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RJ’s 2012 Presidential Election Predictions

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This is now the third consecutive presidential election in which I have made my state-by-state predictions for Blogcritics Magazine. In 2004, I was pretty good. In 2008, I was pretty bad. So I suppose we can consider 2012 to be the rubber match, or something.

What follows are the states that Barack Obama will carry easily, along with the number of Electoral College Votes for each state:

California – 55
Washington – 12
Hawaii – 4
Vermont – 3
Massachusetts – 11
Rhode Island – 4
Delaware – 3
Maryland – 10
New York – 29
New Jersey – 14
Connecticut – 7
Oregon – 7
The District of Columbia – 3
New Mexico – 5
Illinois – 20

Total Safe EC Votes For Obama: 187 (14 states plus DC)

Next are the states that Mitt Romney will carry by a wide margin:

Utah – 6
Wyoming – 3
Alaska – 3
Idaho – 4
North Dakota – 3
South Dakota – 3
Nebraska – 5
Kansas – 6
Oklahoma – 7
Texas – 38
Arkansas – 6
Louisiana – 8
Mississippi – 6
Alabama – 9
Georgia – 16
South Carolina – 9
Tennessee – 11
Kentucky – 8
West Virginia – 5
Indiana – 11
Missouri – 10
Arizona – 11
Montana – 3

Total Safe EC Votes For Romney: 191 (23 states)

The remaining 13 states are at least somewhat competitive. I will discuss them individually.

Nevada – 6

Romney has not led in a poll in Nevada this year, according to RealClearPolitics. The best result he’s had is a tie in a Rasmussen Reports poll back in early October. Obama is at or above 50% in pretty much every recent poll in the state. Lots of union members and lots of Hispanic voters means this one goes for Obama. (Obama by 4%)

Maine – 4

It is virtually certain that Obama will win more votes than Romney in Maine. But Maine is one of two states (the other being Nebraska) that awards EC votes by congressional district. Maine has two congressional districts and four Electoral College votes, so the winner of CD 1 gets one EC vote, the winner of CD 2 gets one EC vote, and the winner of the state overall gets the remaining two EC votes. Obama should handily win Maine’s 1st congressional district (in the southern coastal part of the state), but the result in the 2nd congressional district (the rest of the state) is more uncertain. Although I suspect Romney will keep it close in the 2nd CD, I believe that Obama will ultimately win both congressional districts, and therefore all four of Maine’s EC votes. (Obama by 3% in the 2nd CD, by 6% in the state overall)

Minnesota – 10

Minnesota has not gone for a Republican since Richard Nixon’s landslide reelection in 1972. But remember that George W. Bush came within three points of winning the state in 2004, and recent polls have shown a definite tightening in the race. In fact, one poll taken in late October showed Romney leading by a point. However that polling firm is known to have a Republican bias, and that was the only poll this year showing Romney ahead. Obama will win it. (Obama by 5%)

Michigan – 16

Michigan is the state where Mitt Romney and his wife Ann were born, and where Mitt’s father was a popular governor in the 1960s. Several polls over the summer showed Romney slightly ahead here, but since late August only a single polling firm (Foster McCollum White Baydoun) has shown Romney tied or ahead. The rest show Obama with a small lead. Obama should win here. (Obama by 4%)

About RJ

  • Doug Hunter


    It’s not a problem with the candidate. Obama manages to balance the needs of undocumented immigrants and their community with that of union workers as well as socially conservative black and hispanic churchgoers with gay and abortion rights advocates. The key is, as you say, ‘terrifying’ people regarding the opponent so that they forget to look critically at you. Obama, harnessing a literal online army of useful idiots, has proved very adept in that regard.

  • Dr Dreadful

    What tipped Ohio was the lying ad about Chrysler moving Jeep jobs to Japan [sic]

    No, I don’t think that was a tipping point. By the time the “Jeeps to China” nonsense came out, everybody had had such a surfeit of campaign ads that they were pretty much just tuning them out. (At least they were here in California where most races were foregone conclusions, so goodness knows what it must have been like in Ohio.)

    Ohio was always going to be about the auto bailouts (the commenter from a few days ago notwithstanding who thought it was going to be all about coal). Say what you will about its advisability economically, Obama’s approach saved thousands of jobs. Romney’s solution would probably have seen those jobs blown away in the wind. In the end, it was that simple.

