Getting To 270: Same As It Ever Was

George Will just saved me a lot of time I would have spent reading RCP articles about the 2012 presidential election over the next year. He did so by reminding us that the election will hinge on the same battleground states since 2000, not any national polls. An excerpt:

There are many paths to 270 Republican electoral votes. Of the 10 states that will lose electoral votes because of the 2010 census, Obama carried eight in 2008. The states John McCain carried then had 173 electoral votes and now have 180. A Republican nominee who holds those and adds Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia and Nevada has 272 electoral votes.

Obama’s margin of error in the 5 States to be flipped

  • Nevada – Obama carried by 12.4%
  • Ohio – Obama carried by 4.6%
  • Florida – Obama carried by 1.8%
  • North Carolina – Obama carried by 0.3%
  • Virginia – Obama carried by 0.3%

For a political junkie’s version of ESPN’s Trade Machine, check out this web site which allows you to see the effects of States flipping on the electoral count.

The entire George will column is copied at the end of the post.
———————————————————-
Pawlenty’s pace picks up

By George F. Will

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WASHINGTON

Asked three weeks ago if he would like to run for president, Mitch Daniels replied, “What sane person would like to?”

Days before Daniels decided not to sacrifice his family’s happiness for politics, he was asked about possible running mates. He said he would like to pick Condoleezza Rice, who happens to favor abortion rights. This quickened fears that he is indifferent to social issues important to the Republican nominating electorate and that he might restore Bush administration persons and policies. A Daniels candidacy would have been difficult.

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is the closest approximation of a Republican kingmaker, because since 1980 the candidate who has carried his state has won the nomination and because the tea party trusts him. In 2008, he supported Mitt Romney. Two months ago, according to what The Hill newspaper calls “a source close to DeMint,” the senator would “never consider” doing so again unless Romney renounced his Massachusetts health care law as “a colossal mistake.” Romney decided to do the opposite.

Daniels’ and Romney’s decisions have made May an accelerating month for Tim Pawlenty, former two-term governor of the only state to vote Democrat in nine consecutive presidential elections — arguably the most conservative governor in Minnesota’s history.

To make the most of his momentum he should stop criticizing Barack Obama’s Libyan intervention as insufficiently ambitious. Pawlenty recently told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I would tell Gadhafi he’s got X number of days to get his affairs in order and go or we’re going to go get him.”

Such bluster is not presidential and is not Pawlenty’s real persona. He actually is a temperate Midwesterner, socially and fiscally conservative. He is, as were almost half the participants in the 2008 Republican nominating events, an evangelical Christian, well-positioned to inherit much of this cohort.

The nomination is well worth winning. In 2008 Obama won all, but only, states where George W. Bush’s favorable rating was below 35 percent. Still, even when Obama was a relatively blank slate, he won only 53 percent of the popular vote.

There are many paths to 270 Republican electoral votes. Of the 10 states that will lose electoral votes because of the 2010 census, Obama carried eight in 2008. The states John McCain carried then had 173 electoral votes and now have 180. A Republican nominee who holds those and adds Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia and Nevada has 272 electoral votes.

In Pennsylvania, a late-April Quinnipiac poll showed independents disapproving of Obama’s job performance by a 20-point margin, 57-to-37, with a majority of Pennsylvanians saying he did not deserve re-election. If he loses Pennsylvania, where Republicans gained five House seats last year, he is unlikely to win Ohio — Republicans also gained five seats there — or a second term.

June will be the 68th month since 1948 with the unemployment rate at 8 percent or higher — the 29th such month under Obama. No postwar president has sought re-election with 8 percent unemployment.

The recession ended in June 2009, yet a late-April Gallup poll showed 55 percent of Americans describing the economy as in a recession or depression. Hence 78 percent are dissatisfied with the country’s direction.

In 1960, candidate John Kennedy’s mantra was, “I think we can do better.” In 2012, a Republican can win by re-casting that as a question: “Is this the best we can do?”

George F. Will can be reached at georgewill@washpost.com or .

Read more: Pawlenty’s pace picks up – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/print_738911.html#ixzz1NTUZ6kXH

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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