Candidate Obama won the Presidency in 2008 with a healthy 365 Electoral College votes. It takes 270 electoral college votes to claim the throne and Obama's 2012 road map to victory is becoming a lot harder to navigate. President Obama's top operatives recently met with former President Bill Clinton to seek his advice on how to win re-election in 2012, but it's going to take more than advice from the golden-boy of the Democratic Party to pull out a victory.
New CNN polling has Obama's approval rating at 46% vs. 52% disapproval. This ranks higher than only former Presidents Carter and Ford for a first term President in recent elections and we all know how those elections turned out. In the CNN survey, Obama had a 54%-42% disapproval margin with Independent voters and the Independents usually swing the election. Independents played a key role in the nomination and subsequent election of Barack Obama in 2008, with about 19 million Independents voting for Obama. One of the key swing states Obama must win is Florida (29 electoral votes) and winning Florida requires that Obama not only turn out his base in huge numbers, but he must also win at least 50% of the Independents as well.
Pennsylvania is also a must win state for President Obama’s re-election (20 electoral votes) bid, but early polling reveals the right GOP candidate could flip this state. Ohio (18 electoral votes) is another state that Obama won in 2008 and it's a state that must to be a part of his winning formula for 2012. It is no accident that since becoming President, Obama has visited Ohio more than any other state. During the 2010 midterm election, Democrats in Ohio were swept out of power, but union thuggery at the polls in 2012 cannot be overlooked by the eventual GOP nominee. Ohio is defiantly up for grabs this election cycle and whichever candidate wins Ohio, may go on to win the election.
In a side note, there is an interesting development occurring in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in regards to how the two states allot their electoral votes in a Presidential election. Republican legislators have introduced bills that would change how electoral votes are allotted in a presidential election. Under the current system, the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote receives all of the electoral votes of that state.
The US Constitution allows states to distribute their electoral votes how they see fit, but if the Republican bills become law in either Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, those states would change how electoral votes are awarded. The proposed legislation would award electoral votes on the basis of vote totals within congressional districts. If a candidate wins a congressional district, that candidate would win one Electoral College vote and whichever candidate wins the statewide race would receive two electoral votes. This legislation has whiny liberals up in arms and they are accusing Republicans of trying to “rig” the election...only Liberals are allowed to rig elections don't you know.
Virginia (13 electoral votes) is another state that Obama won in 2008 and it may be up for grabs in 2012. In the recent November election, Virginia Republicans won state-wide races and now have complete control of state government for only the second time since the Civil War---this does not bode well for Obama.
The eventual GOP nominee will need to pick up at least 100 electoral votes that McCain failed to muster in 2008 (McCain received 173 electoral votes) to win the election. If the GOP can turn FL, OH, PA, NC and Virginia from blue states into red states and keep the states won in 2012 that would bring us to about 95 electoral votes. The states I outlined can be won and there are other states Obama won in 2008 that can be retaken as well. Obama is not polling well in past reliable Democratic rust belt states and if just a few of these can be turned, it’s all over for the Obama regime. Of course many things (SCOTUS ruling on Obama-Care, war with Iran, Fast & Furious investigation et al) can occur in the course of eleven months, however, this is how I read the tea leaves at present.