State Unemployment Rates

The State Of The Electoral College 26 Days Before The Election: Obama Wins By More Narrow Margin!

There has been a lot of hysteria and panic about Barack Obama, as a result of his sub par performance in the first Presidential debate last week.

But even before the Vice Presidential debate tonight between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, and next Tuesday’s second Presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney, when one thinks clearly and calms down, it is clear that Barack Obama is going to win the election, and that the Electoral College, which elects our Presidents, is favorable to him.

This has been discussed before by this blogger, and certainly the math of the Electoral College is in flux, but still the odds are heavily in favor or Obama winning!

Let’s start with the reality, that Obama has 237 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win, and anyone who hallucinates that somehow, the states that he is seen as having certain in his camp will magically switch to Romney, needs a dose of reality!

Obama will win the entire Northeast (except possibly New Hampshire); Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota in the Midwest; New Mexico; the Pacific Coast; and Hawaii. This is a total of 18 states and the District of Columbia. No money is being spent by the Romney campaign in these states, as Romney alienated Michigan in calling for the bankruptcy of the auto industry, and Minnesota has never been seen as a state that was seriously a candidate to back Romney’s candidacy, although if former Governor Tim Pawlenty had been Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate, Minnesota might have been in play!

Everyone talks about “swing states”, and yes, there are nine of those up for grabs, but in four of them, Obama is favored because the unemployment rate is lower than the national average—New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa–with a total of 41 electoral votes, which if added to the 237 for Obama, becomes a grant total of 278 electoral votes, 8 more than needed.

Iowa is sixth lowest unemployment rate with 5.5%; New Hampshire is seventh lowest with 5.7%; Virginia is tenth lowest with 5.9 %; and Ohio is 20th lowest with 7.2%. Additionally, Wisconsin is 25th lowest with 7.5%—all five of these states under the national rate of 7.8%!

Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada have higher unemployment rates, and therefore can be seen as much more difficult for Obama to win, particularly after the “bump” in some polls for Romney after the first Presidential debate.

So let’s assume the latter four states, and even Wisconsin (as the home of Paul Ryan) go to Romney. It still is not enough, as the most he would have then would be 260 electoral votes, ten short of the number needed to win the Presidency!

The Electoral College numbers are still subject to change over the next 26 days, but it is safe to say, that the LOW point is 278 electoral votes for Barack Obama from a total of 22 states and the District of Columbia, with still the potential for Obama to win all nine of the ‘swing states”, rather than four, and a grand high total of 347 electoral votes to 191 for Mitt Romney!

“Swing” States Down To Eight, Narrowing Romney Chances Of Winning Presidency!

The Mitt Romney Presidential campaign has decided to buy advertising time on television in only eight states, narrowing the chance that the former Massachusetts Governor can win the Presidency.

Eliminated as places of opportunity are Michigan, the birthplace and childhood of Romney, and the state that his father was Governor in the 1960s; Wisconsin, the birthplace and home of his running mate, Paul Ryan; and Pennsylvania, despite the well known white male battleground of western Pennsylvania, often thought to be an Achilles Heel for Barack Obama!

So what are the states still in play?

New Hampshire–4 electoral votes
Virginia–13 electoral votes
North Carolina–15 electoral votes
Florida–29 electoral votes
Ohio–18 electoral votes
Iowa–6 electoral votes
Colorado–9 electoral votes
Nevada–6 electoral votes

The total electoral votes in play are 100, while Obama leads with 247 electoral votes from 19 states and the District of Columbia, and Romney has 191 electoral votes from 23 states. Remember that the winner of the election must have 270 electoral votes.

So, with the updated realities that even Romney’s advertising campaign reflects, Obama wins If

he wins Florida (29 electoral votes)
he wins Ohio and Virginia (31 electoral votes)
he wins Ohio and North Carolina (33 electoral votes)
he wins Ohio and Iowa or Nevada (24 electoral votes)
he wins Ohio and Colorado (27 electoral votes)
he wins New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada (25 electoral votes)
he wins North Carolina and Colorado (24 electoral votes)
he wins North Carolina and Iowa and Nevada (27 electoral votes)
he wins Virginia and Iowa and Nevada (25 electoral votes)
he wins Virginia and Colorado and New Hampshire (26 electoral votes)
he wins Virginia, Colorado, and either Iowa or Nevada (28 electoral votes)

So these are ELEVEN scenarios where Barack Obama has the advantage–needing only between one and four states of the eight “swing” states to win the Presidency in the Electoral College!

The unemployment rate is lower than the national average in New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio and Iowa, while higher in North Carolina, Florida, Colorado and Nevada.

So if one were to assume that the four states that have the lower unemployment rate than the national average go to Obama, he wins 41 electoral votes, for a grand total of 288 electoral votes.

Of course, there are five states, that are considered “red” or Republican states, that actually are in play, although expected to go to Romney. These are Indiana (11 electoral votes), which went to Obama in 2008; Missouri (10 electoral votes), which was won by John McCain in 2008 by only about 4,000 votes; Montana (3 electoral votes), which is becoming more Democratic; Arizona (11 electoral votes), which is moving toward Democratic over time with the growing Hispanic vote, and the controversial immigration law under Governor Jan Brewer; and Georgia (16 electoral votes), which is gaining a large Hispanic population, which means it will likely trend Democratic over the next few election cycles. Were all of these to go Democratic in a close vote situation, Obama could, theoretically, win 51 more electoral votes!

So, IF Obama were to win all of the eight “swing states” now in play, based on Romney’s decision as to what states to spend money on advertising, he would go from what seems clearly 247 electoral votes to 347 electoral votes–meaning he would have won all of the states he won in 2008, except for Indiana!

This is 18 electoral votes fewer than in 2008, when Obama won 365 electoral votes–due to the theoretical loss of Indiana (11 electoral votes), plus the fact that the states he won lost a total of 7 electoral votes due to reapportionment of seats in Congress, based on the 2010 Census.

But IF Obama were to win the “red” states that could be in play, listed above, a total of five states with 51 electoral votes, his highest theoretical total of electoral votes would reach 398 electoral votes, meaning Romney would win only 140 electoral votes, with Obama winning 32 states and the District of Columbia, and Romney winning 18 states!

The ultimate point of this discussion is to make it clear that the odds of Obama being re-elected are very high, despite the supposedly tight popular vote on a national level, which really proves nothing, as the polls on popular vote in the eight “swing” states demonstrate that Obama is ahead in all of them, except in North Carolina and Colorado, so to bet against Obama would be a losing bet, best thought about before being placed, as the odds of losing large amounts of money is extremely a likely occurrence!