A candidate must win 270 electoral votes to become president, says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post, and Mitt has very little room for error
Mitt Romney's road to victory in November is much tougher than it seems, says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. Analyzing the electoral college map (a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives the highest percentage of the popular vote), Cillizza says that even in the best-case scenario, Romney would win just 290 electoral votes. At least 270 are needed to win the presidency, giving Romney only a "paper-thin margin for error." Obama won 365 electoral college votes in 2008, and just to get to 290, Mitt would need to bag major swing states like Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, and Florida, as well as North Carolina and Virginia. Can he do it?
It's tough... but Mitt can do it: "It's a narrow window for Romney, to be sure," says Rick Moran at American Thinker. But it's not impossible. Pivotal states that look like they're up for grabs now, like North Carolina and Nevada, should be firmly in Romney's column by November. Plus, Romney's economic programs will sell well in the struggling Midwest, maybe even propelling him to an unexpected win in Michigan or Wisconsin. It also helps that Mitt has a "solid floor of about 190 electoral votes" that are all but certain to go for him, which means he can concentrate entirely on winning a small number of critical swing states.
"Romney's narrow electoral college path to victory"
It's tough... and Mitt can't do it: With the exception of Texas, the big states with the most electoral votes (think California, New York, and Illinois) "are all in Obama's pocket," says Prairie Weather. And let's be frank: Even Texas is no sure thing for Republicans. The Lone Star State is "swinging back toward Democrats" as its population surges, fed from other left- and centrist-leaning parts of the country. Soon, Republicans may not have a lock on any major electoral states. The math just isn't on Romney's side.
"Romney vs. the numbers"
It's way too soon to talk electoral college: Today, Romney's ceiling looks like 290, says Jonathan Bernstein at Plain Blog. That will change dramatically by November. If Bill Clinton's electoral ceiling was measured at this point in 1992, pundits would have predicted only a narrow victory — not the landslide that occurred. This early in the campaign, the parties are roughly even nationally, which means the electoral vote tally could swing wildly either way in the coming months. Don't bother considering the electoral college "until at least after the conventions."
"No, really, don't think about the electoral college yet"
Other stories from this topic:
- The Bullpen: President Romney vs. President Obama
- Opinion Brief: Romney's assault on 'ObamaCare': Smart politics or blatant hypocrisy?
- Opinion Brief: Mitt Romney makes it (almost) official: Is he still the GOP frontrunner?