Roger’s Rules

What States Will Obama Win? (Second in a Series)

The day before the last presidential debate, I speculated here on what states Obama would win.  That final debate did not change much: Romney solidified his new status as frontrunner and has continued his momentum.  He succeeded in presenting himself as what he in fact is: a plausible, competent candidate, and one, moreover, who has that presidential aura, that indefinable but essential nimbus of authority.  Obama, for his part, gave his petulance free rein. As many commentators noted, he seemed more like the challenger than the incumbent: scrappy, impatient, full of bile and vitriol. Unfortunately, for him, Romney got to summarize the major take-away from that debate: “Attacking me is not an agenda.” With all that in mind, I present my updated list of states I think Obama will win:

  1. Hawaii (4)
  2. Washington (12)
  3. Oregon (7)
  4. California (55)
  5. New Mexico (5)
  6. Illinois (20)
  7. Minnesota (10)
  8. New York (29)
  9. Washington, DC (3)
  10. Maryland (10)
  11. Delaware (3)
  12. New Jersey (14)
  13. Connecticut (7)
  14. Rhode Island (4)
  15. Massachusetts (11)
  16. Vermont (3)
  17. Maine (4)

So: I am now thinking that Obama will win two fewer states than I thought before the debate: Iowa and Michigan, I suspect, will migrate to the red team.. Right now, I predict he will get sixteen states and the enfranchised dependent sinkhole that is Washington, D.C., for a grand total of 201 electoral votes, leaving Mitt Romney with 35 states and 337 electoral votes.

As I noted before, there are obviously variations on this scenario. Most that I ponder have Romney winning, and winning comfortably. Maybe Obama will pick up a couple of states I have put on the Romney side of the roster. It won’t matter because Obama will not pick up enough to give him the needed 69 electoral votes. As Karl Rove notes in his Wall Street Journal column today, “An incumbent president’s final number in opinion polls is often his Election Day share of his vote. Undecided voters generally swing the challenger’s way. So if Mr. Obama goes into Nov. 6 below 50% in these states—as he now is in almost every one—he is likely to lose them and his chance at a second term.”

Read part one here.

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