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Romney's Electoral Trouble

Updated on February 18, 2013

Republicans should be worried. Mitt Romney barely survived the clown race that was the Presidential Primary, having had his conservative credentials challenged by everyone from Newt Gingrich to Rick Santorum to Hermann Cain. Romney won only because he outspent them. No such luck, this time. The Obama Team may scream and holler that they are being unfairly outspent, but in reality, the President and his team have no shortage of money at their disposal. Romney has Paul Ryan on his ticket, now, but that choice has simply shifted the debate from jobs and the economy to the budget. That is a debate Obama wants to have. But Romney's biggest obstacle is this number; 270.

That stands for 270 electoral votes. Right now, Obama has at least 240. I arrived at this conclusion because every source I have seen that provides an electoral map is different in their conclusions. But one point seems to be agreed upon; Mitt has a ways to go before he can expect to win in the 2012 election.

Why should this worry Republicans so much? Because, despite all the talk of how "your" vote counts, the electoral college will decide this election, just as it has decided every other Presidential election in history. According to the political mathematics of this election, Romney could win the popular vote (not likely) and still lose the election, because he did not obtain the number of electoral votes he needed to win. Now, where have we seen this before?

In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote, but only 266 electoral votes. Bush won 271 electoral votes, winning by the barest of margins. This time, by my count, Obama is almost halfway to securing the electoral votes he needs to win a second term. Some of these votes are guaranteed to him, like California and New York. The only state Obama truly needs to win, in electoral terms, is Ohio. Romney, on the other hand, is still languishing somewhere around 191 electoral votes. In order to win, he needs not just Ohio, but also Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Any one of these states will not do. Romney must win them all.

Romney's challenge is to catch up to the President and win more electoral votes. The problem going for Romney is that many of the states most likely to go Red this fall are huge in size, but tiny in population. (The exception to this, of course, is Texas, which is huge in size and population.) Obama is supported by California, New York and possibly Pennsylvania. This trio of big population states, that often go Democratic, will be hard to beat, especially for a guy who has only 191 electoral votes guaranteed.

Romney has also been trailing in national and many statewide polls. He has scrambled his summer as only Mitt can, and about the only saving grace has been his selection of Paul Ryan as running mate. Romney is running out of time. November will be here, sooner than we all think.

America’s Electoral Map

America’s Electoral Map (Huffington Post)

Presidential Election Map 2012 - The Washington Post

Presidential Race Ratings and Swing States - Election 2012 -

RealClearPolitics - 2012 Election Maps - Battle for White House

2012 Election: Electoral Vote Tracker -


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    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 5 years ago

      You are welcome, johndnathan. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • johndnathan profile image

      John D Nathan 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas. USA

      Great article. Thanks for the links to the electoral maps.

    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 5 years ago

      mio cid,

      You are right. Mitt Romney has dug himself into a hole (a favorite expression of mine) by letting the right-wing base of his party set his positions for him, and the cost will be winning only traditional Republican strongholds. Thanks for commenting.

    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 5 years ago from Uruguay

      This is very much on point.And this is what the people like Karl Rove and others have known all along , but the current republican campaign decided to follow the strategy of the likes of Dick Morris instead somewhat because of the takeover of the base by the extreme right wing loons which didn't leave them many alternatives.