As of now, most national polls for the presidential election stand at 47 percent for President Barack Obama and 47 percent for Gov. Mitt Romney.
All of the political talking heads on your television are telling you one of two things. They’re either telling you what you want to hear, or the truth: that this election is simply too close to call.
Generally speaking, one of the best tells for the winner of an election, particularly when an incumbent president is running, is history. If you look back over the country’s history, no president has been reelected when the unemployment rate was over 7.3 percent (excluding FDR and the extenuating circumstances of the Great Depression). We sit at 7.9 percent right now. Normally that would be a pretty telling statistic, except that as a country we are once again sitting in a pretty exceptional circumstance. In all possibility, Obama could make history and be elected with almost 8 percent unemployment. It’s possible, but — and this might be my inner hope talking — I just don’t think it will happen.
Here’s why: in order to win the presidential election, you need 270 electoral votes.
President Obama has 201 electoral votes locked in. Romney sits at 191. That leaves 11 states standing somewhere in between. “Battle” or “swing” states, as they are commonly called, are states that will most likely remain too close to call until Election Day. Both candidates fight for every poll point in these 11 states, while leaving the other 39 in relative peace until Tuesday. Despite the incredibly close polls in these states, I’m calling it: Romney will win on Tuesday with 276 electoral votes.
As I predict it, the split will be close, but will ultimately go red. Nevada and Colorado, the two states currently considered tossups out west, will easily be taken by Obama. Romney will take Florida and North Carolina according to the polls — he is currently leading by a point in both states. Iowa and New Hampshire will all go blue this election, but that’s okay — we’ll let them and their tiny number of electoral votes go. That leaves Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Wisconsin with the electoral spread 232 for Obama, 235 for Romney. That leaves 71 votes hanging before the candidates’ hungry fingers.
Obama will take Minnesota easily and Pennsylvania with a little more effort. But then Ohio’s eighteen, due to the Obama’s absolute obliteration of the state’s coal industry, will surprise and go Republican. Virginia (13) will keep to its history by voting for the conservative in the race, Romney. This leaves the spread at 262 for Obama, 266 for Romney with one state left: Wisconsin.
Now, Wisconsin has historically been a blue state — they’ve voted Democrat in the past four elections. It’s also never been much of a battle ground state, until this year. However, Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, is a Wisconsin native with a strong base that has been coming out strong this election cycle.
Also, the Republican base has been unbelievably active since the state’s gubernatorial recall election in 2010 (the Republican won that race).
Wisconsin may be sitting with a better than average 7.3 percent unemployment rate, but its largest nuclear power plant (a major jobs boon) is closing in the next six months. Things are not looking up for the state’s economy, and the people there have made it clear they want change, — the real kind. They’ll go red, and give their highly sought after ten votes to Romney for the 276 win.
— Amanda Horne is a sophomore from Cartersville majoring in psychology and political science
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