Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Friday 09/07/12

The Road to 270

With the political conventions over, it's now a two-month presidential race to 270 electoral votes out of 538 possible votes among the states. Yet, as many as 38 states are effectively locked down for their candidate, barring a major political eruption usually classified as an "October surprise."

Demonstrating how President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are vying for the same votes, the campaigns could have coordinated schedules today and saved some travel fare. Instead, they will cross paths in mid-air.

Both candidates will campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, Romney will speak earlier in conservative Northwest Iowa, Orange City to be exact. Obama will speak later in the day across the state in the more liberal Iowa City.

It's a reflection of where the undecided votes fall that the two candidates will again be back in the two small states that started the nominating process nine months ago.

According to most pollsters, Obama and Romney are down to fighting for basically 95 electoral votes spread out over eight states: Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18), Virginia (13), and Wisconsin (10).

Some polls, however, suggest there are as many as 156 electoral votes in play due to other possible swingers in Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20), both considered Blue for now, as well as Missouri (10) and North Carolina (15), both considered Red for now.


To give more sense of how close it is in those states, Romney's campaign issued a press release Friday announcing new TV ads in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

Having grown up in Missouri I was proud of the ability of Missourians to always be winners, not in sports so much but certainly in presidential elections. Missouri had been on the winning side in every election since 1956.

That streak was snapped in 2008 when John McCain won Missouri by 3,903 votes.

Missouri now seems to lean Republican in the presidential race, though in the range of political polls for electoral votes, there is some possibility Missouri is a toss-up. That's something I am curious to track over time as both a political junkie and college sports fan. I have this hypothesis that some political changes could occur in states where the major college sports team has changed conferences. Missouri moved into a more conservative conference going to the Southeastern Conference while Colorado, another tossup state, moved into the more liberal-state PAC 12. Could that possibly create some change over time in political thinking? Or, and this is really crazy, would red state Nebraska ever follow Big10 states Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin and to become a more toss-up states down the road?

Back to now, Obama has 221-252 electoral votes while Romney is sitting at 191-196 depending on the pollster's measurements.

Cook Political Report has it Obama 232 and Romney 211 with the 95 undecided. http://cookpolitical.com/…

Rasmussen Reports has Obama 247 and Romney 196 and 95 votes are again tossups. Rasmussen has Nevada leaning towards Obama and lists Missouri as a tossup state based on a recent poll showing Romney leading by less than the margin of error in the Show-Me State. Another poll on Rasmussen's website showed Obama up by 1% over Romney in Missouri, obviously within any margin of error. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/…

Politico keeps Missouri in Romney's ledger, but has Michigan as a swing state. With that, Politico lists Obama with 221 likely electoral votes, Romney with 191 and the swing states with 126 electoral votes out there to grab. http://www.politico.com/…

CNN has Obama at 250 and Romney at 191. http://www.cnn.com/…

Fox News lists three calculators showing Obama with 221-252 (depending on the calculator) and Romney at 191. http://www.foxnews.com/…

I can be found on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 8:25AM CDT 09/07/12 by Chris Clayton
Comments (11)
Don't forget the impact of voter suppression in Pa, Ohio, Florida and Texas which is designed to help Romney
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 6:32PM CDT 09/07/12
Why is it that liberal Democrats are the only ones to stupid or to lazy to get a photo ID ? The biggest impact on this election is most of us have figured out we were sold a bill of goods by the liberal media who were to lazy to figure out who Oboma really is a far left socialist who does not particularly like America. Go see the movie 2016 it will tell you exactly what he is nd what he has planned for this country.
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 4:45PM CDT 09/08/12
I go by the movie "W" when I decide who to vote for! Another good one today is "Batman",,,, Bane is the bad guy there!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:23AM CDT 09/09/12
To open a bank account, one needs photo I D, To buy beer one needs photo i d, to drive a car one needs photo i d. After 20 years of employment, one needs photo i d to get into work. One needs photo i d to get a loan. When one pays for health care, photo i d is required. Poor, poor liberals should try one of the above, I D would not be an issue.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 8:32AM CDT 09/09/12
Bonnie and Gordon,,, you both reflect the necon assertion that "lazy, stupid liberals" should not be allowed to vote and your assertions are racist. Did you know that Amish and some Mennonites who actually vote are not permitted to have their picture taken and they vote conservative??? Did you know that nursing home patients are not going to vote and many vote conservative? BTW many nursing homes are not bothering to get them photo ID because they are afraid of reprisals from the Pa government. i guess that Amish and old folks are also on your list of stupid and lazy liberals?
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 5:43PM CDT 09/09/12
As usual Jay, you are operating on no voltage. The religious you reference are banished if they participate in the functions of world government.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 7:58PM CDT 09/09/12
I know them well and know they vote, anyhow you don't care if you keep people from voting as long as your agenda is served.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 9:56PM CDT 09/09/12
I think people are missing the point about photo ID. It isn't that these people do not have these things, it is that they are probably not accurate as to the address, which is critical to prove where they should vote. In MN, they are trying to pass a Voter ID law, mostly to avoid fraud, but when we had the recount between Norm Coleman, and Senator Al Franken, there was an insignificant number of votes determined to be fraudulent (less than 100 I believe). I truly believe the issue of photo ID is to disallow a certain portion of our population and that population typically votes Democrat (is that a correlation). I am not saying anything more than the population typically moves several times (college students, apartment renters, unemployed) than your stable population, and thus it allows for these people to have an inaccurate photo ID and under many of the proposed laws does not allow them to vote. To Bonnie, there are several ways to get around your arguments. Many times you don't get carded if you "look" of age, you don't need a drivers license to drive (legally) , you don't need a photo ID to pay a bill (medical or otherwise), and though you are to provide a ID to get a loan, there probably are places that "forget" to get them. Also, these people may have ID's but inaccurate ones as well. I understand it is easy to paint a broad stroke and label all people without ID's or inaccurate ID's as lazy, welfare receipients, but that is just not the actual truth.
Posted by Matthew Schreurs at 10:18AM CDT 09/10/12
Well put Matthew. Here in Pa our representatives have actually come out and said they have given Romney Pa through voter ID laws, they are not hiding it that that was the reason for the law.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 12:38PM CDT 09/10/12
You people do not realize, or fail to acknowledge, the 17,000 phantom ballots cast in Minnesota that year. Minnesota also leads the nation in voter fraud convictions and that is with a Dem. Attorney Gen.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 8:21PM CDT 09/10/12
You guys crack me up, but at least you have a dialogue going on. Nothing about my college football theories?
Posted by CHRIS CLAYTON at 9:27PM CDT 09/10/12
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