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October 05, 2011

Dem Ops to NYT: Obama Can Win Without Ohio. Reality to Dem Ops: Yeah, Good Luck With That.

The New York Times recently featured an article highlighting Obama's "alternate routes" to re-election, with some Democratic observers, reflecting on the President's poor numbers in the Buckeye State, claiming that he doesn't really need those stinkin' 18 electoral votes:

While Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have slid across the board as unemployment remains high, what buoys Democrats are the changing demographics of formerly Republican states like Colorado, where Democrats won a close Senate race in 2010, as well as Virginia and North Carolina.

He has North Carolina! He has Virginia! Oh, and he has Colorado, his Ace in the hole! Noticeably absent in their rerouting are Indiana, Florida and that Omaha congressional district that come through for him back in '08. I guess even the most optimistic strategist realizes some states are just gone. But anyway, back to DEMLOGIC.

Based on the assumptions of DEMLOGIC, they are right. Conceding Florida, Indiana, NE2 and even Ohio, a Republican would only get 238 electoral votes, 32 shy of the Presidency.

In theory, abandoning Ohio but falling back on North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado makes sense.

If the President was doing good in those states, that is.

John E, let er rip:

Obama's "Firewall" Fail

The first two states seem like wishcasting with Obama facing double-digit deficits in approval, though Colorado remains stubbornly semi-favorable.

Democrats can then argue they can lose "two out of three" and still pull out a win, and again on the surface, they would be right. Even if the Republicans flipped VA and NC, losing Colorado dooms them to just 266 electoral votes, four shy of ousting President Obama. The Republicans need to flip all three of Obama's "firewall" states to stop his 2nd term. However, the problem with DEMLOGIC is it ignores the little things.

Say, a state with only 4 electoral votes that they just assume goes to them.

With the President facing a 31% approval rating in this state, and losing constantly in head-to-heads against Romney and barely edging other Republicans, it is a foolish assumption. With Gallup's recent partisan ID findings there, indicating its status as a Republican state for the second year in a row (ranking #12 out of 50), it is a fatal one:

Bad Democratic Electoral Strategy 2012

If Obama's approval ratings in New Hampshire are this terrible and he winds up losing the Granite state as the data seems to indicate, he probably isn't going to carry Colorado, but it doesn't matter. New Hampshire's sudden radical right turn is the leak in the dike that can ultimately cost him his desired second term.

Of course, he may lose in an even more insulting squeeker, 271-267, if the Maine Republicans' redistricting plan (even the compromise one) pays off. Adding more Republicans to the 2nd congressional district makes it all-the-more vulnerable, particularly if Republicans use New Hampshire as a base. States splitting their electoral votes seem far-fetched? Look at a 2008 map of Nebraska and tell me it can't happen.

The President must fight in every state he can pour money into to avoid a defeat in 2012. Articles like this in the New York Times seem to push the meme that "Obama has a lot of territory he can compete in to win" without recognizing the "safer" territory he is already losing. You don't advance backwards without running your ass into a wall.

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posted by CAC at 02:52 PM

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