As we move closer to the Presidential Election 2012 finish line, I am creating a new category of “Lean” in my projections, which include those states which I previously had in a “toss-up” status, but which now show a clear trend towards a candidate.
I have moved North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes into the “Safe and Likely Romney” column. The states of Florida, Virginia, and Colorado are in the “Lean Romney” column, and the states of Wisconsin, Nevada, and Iowa are in the “Lean Obama” column. Ohio and New Hampshire remain as toss-up states. As I said in my previous column, Ohio will decide this election. There is no doubt, however, that Romney has made major gains in the battle to garner the necessary 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
My projections are now as follows:
SAFE OR LIKELY OBAMA: 237 Electoral Votes:
California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4) , Illinois (20), Maine(4), Maryland (10) , Massachusetts (11), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), New York (29), New Jersey (14), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (20), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (12)
LEAN OBAMA: 22 Electoral Votes
Iowa (6), Nevada (6), Wisconsin (10)
SAFE OR LIKELY ROMNEY: 206 Electoral Votes:
Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Carolina (15) North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3)
LEAN ROMNEY: 51 Electoral Votes:
Colorado (9), Florida (29), Virginia (13)
TOSS-UP: 22 Electoral Votes.
New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18)
TOTAL OBAMA: 259 Electoral Votes
TOTAL ROMNEY: 257 Electoral Votes
TOSS-UP: 22 Electoral Votes:
NEEDED TO WIN: 270 Electoral Votes
One caveat: The Benghazi issue is a wild card that could result in a major decisive shift of electoral votes to Romney, depending on what revelations may or may not occur during the next two weeks. I will speak more on Benghazi in my Monday column previewing the final debate on Monday evening, October 22.
Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush. Region 2 EPA consists of the states of New York and New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eight federally recognized Indian nations. Under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, he served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. He currently serves on the political science faculty of Monmouth University.