Friday, June 15, 2012

Three unconventional ways Romney can get to 270 electoral votes

Here are a few ways Mitt Romney could absorb losses in "must-win" states and still get to 270 electoral votes.

What all these paths have in common:

a. They're risky.


b. Polling is close enough in all these states to make them viable.

Now... if Obama wins Ohio and Florida, it's probably indicative of a national sweep that would spread to other states, but I'm treating each of these states as "unto itself."

In other words, based purely on current polling, Romney could take any of these unconventional paths, absorb losses in "must-win" states, and get to 270 electoral votes.

The handy thing is that all states in this analysis are battleground states, so it's theoretically possible to put together these permutations (and made easy, via the site

ROUTE 1. Romney loses OHIO and VIRGINIA, but still becomes president.

It's often assumed Virgina is nearly a must-win and Ohio an absolute must-win, but on this map, Romney gets to exactly 270 even though he loses both.

So how does he do it?

Well, he picks up Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), Colorado (9), and Nevada (6). That adds up to 31 electoral votes.

That's precisely the combined total of Virginia and Ohio.

So under this map, Romney would flip the following states from '08: Florida, New Hampshire, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and North Carolina.

That's doable. He's currently just behind, tied or even slightly ahead in all of those states. None would be considered a giant upset or require a miraculous stroke of good luck.

ROMNEY: 270 votes
OBAMA: 268 votes

ROUTE 2: Romney loses FLORIDA and OHIO, but still becomes president.

On the face of it, this is an impossible scenario, and again, if he loses both, that's indicative of a national trend that suggests he won't win other battleground states.

But remember, we're treating these states as states unto themselves that aren't influenced by neighboring ones.

So here's how it's actually possible for Romney to becomes president, even while losing the must-win states of Ohio and Florida.

Flip the following states from 2008: Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina.

Of all those states, Michigan would be the coup (even though it's fairly close right now), but once again, every other state is considered a battleground and doable.

In other words, he only has to pull off one big upset (Michigan), and he's able to become president without Ohio or Florida. I didn't think that was possible, but it is.

ROMNEY: 270 votes
OBAMA: 268 votes

ROUTE 3: Romney loses VIRGINIA, but still becomes president.

This is a much easier, unconventional way to get to 270 electoral votes.

Romney absorbs losing the "must-win" state of Virginia (13 votes) by taking Wisconsin (10 votes) and Iowa (6 votes).

The map also affords him the luxury of losing Colorado, Nevada, and Michigan.

That means the only states he has to flip are Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.

In many of those states, he already has a slight lead, and in all of them, he's quite competitive.

ROMNEY: 273 votes
OBAMA: 265 votes