We have FL, NC, and MO
IA is a tough sell because between 2004-2012, the GOP voters are leaving for jobs elsewhere. There’s not as many votes in the West or around the Central part to offset the East. In terms of our GOP candidates, Santorum is probably the strongest in that state, it’s just a matter of whether there are enough voters or not.
NC is an easy pick up for the GOP. McCain ran several points behind Bush in traditional conservative areas as well as the suburbs and he still lost by only 17,000. All the GOP nominee has to do is improve on the 08 numbers in the reliable red areas OR run better in the suburbs. If they do both, NC is a 5%+ win. Plus it doesn’t hurt that Bev Perdue has screwed the NC Dem Party there. If it wasn’t for the DNC in Charlotte, they would be ceding NC without much play.
MO is still GOP. There’s still enough voters to offset the liberal areas in KC/STL/Boone. Senate race also helps.
As you can tell from the model they have, OH and VA are by no means safe for Obama. They’re going off all the swing voters from Loudon County and the outer Nova burbs won’t be near as strong this time. Not a VA that had the GOP sweep in 2010. Obama’s in big trouble here.
OH is always a toss-up. I have no idea.
FL is interesting. One of the few areas McCain actually improved on quite significantly over Bush was in the Panhandle. Obama actually only ran about 1% better than Kerry in the blue areas. Obama won FL by almost breaking even in Jacksonville, and performing strongly along the I-4 corridor and evening things in SW FL. Interestingly, these are the areas Romney won pretty handedly in the FL primary. Easiest assumption is that everyone expects a Rubio or West to be on the ticket and the fact the GOP convention is in Tampa. FL leans slight GOP and probably will continue to do so right up to Election day.
Someone just mentioned flipping those two states makes it 266-272. That’s correct and what most people see. It’s finding that last state that’s difficult. The Romney people want to target NH. The Santorum people want to target the Midwest (PA, MI, WI, IA, and CO). Not exactly sure what state the Gingrich people are looking at. That’s the challenge for 2012, finding the last state.
Which is why Rubio is considered the heavy favorite for VP. He plays in FL and the SW. Santorum/Rubio would be pretty formidable, putting all the battlegrounds in play with Union and Hispanic voters except maybe NH.
In either case, it will be close (unless our guy starts winning all the battlegrounds). Because I’ve looked at the demographics and know where the voters are, I cringe when I here people on here say “so and so can’t win” or “Obama will win in a landslide”.
Great analysis. How about Governor Martinez from New Mexico? Would she help with the Southwest and Hispanics? Love the idea of West though. I amazed at the strength of our bench. Rubio and The Virginia Governor are extremely impressive front tier candidates with Haley and Walker as good VP choices-if we survive another 4 years of Obama . I think gas prices will be his undoing.