The Path to 270: OFA v. RNC
Jim Messina, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, believes the President has 5 different paths to 270 electoral votes and re-election. The GOP says not so fast, in part because 4 of those 5 paths require a win in Pa.
The Obama camp first looks at the ‘John Kerry map,’ where – after the 2010 census – there are now 246 electoral vote. Messina believes that Obama can win those as well. The RNC says that in order for Obama to win all the states that Kerry won in 2004, he will need to swing Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which have been predominantly blue for several presidential election cycles.
The RNC notes that in Pennsylvania, a U.S. Senate seat, the governorship, four U.S. House seats, and the state house were big pickups for the Republican party. The RNC deems Obama winning MI, PA, and WI a ‘delusion’ at best.
Argues the RNC in a rebuttal release:
We had big pickups in Pennsylvania: a U.S. Senate seat, the governorship, four U.S. House seats, and the state house. In Wisconsin, we picked up a U.S. Senate seat, the governorship, two U.S. House seats, the state house, and the state senate.
On top of all that, each state has suffered under the Obama economy. In Wisconsin, 82,000 jobs have been lost since Obama took office. In Michigan, 14,000 jobs have been lost, resulting in just a 37 percent approval rating for Obama. And in Pennsylvania, where 53 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance, 6,900 jobs have been lost.
The ultimate goal for the Obama campaign is to put as many of these paths into play as possible, via funding, on-the-ground campaign organizers in these specific pathway states, and through the definition of a real grassroots campaign. The Republicans, nonetheless, believe that their momentum in the recent weeks give them the advantage.
Will Obama succeed to getting to 270?
Here are OFA’s 5 paths:
The Kerry map leads Messina to the first path, entitled the ‘West Path,’ where Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, plus Iowa must be won. Messina notes that New Mexico and Nevada are states that the Dems haven’t been able to carry for a long time, but Obama was able to beat that statistic in 2008.
Messina says if Obama is able to win Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, in addition to Iowa, President Obama will stay in the White House for another term. The RNC anticipates all red states on the Western front, attributing these states’ blushing color to Colorado’s GOP gains, Nevada’s highest foreclosure rate for 60 months, New Mexico’s $30 billion national debt increase, and Iowa’s Republican governor office and state house.
The next strategy step and second path is the ‘Florida Path.’ Messina states that going through Florida would be the easiest way to win 270 electoral votes. The RNC indicates that in order for Obama to continue to the ‘Florida Path’ to 270, Obama needs MI, PA, and WI. Obama is likely to lose at least one of those states, if not more, according to the RNC.
The New South map is next, where in order to win, Obama needs North Carolina and Virginia within the ‘South Path.’ The RNC kindly points out that in North Carolina, the Dems aren’t participating in the governor’s race because they’re afraid of losing after Bev Perdue “rode Obama’s coattails to the governor’s mansion in 2008.” In VA, the RNC points out that in three consecutive elections, the Republicans pulled major victories with three U.S. House Seats and the control of the state senate.
Ohio is within the ‘Midwest Path.’ Messina says that the Obama campaign has done more work in Ohio in 2011, than any other state in the country. In all 88 counties, however, the RNC points out that a majority of the voters wanted to block Obamacare, Obama’s signature piece of legislation. The RNC believes Obama won’t have much luck in winning Ohio.
The last path is the ‘Expansion Path’ where Messina hopes to put Arizona into Democratic play. Arizona is out of reach, according to the RNC, because the last time a presidential candidate was awarded over 50 percent of the vote in Arizona was in 1948. The RNC speculates that the ‘Expansion Path’ was made because the Obama campaign is losing its base. And truthfully, a scenario where Obama loses Pa. but wins Virginia seems… unlikely.