Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obama's Smaller Playing Field in 2012

Politico Arena Topic: What Are Obama's Chances in North Carolina in 2012?

In 2008, capturing traditionally red states like North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana was the icing on the cake for the Obama campaign. In 2012, unless there is a significant economic rebound, the Obama campaign will have a much smaller playing field to get to the magic number of 270 electoral votes.

The good news for Team Obama is that border states like North Carolina are not must-wins. Even subtracting North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and the more traditional battleground state of Florida from the 2008 map still yields an Obama victory with some wiggle room built in.

Though Democrats would like an expanded electoral map in 2012, the political environment has shifted from 2008. If anything, 2012 may look much more like 2004 than 2008, with the election being decided by a handful of states in the Upper Midwest, a couple in the West, and the big three of Florida, Pennsylvania, and most especially Ohio.

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