Friday, August 31, 2012

Obama vs. Romney Electoral Map: Sept 1 Update

As the Republican Circus winds down in Tampa and the Democratic one gets ready to roll in Charlotte, we have decided we need to make four changes in our Election prediction map since last month. The hammering Romney has taken over his taxes and the fiscal ice-water that runs in his veins was only exacerbated by the choice of Paul Ryan as Veep. Ryan's scorched-earth approach towards government programming has even normally Republican seniors sitting up to listen...and independent seniors furious.  The pandering to Ryan, darling of the Tea Party, and the adoption of a platform on social issues (abortion, marriage equality) that is so conservative Ronald Reagan wouldn't have been able to abide by it, cements the GOP ticket as an image of a party captured by the lunatic right.

Accordingly, we switch two states from red to blue:

FLORIDA:  The Senior citizen vote is critical in Florida, and the choice of Ryan was, in effect, a surrender of the Sunshine State by the Republicans.  Add to that the embarrassing voiding of a GOP-lead voter suppression law by the courts, and the endorsement of President Obama by former Republican Governor (and now-Independent) Charlie Crist, who stated, " "I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me."  Momentum is clear for Obama to overcome notorious elections in Florida to take the state. Color it Blue.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Another state with a sizable retiree population that votes in its own interests. A closely watched 'swing state,' New Hampshire Democrats are energized by a Gubernatorial primary that pits two popular Democrats against each other in a contest that has been relatively upbeat and above board.  The Republicans, meanwhile, are beginning to show their deep fissures, as Paul-leaning libertarians, Christian fundamentalists, and old-tyme establishment Republicans find it increasingly harder to convey a common message to the voters. We tilt this one, ever so slightly, Blue.

On the other hand, there are two states we are finally resigning to the GOP:

ARIZONA:  It appears that in this election, in spite of the outrage among liberals, the young, Latinos, and many independent women at the Republican establishment, they do not command the votes to overcome a significant GOP registration edge.  This was a state that I thought might end up in the 'swing' column, but it is clear now that it is Red, at least for the next election cycle or two.

IOWA: This state has gone back and forth, but the most recent polls seem to show that the Republicans are uniting and the Democrats are growing tired and weary of this fight.  It seems likely to slide back into the Red column in 2012.

This gives the election to Obama by an electoral vote of  326-212.

And now, the Sleeper Surprise State:  

GEORGIA: A Deep South state, many have simply written Georgia off as a Red Republican state like her neighbors Alabama and South Carolina.  But Georgia is changing: the metropolitan Atlanta area commands a huge portion of Georgia's electorate, and these are no good old boys.  In addition, the minority population of Georgia is growing exponentially: as of the 2010 census, only 56% of Georgians were non-Hispanic whites,  while 60% of those under the age of one were minorities. The minority vote will factor in strongly here.  Lastly, Georgia has a recent history of breaking for Democrats, such as home-state candidate Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

The latest polls?  Romney is still ahead...but only by a 3% margin.  I still expect Georgia to go Red, but it will be fascinating to watch the margin of victory; with Obama having won North Carolina and Virginia last go-round, and his expected victory in Florida in 2012, it is possible that 'the Solid South' is becoming a competitive landscape.


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