obama campaign has been concentrating its money, as well as appearances by the president and cabinet members, in these three states with 62 electoral votes in the hope that they will be a firewall preventing Romney from reaching the 270-vote majority.
But it looks like the Obama forces won't be able to heavily outspend the Republicans from now on. And the risk is that if opinion moves against them by a few more points in these firewall states, it will also do so in other states that weren't necessarily on the target list in 2008 but are now.
These include the manufacturing states of Michigan and Indiana, with 27 electoral votes, where Obama's current poll numbers are nearly or more than 10 percent behind his 2008 showing, and Missouri, with 10 electoral votes, which he nearly carried in 2008 but which now looks out of reach.
They also include six states with 46 electoral votes that have very low percentages of black voters -- Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon and Wisconsin. Obama carried all of these handily, but his current polling is seven to nine points behind his 2008 percentage.
And they include Virginia, with 13 electoral votes, the one state that matched the national percentages for Obama and John McCain and where Obama's current polling lead is 47 percent to 44 percent.
All of these 10 states, with 96 electoral votes, cast more votes for Republicans than Democrats in 2010 House elections. That was true also in Pennsylvania and Nevada, which together have 26 electoral votes.
Poll numbers are imprecise and subject of course to change. My point is that the list of target states has changed and gotten larger -- and could change and grow even more.
Well both sides are targeting those states.
The only state out of that group Obama could possibly win is Ohio.
Virginia could be play. NOVA is growing fast and is more liberal than the rest of the state. I don’t think he will win but it is not outside of the realm of possibility. If Mitt does really poorly in debates or has gaffes I think Florida could possibly come into play though I doubt it.
I’d be shocked if Obama took North Carolina. He barely won it last time in an election that the Democrats did very well in. Romney would have to implode for Obama to have a prayer. NC almost always goes red. Last time was an exception.
Is it true that Paul Ryan’s tie to Wisconsin could somehow affect Ohio too?
Ryan needs to spend the next month barnstorming Ohio and Florida.
Look down ticket in north carolina,its pretty bad for demorats from the governor on down.I’d be surprised if he won there.
Yeah, I actually burst out laughing when I saw NC.
I just tweeted it out to @GOP @KarlRove @marklevinshow @MittRomney @PaulRyanVP
Maybe I should delete it
Obama isn’t going to win any of those 3 States.
I sure am looking forward to Dick Morris’ “Sandals Lunch Alert” or whatever it’s called. Maybe he’ll talk about it tomorrow.
WTOP POLL: Obama 48, Romney 46 in northern Va.!!
But then again, that's just NC. As the Freeper brain trust has pointed out, there are problems looking at the other Commonwealths/states in the piece. I don't know the FL stats/conditions, but I'm very familiar with VA and Ohio and I could rant about those too. The biggest problem in Ohio are the unions that defeated the previous ballot measure. However Ryan can break that with the religion tie and appeal directly to the members - just like President Reagan. Kasich and the other elected Republicans will be a huge factor when the campaign uses them and Romney is a perfect fit for the Ohio CC and Rhodes Republicans. SW portion of the state will go nuts for them and come out in mass. The energy theme will play nicely into what Ohioans are starting to see with hydro-fracking (providing Brown and his goons aren't able to coop it). But don't get me started...
Ok, I'm going with that old cliche which is totally appropriate here. From YOUR lips to God's ears. I can never figure why any Catholic could vote for a dem / pro-abortion candidate.
Well, let’s hope this Christmas there will be 4 former Presidents having Christmas Dinner in Kennebunkport and not just 3.
Here in Ohio, I simultaneously got a letter from Michelle Obama and Mitt Romney, both asking for money of course. I simultaneously threw them both in the garbage.
Someone very high up in the Catholic church in AZ (a republican) had discussed something with me.
He often wondered why so many Catholic nations in Europe would fall to dictatorships and Communism so easily. He suspected that maybe it was something about the Catholic culture (which is sort of like a government in itself) and the people were use to being told by the church what to do, how to do it...etc.
The Catholics and Diocese that have familiarity with in Ohio doesn't support the pro-abortion stance of the northern libs, which should be enough to make the difference in the election. We can pray that pro-abortion voting Catholics will see the light and correct the errors of their ways.
I can’t wait for it to happen...
But there’s going to be a lot of sleepless nights in the next 86 (?) days in VA to make sure it is done.
The author is Michael Barone, who follows electoral politics practically precinct by precinct across the country, and has for decades. No one is better at this than Barone. Most of us have anecdotal evidence; Barone has empirical. I’d think twice about calling his analysis flawed.
85 days 1 hour 53 minutes and 32 seconds
I practice the art in VA and study NC and Ohio. I respectfully call it flawed.
And I do believe that Karl is better.
Thanks for the proper time. I’m having a lack of sleep and time zone problem.
BTW, what are your thoughts?
If not, he can’t possibly win.
Problem is in the most recent Real Clear Politics info Obama is still up by 2% in the state. He has a shot.
Most of those polls over-sample Democrats by 10-40%, only poll “registered” voters or mere adults, not likely voters, don’t take into account the leanings of the independents they poll and word the polls in such a way as to be beneficial to Mr. Obama. When you plow through all that, Gov. Romney is winning, big, in many swing states. And if Mr. Obama’s internal polls showed him winning in all the states RCP says he is, he wouldn’t be campaigning in those places.
They don’t have virtually unlimited money this time, against a poor sap with only 37 million dollars.
I posted this in another thread. It seems that Paul Ryan graduated college with a B.A. from Miami University, here in OH. SO, that gives him some Buckeye cred. (From Wikipedia)
Paul Davis Ryan (born January 29, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, serving since 1999. On August 11, 2012, Ryan was chosen by Mitt Romney to be his vice presidential running mate, becoming the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election. Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan earned a B.A. degree from Miami University in Ohio. Following his studies, he worked as an aide to United States Senator Bob Kasten of Wisconsin, as legislative director for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and as a speechwriter for former U.S. Representative and 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp of New York. In 1998, Ryan won election to the United States House of Representatives, succeeding the two-term incumbent, fellow Republican Mark Neumann. He is now in his seventh term.
Obama won VA 52-46 in 2008.
It’s looking like 2010 all over again. Come on November, just get here and let’s end this Obama freak show.
NC is going solid red. The Dems are toast with Bev Purdue and the gay marriage crap.
Paul Ryan went to Miami University here in Southwestern Ohio. The local media is really playing that up. His Catholic, pro-life position plays strong in Western Cincinnati which is predominantly Catholic, as well as in Toledo which is very Catholic as well.
Ryan will help Romney in Ohio. No doubt about that. Youngstown, Akron, Canton and certain parts of Cleveland are also heavily Catholic and everyone knows Obama has declared war on the Catholic church. Yard signs are around Ohio saying “Stand up for Religious Freedom”. They are all over the yards of Catholic churches. This is a big issue in large sectors of the state.
I’m with you. If Romney has to defend NC, it’s all over and Obama is going to win big, but a loss in NC is VERY unlikely. To win, Romney and Ryan have to take OH, FL, VA, CO, and either Ohio or Wisconsin. I think they should campaign in NV, PA, NH, and Michigan too, just to see if they can get the traction to put one or two of those states in play.
I was at the Manassas (Northern VA) rally Saturday. There were at least 10k people there. A couple of weeks ago my wife met a friend in Leesburg (Northern VA) to go shopping on the day that Zero happened to be having a rally there. She said she was worried about traffic and crowds, but there was no one there for Obama. Anecdotal I know, but encouraging nonetheless.