Column and/or Media Release on 2012 Census Numbers
“New State-by-State Battleground:
2010 Census Results A Disaster for Obama Re-election”
President, Landmark Communications, Inc.
December 21, 2010
John McCain won 173 electoral votes in the 2008 presidential election, but needed 270 to win.
However, based on the 2010 Census numbers released today, the states that McCain won have experienced a substantial net increase in population, while the states won by Obama experienced a net loss of population.
These population changes result in a net six (6) additional Electoral Votes in the “McCain states.” In other words, states that went for McCain now hold 179 Electoral Votes: 270 votes are still required to win.
But much has changed in two years since Obama’s election.
In elections prior to 2008, North Carolina, Indiana, Florida and Ohio were widely considered to be strong “Red States,” dependably Republican states.
Obama won in states that now clearly and strongly oppose his re-election. On virtually the most popular day of Obama’s life in November 2008, the President only won North Carolina (which has 15 Electoral Votes) by 1%. In Indiana, with 11 Electoral Votes, Obama just won by 1%. In Ohio, now with 18 Electoral Votes, Obama won by only 4%; and Obama won Florida’s 29 EVs by just 3%.
Obama’s numbers have collapsed in these four crucial Red States, with the GOP making huge gains in all of them in 2010. Polls say that McCain would clearly win these four states today.
In three of these states Republicans now hold total control: Ohio, Indiana and Florida. These three have Republican governors as well as majorities in both the House and Senate. In North Carolina, the GOP controls both the House and Senate, though the governor there is a Democrat (who was elected in 2008, before Obama’s numbers collapsed).
What does this mean in terms of the Presidential Election?
The 2012 Republican nominee starts with a base of the 179 “McCain state” Electoral Votes (post-reapportionment), plus an almost certain additional 73 votes from North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Indiana.
That means the Republican nominee starts with a base of 252 Electoral Votes in 2012, 18 short of the 270 needed to win.
VIRGINIA, with 13 Electoral Votes, becomes the first key battleground, and today it would clearly go Republican. Republicans took back this state in 2009 with the election of a new Governor. Obama however carried the state by just 6%. Winning Virginia means the GOP would have 265 Electoral Votes, five short.
If the GOP wins Virginia, it only needs one more state to win the required 270+ Electoral votes. The easiest state-by-state path to success would be through Nevada (6 EV), Iowa (6 EV), Colorado (9 EV), Wisconsin (10 EV), or Minnesota (10 EV).
Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa all have all changed since Obama’s election, and today the GOP holds dominant control in all three: Republican Governors as well as GOP majorities in both the House and the Senate. Nevada now has a GOP governor, and the GOP holds the House in Colorado.
The 2010 reapportionment essentially gives Republicans an additional crucial mid-sized state of six Electoral Votes toward the goal of 270. The GOP now needs to switch only one traditionally Blue State to Red in order to win. Reapportionment could be the defining moment of the yet-to-be-held 2012 Presidential Election.
Mark Rountree is President of Landmark Communications, Inc., a political consulting firm based in metro Atlanta. Landmark is a full-service political consulting and communications firm based in metro Atlanta, Georgia. With a staff of eight, 20 years in continual operation, and professional engagement in more than 800 different elections, Landmark is Georgia’s most experienced and successful political consulting firm.