The AP spends a solid 1,050 words on an analytical breakdown of how the electoral college could look in November, but the main takeaway is what we already know:
This election is going to come down to a few crucial swing states.
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There’s the AP’s map, visualized thanks to 270towin.com. The AP identifies seven states — 85 electoral votes — that will determine if President Obama remains in the Oval Office or if we’ll see a President Romney in January.
The breakdown: Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18), and Virginia (13).
As you can see, Romney already goes into a huge disadvantage with this map. He needs to win most of these states to win. If he loses Florida, forget it.
Another problem: In some of these states, Obama has huge leads. Take Colorado, where a Public Policy Poll survey had him up 13 points in early April. Or Ohio, where the average of every reliable April and May poll has Obama up 5 points there. Or New Hampshire, where the last two polls have Obama up nine and 12 points, respectively. Or Iowa, where a May PPP survey had him up 10 points.
See the pattern there?
Bloomberg had a good breakdown last week of how the improving economy in swing states is benefitting Obama. Indeed, of these states, only Nevada and Florida have unemployment rates higher than the national average.
Now, here’s the wild card: It’s Wisconsin, where the stakes of next week’s recall election could loom large on a national scale.
Gov. Scott Walker is probably going to survive this recall effort. (Unless you count Walker challenger Tom Barrett’s internal poll.) Democrats are already freaking out about this and how it could carry over on to the national debate.
At the very least, it has made Wisconsin — which about two weeks ago was safely in Obama’s hands — and its 10 votes suddenly in play.