Your election night guide
August 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Sure, things may change before then, but William Galston has a nice piece on what states are most likely to actually make the difference on election night. Here’s the key summary:
But for simplicity’s sake, assume that each candidate does what he must, with Romney taking Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio while Obama turns back the Republican assault in the upper Midwest. If so, Obama would have 247 electoral votes; Romney, 253. And five states would be left to decide the contest: Virginia (13), New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6), Colorado (9), and Nevada (6). Obama won all five in 2008, four by margins exceeding his national margin, the fifth (Virginia) with slightly less…
This scenario means that we’re likely to know quite a bit about the outcome fairly early on election night. If Romney loses Florida, the contest is over. If Obama loses Virginia, he needs to run the table. And if he goes down to defeat in both Virginia and New Hampshire, he’d be on track to lose the election—unless he could replace their electoral votes by hanging onto North Carolina. If not, Obama’s reelection would hinge on the most traditional of all pivots—the Buckeye state. This year, we may well know the name of the next president before we cross the Mississippi.