On the road to 270, it’s March Madness for politicos.
For the folks who like to play the game, the best Electoral College flash site has always been 270towin.com. It allows even the novice handicapper to predict the way the country will vote next Tuesday. For brevity, “Electoral Votes” are shortened to “EVs.”
Some big-name pundits are starting to talk about predictions, as Glenn Beck weighs in with a 321-217 Romney romp. By the numbers I’ve lifted from his predictions and the show segment, he’s expecting both Nevada and Pennsylvania to turn, as well as Ohio and Florida. And while Glenn Beck isn’t the only one making predictions, he’s the best measure of turnout based in enthusiasm for tea party members and activists who have the most influence on getting out the vote for the GOP.
But the expectations are steep to fulfill. Adding wins in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida to the tally is a tall order, not to mention a single loss in those states could the end the entire race before 9 p.m.
To be clear, Beck notes the 321-217 scenario would occur when all of the 9/12ers, tea party types, activists and churches turn out and vote only for Mitt Romney (and not Gary Johnson). But when all activists turn out, as Glenn is expecting … why not just predict that Michigan or Minnesota will flip as well? It’s just as likely that Romney would get 525 EVs as 321.
Heck, why not? I would understand a grounded theory that predicts 301 EVs for Romney, taking Ohio and Florida, plus upsets in Wisconsin and Nevada, and holding New Hampshire. But Pennsylvania is a bridge too far, and Romney’s best luck won’t give him both Ohio and Florida on Tuesday.
If this were to even happen, you’d have to see a tide of voting stretching across more than just the swing states, but into blue states that have traditional and massive get-out-the-vote operations that won’t stand idle. Pennsylvania is the firewall for the Obama campaign. If PA falls, there’s a big chance other states will fall with it (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio). But realistically, with Philadelphia’s turnout machine, it’s hard to overcome that margin. Looking to 2016, Chris Christie might have 20 EVs already, so keep an eye on the metrics of PA, even if the GOP loses.
And if you’re refusing to discount Glenn Beck’s prediction, here are some pictures to keep an eye out for, and when to either celebrate or sigh loudly as you hit the pub.
Scenario: The Mississippi Line
The scenario is simple. Win Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, and hold onto Wisconsin. A President Romney is almost guaranteed at this point, as he will carry 184 EVs past the river, and already locks 116 EVs in the Midwest. Romney has to take at least 153 EVs by the time the results hit the river. If he can reach that plateau, the numbers work against Obama, as Colorado and Nevada are likely shifting red if they see blood in the water by 9 p.m. EST.
And on that same note, if you see this map that night, don’t expect Michigan to remain blue, or any other state. This is Romney’s best scenario, and likely a shift in the Senate on top of it.
Basically, say the words, “Senator Hoekstra” in your head if you live here in Michigan. If Romney pulls this off, a soggy waffle could win a House seat in this environment.
Scenario: The Obama Re-Election
This is the best scenario for President Obama, to finish the race before 9 p.m. without worrying about Nevada, Colorado, or any other state. If he can clear 195 EVs by the river, he has enough EVs from the “Left Coast” (WA, OR, CA, HI) to pick up the win.
Obama had 244 EVs at this moment in 2008. He won’t get close to that number this cycle, but it doesn’t really matter; if he clears the 195 EV line, he’s in for four more years.
Republicans, this is probably where you start yelling at Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson is on the ballots in 48 states (except Michigan and Oklahoma).
Now, there’s a silver lining, because Gary Johnson isn’t on the Michigan ballot, which means fewer siphoned votes. It would be ironic if Michigan becomes the Florida of 2012, wouldn’t it? (crosses fingers)
Scenario: The Big Bow-Tie
I jest, but this scenario could rip the country asunder. No joke, some people are so involved in the outcome of this race, they’re going to snap. In fact, it’s not even one party, but the combination of both parties’ conflict that will likely precipitate a random act of stupid.
A 269-269 tie would probably be the worst thing for America. Every close state will be litigated, and courts will have to decide our races.
The number of possible toss-up states in the above scenario would include Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin, and maybe even Michigan.
Imagine Florida times nine. Imagine Bush v. Gore over and over again in the news. Honestly, this might be as close to the end of the world as we know it. Or, people would finally give up on the two-party system once we hit the ultimate wall of politics.
A 269-269 count could set off a rogue elector, whether for Obama or Romney. There is no law against changing the vote. And there’s even a state-based scenario in Nebraska and Maine, where the popular vote for a candidate in a single Congressional District can change the electoral vote.
Hopefully, we’ll never see this scenario. It’s hard enough to stay balanced with a two-party system in which we spend $9.8 billion in advertising/messaging in a single election cycle, and not a single dollar matched for charity or causes that they praise/complain about. I gave up on this cycle when Mitt Romney became a Democrat again.
I know, it was inevitable. That’s how you can compromise with 87% of Democrats in Massachusetts.
You are one.
Besides, let’s concentrate on issues closer to home this weekend. There’s still time to go over the ballot proposals (likely Saturday), and a long-awaited blog on Troy’s recall of Mayor Janice Daniels (Sunday).
And if we get through these final 4 days, Abby can finally listen to music instead of being exposed to NPR. Bronco Bamma, indeed.