Still, of these dozen, five are solidly going Romney's way (FL, IA, NH, NC, and VA) and four are a hard lean in Obama's favor (NM, PA, MI, NV).
If this plays out that way, it really boils down to whoever can capture 2 of these 3 states: Ohio, Colorado, Wisconsin.
Even if Ryan pulls Wisconsin into Romney's corner, if Romney loses both Colorado and Ohio, he won't win.
The high Evangelical presence along the Front Range in CO is NOT enthused, turnout-wise, over Mormon Romney. Things are looking better for Romney in Ohio per the reports I've heard.
FWIW, I feel much better about Romney’s chances in Colorado than I do in Ohio. And, as you said, Ohio is looking much better for us in recent days.
Also, the numbers I have seen suggest it is premature to put Nevada in Obama’s camp at this point. I agree that NM is looking like a lost cause (barring a major turnaround) for Romney though.
PA and MI are also tough for R/R, but if they are truly up five overall in the battleground states, then they will be very competitive there as well.
This may also be the election year that breaks most of the rules, because Barack Obama and Slow Joe are so odious.
In your scenario: FL,IA,NH,NC,VA-Romney; NM,PA,MI,NV-Obama, all Romney needs is Ohio (18) or both Colorado and Wisconsin (16). And if Romney takes COL and WISC he can lose either IA (6) or NH (4).
I think Romney takes Colorado but I’m less confident about NH and Iowa. I think Nevada is in play too.
If Romney does take Fla and Va. it opens a lot of paths to victory.
It’s looking more and more as if Romney will win OH, CO, and WI!