  • Jet Gardner

    Sorry Dread but Ohio is the 2nd largest auto employer after Michigan. We were all tuning out the ads (which is all we saw for a month) but when the jeep ad came out, news spread like wildfire here and the northern 3rd of the state went into outrage mode.

    Trust me, it was a big deal here, and I think I only saw the ad once, but it was all over the local news.

    As for coal, yes Ohio produces humoungus amounts of it, but like it or not everyone here knows what coal is made of and the “clean coal” ads were-and still are-laughed at… until we realized these jerks are being serious and that uneducated people are actually buying their lies.

    You can thank Bush for the tons of tv commercials after after his chief justice Roberts misled the Supreme court into allowing major corporations to spend unlimeted billions supportong GOP causes-MONEY THAT SHOULD’VE BEEN SPENT HIRING PEOPLE- instead of buying politcal influence.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Romney’s solution would probably have seen those jobs blown away in the wind. In the end, it was that simple.”

    Perhaps you or Jet could educate me on this, it’s hard to find non-biased sources. From my recollection/limited research Bush authorized the first emergency bailout for automakers from TARP funds totaling $17 Billion in December 2008/January 2009. By March 2009 Chrysler filed for bankruptcy followed by GM in June or July with Obama admin offering an additional $6 Billion in bailouts to keep them afloat.

    Since Romney was calling for just such a bankrupty in his much touted letter I’m not sure what he would have done differently in the intervening 1-3 months that would have caused all the lost jobs when the end result was basically what he asked for… a government structured bankrupty with the company coming out cleaner on the other side. I think the likely result of a Romney presidency in 2009 would have been the exact same thing in regards to the auto bailout except perhaps not such a favorable deal for the unions in the end. Where does this idea that Romney would have somehow liquidated the auto industry come from (other than the daily kos, et al)?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Sorry Dread but Ohio is the 2nd largest auto employer after Michigan.

    Yes, I know that, Jet, but Michigan was always going to go for Obama anyway.

  • Doug Hunter

    Not that anyone would ever want to give Bush credit for anything but he is the one who authorized the bulk of the actual bailout money which prevented the immediate collapse, the Obama contribution was structuring the bankruptcy… not much different from the Romney plan IMO.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Since Romney was calling for just such a bankrupty in his much touted letter I’m not sure what he would have done differently in the intervening 1-3 months that would have caused all the lost jobs

    Well, apparently he would not have sold Chrysler to Fiat. His NYT op-ed didn’t elaborate as to exactly who was supposed to restructure the company on the other side of bankruptcy, except that they should come from “unrelated industries” – magic wand manufacturing, perhaps. I doubt many of the auto workers had a warm fuzzy feeling after reading it.

  • Doug Hunter

    Magic wand manufacturing? Interesting. The interim CEO Kent Kresa who immediately took over from Rick Wagoner for a couple months came from Northrop Grumman and DARPA (may be they do magic wands there). Ed Whitacre then did a stint as CEO for over a year, almost his entire career was spent in the Telecom industry at Southwestern Bell and AT&T. Entirely consistent with the letter which called for firing current management and bringing in outsiders. The restructuring advice is very close to what ended up happening.

  • Dr Dreadful

    DARPA definitely does magic wands.

  • RJ

    “The future of the US is the policies of western Europe with the demographics of Brazil.”

    Pretty much.

  • Zingzing

    I suppose that’s better than the communist dictatorship you guys predicted four years ago. Maybe this time around, we can all focus on realities instead of paranoid delusions. At least we can make the attempt.

  • El Bicho

    don’t hold your breath, zing

  • Christopher Rose

    “The future of the US is the policies of western Europe with the demographics of Brazil.”

    Hopefully. That would be a good outcome for the country.

  • Dr Dreadful

    As a matter of interest, did they call Florida yet? I think the Clavos State got forgotten in all the pallaver.

  • Clavos

    the Clavos State

    I like that! Wonder if I can talk Tallahassee into making it official?

  • Dr Dreadful

    I’m not sure it’s a good idea to talk to Tallahassee about anything at all right now. All they seem to be able to do is come up with new ways to make the management of elections even more inefficient and confusing.

  • Tyler

    I didn’t see what happened…

    Can someone quickly summarize how the election turned out?