Swing States that Will Decide the Presidential Election

| by Michael Allen

If you haven't seen any political ads for President Obama or Mitt Romney, then you're probably (a) somewhat thankful and (b) not living in a "swing state," which will most likely help "swing" the election.

Here is a quick analysis of the swing states and how Obama and Romney look so far, from the NY Daily News and the New York Times' polling predictor Nate Silver.

President Obama won Virginia in 2008. He was the first Democrat to do so since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Obama has a small lead here, but Romney has campaigned hard for those 13 electoral votes.

Florida decided the 2000 election (well, the Supreme Court did but we won't rehash that now) and could so again. If Obama wins this state (29 electoral votes) it's bad news for Romney. There has been controversy with Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott refusing to extend early voting hours.

New Hampshire, with 4 electoral votes, has gotten much attention from both candidates. The state has more registered independents than any other party. Romney does have a home here, so he could have an advantage.

Ohio is a crucial swing state with 18 electoral votes. Since 1944, Ohio has gone with the winner, except in 1960 when the state voted for Nixon over Kennedy. Nate Silver writes: "Ohio remains the largest problem for Mr. Romney, where he has been behind in most polls all year. Mr. Obama is performing more strongly with working-class voters in Ohio than he is elsewhere in the country."

North Carolina is the one swing state where Romney has polled consistently above Obama.  It has 15 electoral votes, which Obama won in 2008, but a Romney win looks probable.

Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, has not gone for a Republican candidate since 1988. Obama has always led in this state by about 3 points. Nate Silver writes: "This has led Mr. Romney to make a last-minute play for Pennsylvania, and there is some evidence that the state has tightened slightly. But the gains for Mr. Romney may be too little and too late."

Colorado and its 9 electoral votes was won by Obama in 2008, but Romney has attracted big crowds in this state. Obama still holds a slight lead in this state by 1-2 percent.
Ronald Reagan was the last Republican to win Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan gives Romney a chance. However, Nate Silver writes: "Mr. Obama could secure the Electoral College by winning Wisconsin, Nevada and Pennsylvania, along with Ohio."

Iowa, which has 6 electoral votes, is small but important. Obama won it in 2008. He now leads by three points. He finished his final campaign in Des Moines, Iowa last night with Bruce Springsteen.
Nevada, 6 electoral votes, was considered a battleground state at one point -- but is now almost a sure bet for Obama as after-voting polling has him 7 points ahead.

The New York Times' Nate Silver has President Obama with a 91% chance of winning as of this morning, but the only polls that count are tonight's returns.