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Let's talk about the mathematics of this race and what each candidate needs to win

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OneOfTheseDays

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Jan 15, 2000
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I'll start with Romney, since his path to the Presidency is far more interesting IMHO than Obama's.

I think once you start analyzing the demographics of this election, the motives of each campaign become a lot clearer. Mitt Romney's path to victory is essentially 61/74. He needs to capture at least 61 percent of white voters so long as white voters constitute at least 74 percent of the vote as they did in 2008. Just to give you an idea of how high a mountain Romney has to climb, if he were to reach 61 percent amongst whites he would equal the best performance ever for a Republican presidential candidate with this demographic. That's right, better than Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush in '88. They all won between 56-61 percent of the white votes according to polling at the time. This all assumes that white voters maintain their 2008 share of the vote. The reality is that whites have declined as a portion of the electorate in every presidential election since 1992.

Now let's have a look at what Romney's campaign has been doing thus far. He's shown little indication that he's going to reach out to minority voters which means he has to go all in on the white vote in order to win this election. This is the main reason we are seeing welfare ads, birther jokes, and subtle messaging from his campaign aimed directly at attracting white voters.

It's simple electoral math.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/thenextamerica/politics/obama-needs-80-of-minority-vote-to-win-2012-presidential-election-20120824
 

Fern

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Sep 30, 2003
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I'll start with Romney, since his path to the Presidency is far more interesting IMHO than Obama's.
Curious, why is Romney's more "far more interesting"?

I find equally interesting that Obama's path remains heavily depended, more so in fact, on minority %'s

From the article:

Obama Needs 80% of Minority Vote to Win 2012 Presidential Election
Analysis: The incumbent's formula is 80/40.

It's simple electoral math.
I'm not so sure it's "simple", at least not as simple as the authors would have us believe. Their racial/ethnic approach is somewhat interesting, and their "rule of thumb" numbers are concise and easy to understand.

But I think this approach and the ratios they use has a flaw. E.g., Romney could lose every white vote in NY and CA and still possibly be elected. Romney isn't going to win those states no matter what, but if he makes gains in only swing states he could win. That would skew the authors' number badly. Likewise for Obama losing every minority vote in TX and SC. (For sake of discussion I'm assuming Romney takes TX, although I don't believe that is seen as certain at this time.)

I've seen two approaches to Presidential campaign strategy: Dick Morris who takes an aggregate/overall view and works to move national polls on independents and demographics like the authors use, and Karl Rove who breaks it all into small pieces and targets campaign strategy at the granular level. Rove's method is the opposite of the national approach used by the authors and Morris.

I don't what know strategy Romney's campaign managers follow, but if they follow Rove's they can focus and target on a handful of swing states and win without reaching the authors' (national) numbers.

Fern
 

OneOfTheseDays

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Jan 15, 2000
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Curious, why is Romney's more "far more interesting"?

I find equally interesting that Obama's path remains heavily depended, more so in fact, on minority %'s

From the article:






I'm not so sure it's "simple", at least not as simple as the authors would have us believe. Their racial/ethnic approach is somewhat interesting, and their "rule of thumb" numbers are concise and easy to understand.

But I think this approach and the ratios they use has a flaw. E.g., Romney could lose every white vote in NY and CA and still possibly be elected. Romney isn't going to win those states no matter what, but if he makes gains in only swing states he could win. That would skew the authors' number badly. Likewise for Obama losing every minority vote in TX and SC. (For sake of discussion I'm assuming Romney takes TX, although I don't believe that is seen as certain at this time.)

I've seen two approaches to Presidential campaign strategy: Dick Morris who takes an aggregate/overall view and works to move national polls on independents and demographics like the authors use, and Karl Rove who breaks it all into small pieces and targets campaign strategy at the granular level. Rove's method is the opposite of the national approach used by the authors and Morris.

I don't what know strategy Romney's campaign managers follow, but if they follow Rove's they can focus and target on a handful of swing states and win without reaching the authors' (national) numbers.

Fern
Have you looked at the swing states in play? It's a TOUGH road no matter how you slice it for Romney. The electoral math is more brutal than the demographic math.

Romney basically has to win Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Virginia, and Wisconsin...then he'd also have to pluck either Colorado or Ohio to get over the hump. It's safe to assume he'll probably snag Missouri and North Carolina this time around but very doubtful to assume he's gonna be able to get all of Florida, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin...and one of Colorado or Ohio.

Obama can basically afford to win all of his safe states plus Colorado and Ohio and still win the race. If Romney loses Florida he's literally done. Obama needs only 4 EVs at that point.
 
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