According to ELECTION 2012, an article in the October 28, 2012 edition of the Los Angeles Times, enough states seem to have committed to one of the presidential candidates to determine if it will go Democratic or Republican on November 6th. As such, it is believed the Democratic incumbent, Barack Obama, already has 243 electoral votes in the bag, while his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has only 193. Some may read that and be led to believe there is no reason to vote since President Obama only needs 27 more electoral votes for re-election. Not so fast. Besides voting being one of your rights, it is also your responsibility if you are 18 years old or older.
Have you noticed how much time both candidates have been spending in certain states over the last six to ten weeks? Could there be a deeper explanation for Mitt Romney’s naming Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate in Norfolk, Virginia besides the USS Wisconsin being moored next to Nauticus? Perhaps the ten electoral votes from Wisconsin, a state that voted Democratic in the three previous presidential elections (2000, 2004, 2008) best explains Romney’s choice of running mates. The thirteen electoral votes from Virginia, a state that voted Republican in 2000 and 2004 but went Democratic in 2008 likely explain why Virginia received the ‘honor’ of having Romney’s running mate announced there. Those votes may also explain why both Romney and Ryan have been spending an inordinate amount of time in our commonwealth. Republican wins in both Wisconsin and Virginia would decrease Obama’s perceived lead in electoral votes from 52 to 29.
The Los Angeles Times also includes Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), North Carolina (15), New Hampshire (4) and Ohio (18) as swing states in the upcoming election. While all these states went Democratic in the 2008 election, all but New Hampshire voted Republican in 2004. In 2000, New Hampshire voted Republican along with the states noted above, with the exception of Iowa going Democratic.
The New York Times ELECTION 2012 report has already deemed North Carolina as a Republican state for November 6th. It is the only discrepancy noted from the tally provided by the Los Angeles Times. Adding North Carolina’s electoral votes to Romney’s projected tally reduces the difference in electoral votes to 37 instead of 52. Were Virginia and Wisconsin to also vote Republican as noted above, the tally becomes 243 for President Obama and 229 for Mitt Romney, a much closer race than it might have appeared at first glance.
On the local front, the Associated Press, in an independent analysis, identified Suffolk, Virginia as one of 106 swing localities throughout the United States that is likely to turn the tide of the November 6th presidential election. How did the Associated Press select my hometown for this dubious honor, or any of the other 105 localities, for that matter?
First, the Associated Press (AP) analyzed vote tallies in each locality of the nine states it identified as swing states in 2004 and 2008, including Virginia. Next, the AP zeroed in on cities and counties that voted for one party in 2004 and then switched to the other in 2008.
In 2004, Suffolkians voted for Republican George W. Bush over Democrat John Kerry by a 5% margin. Four years later, the voters in Suffolk chose Democratic candidate Barack Obama over Republican candidate John McCain by more than a 13% margin. It is interesting to note Suffolkians chose the eventual state and national winner in both these elections; however, they failed to do so in the 2000 and 1996 elections.
University of Virginia professor, Larry Sabato, renowned for pre-election picks at all levels of government, believes there are only four true swing states remaining: Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin. Those 36 electoral votes will be crucial to the eventual winner of the 2012 presidential election.