Thursday, October 18, 2012

It’s the Electoral College Vote, stupid

Some of us are enamored by polls, but many either don’t get the real significance of them or simply don’t believe they are accurate.  Actually most are at least close to right, but only at the moment they are taken.  How they hold up is based almost entirely on the political events of the day, particularly those of the candidates.  Example: Romney’s surge can be attributed to his performance in the first presidential debate.  Obama had a small jump after the second debate.

But the real numbers are found in political analysts’ stance on where candidates stand on electoral votes by state, and predictions over where the “Leaning” and “Tossup” votes will land, again by states.  There are a total of 538 electoral votes and 270 are needed to win.  As an example, Ohio, the “must-win state,” has 18 electoral votes and serves as the “how Ohio goes, so goes the country” state.  Iowa with only 6 votes but a lot of attention shows just how close this race is.

But, and this rankles some on either side of the political spectrum, you can win the popular vote and lose the election. Al Gore lost in 2000 running against George W. Bush.  The Electoral College is an indirect election meaning the people of each state elect a select group of people who pledge their vote to make that choice.  It was designed to preserve Federalism.  The popular vote is to instruct the electors from your state to cast their votes for the same candidate.

Sometimes it doesn’t always come out that way, as in 2000.  In some cases the elector changes his or her vote at the last minute.  If you are thinking that surge put Romney over the top to beat Obama in November, think again.  The challenger really has a long way to go.  Here’s the lineup of where the Electoral College Vote stands today:

Obama 201             Romney 191            Undecided 146

This site also has a probability rating of the candidates reaching 270

Obama 71%            Romney 28%           Tie 1%

Obama 237             Romney 191            Undecided 110

This site has a lineup by state of particulars on voters.

Obama 201             Romney 191            Undecided 146

There is also a rundown on this site by candidate in key states.

Obama 196             Romney191             Undecided 153

Obama 237             Romney 191            Undecided 110

Obama 236             Romney 236            Undecided 66

This site’s prediction:

Obama 280             Romney 258

Obama 277             Romney 239            Undecided 22

Obama 271             Romney 191            Undecided 76

Obama 277             Romney 206            Undecided 55

If you want to draw comparisons between the 2008 and 2012 elections, go here.

I urge you to visit all the sites for a wealth of information that will tell you what the political pulse of the country is.  You can even do your own projections on some of the sites and set up specific scenarios.  This isn’t a “Who should you vote for?” but rather several measures of where the Presidential race stands today where it matters.  There will be changes, one likely based on the Romney remark in the second debate re. his “whole binders full of women” comment.

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