Since our last map, the Obama campaign has made significant gains, and if the election were held today would beat the Romney challenge relatively comfortably. Let’s have a closer look.
3 States Explained
1.Wisconsin – Despite the pick of Congressman Paul Ryan, who hails from the state, Wisconsin is still Obama’s to lose. While only highlighted as a ‘likely Obama’ in this map, that is more out of politeness for the Republican Vice Presidential nominee. The reality is Ryan has never held statewide office in the state, and while he has been adept at pulling in wide-ranging support in his District, he has little chance of delivering the rest of Wisconsin for Romney. The state is simply too blue, it really is that simple.
2. Michigan – This big and important state has moved from ‘leaning Obama’ to ‘likely Obama’, and in the coming weeks is likely to move into solid territory. The Democratic Convention drawing attention to the auto-bailout, and increased Democratic voter drives make the state increasingly likely to vote for the President in November. Romney’s ‘hometown’ credentials have been massively overplayed by some in the media, and the former Governor is unlikely to keep expensive media-market Michigan competitive that much longer.
3. Indiana- Although some parts of the state are trending Democratic, in a way not dissimilar to the tech-triangle in North Carolina, Indiana is still Republican heartland. With a population which is 87% white, Obama cannot fall back on the minority vote as he does in other states, and a large and fired up rural vote, Indiana is a solid vote for Romney in this election.
3 States to Watch
1. Ohio – It is always all about Ohio. After the bail-out focus at the DNC, and major union work bolstering voter registration rolls, Obama is now a ‘Leans Obama’ rather than a toss-up. The state is essential. If the Obama campaign can stop Romney here, they will retain the White House. Romney will be buying ads here non-stop between now and election day, and one can expect the race to get extremely nasty. If Ohio continues on its trend towards Obama, it will begin to look like the Romney campaign really cannot challenge the President.
2. Iowa – A big surprise, Iowa is one of the biggest changes since the last map, swinging from a ‘Likely Obama’ to toss-up. The Romney campaign is making a big play for the state, trying to smash the coalition that brought Obama victory here where it all began. If Iowa begins to move towards the Romney camp, the press will pick it up as a sign that some of those who know Obama best have had enough. The President needs to reassert himself here, and probably will succeed in doing so. Iowa still favours Obama overall, but the Romney campaign has made great progress here.
3. New Hampshire – Grotesquely over-valued by the Romney campaign, the former Governor has campaigned hard in the Granite State. Though it is far from safe for Obama, it is still likely to go with the President. New Hampshire is unlikely to decide the election, but will probably go with the winner. In other words, New Hampshire will be hugely influenced by who looks like winning overall. If Obama is on the ropes and staring defeat in the face, New Hampshire will probably cement a Romney victory, while if the Republicans fail to make the race any closer then New Hampshire will likely vote to re-elect. Romney should stop wasting time campaigning in New Hampshire, and focus on the states that might actually deliver the election. The people of New Hampshire know him very well, they know the issues better than most states, and Romney would do well to concentrate on other, less out of the way states where he is less well known.