30 March 2010
Nate Silver, one of the sharper liberal bloggers and statisticians, finds for Obama to win re-election in 2012 he may likely have to find a way to come up with 270 electoral votes without Florida.
Obama won Florida with only 50.92 percent, but polls shows massive opposition to his health care plan and Israel policy may place the state all but off-limits.
That's significant because the 2012 election will be decided by an Electoral College reshaped by the 2010 Census. Many states Obama lost, like Texas, will be gaining representation in the College, while Obama's stronghold of the Northeast and Midwest will lose representation.
Obama won the 2008 election with 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173. But based on Clark Benson's projected 2012 Electoral College Obama would have won 360 votes, five fewer as voters flee Democrat-dominated states.
Five votes may not sound like much, but that was the difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2004.
And with Florida projected to gain a 28th vote, losing that state means Obama starts with 33 electoral votes off the map. A swing of 33 electoral votes would not only have handed Gore an easy win, it would have also almost exactly flipped the 2004 election and given the presidency to John Kerry.
And that likely flip of 33 electoral votes to the Republican in 2012 is nothing more than already-occurred population changes and a switch of as little as 1.4 percent of Florida voters. Heavy opposition to Obama policies is all but certain to chop more Electoral College votes off Obama's 2008 total.
Also losing Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, all swing or traditionally Republican states, would likely hand the presidency to a Republican. And that's assuming Obama wins swing states like Colorado and Ohio. By losing Florida, Obama could keep states like Virginia and a large swing state like Ohio and still lose the presidency.
With more of the College's 538 seats going to Republican-dominated states, it's critical Obama hold on to Florida, but ObamaCare and his Israel policy are making a 2012 reelection a tougher undertaing.