1) Can Romney win enough swing states to get 270?
With Texas primary victory, Mitt Romney went over the needed 1144 delegates to win the Republican nomination to face Barack Obama in November election.
The question is now—or has been for weeks—which swing states can Romney win in order to get 270 electoral votes for the victory?
Arizona (11 electoral votes): John McCain won this state by almost 9% margin in 2008. Latest PPD poll (5/20) had Romney in front by 7%. However, AZ has become a swing state since many “experts” believe that the SB 1070 may have an adverse effect on the Republicans. In 2008, Hispanic/Latino voters made up 16% of total voters—41% of the group (i.e. 6.5% total voters) voted for McCain. On the other hand, Catholics made up 24% of total voters—49% (i.e. 12% total voters) voted for Obama. Let’s suppose Romney would lose all Hispanic/Latino votes—loss of 6.5%—because of SB 1070, he would need Obama to lose at least half of the Catholic votes—because of Obama’s evolution into support of gay marriage and the contraception issue—in order to win the state.
Florida (29): I predicted that Romney would win this state a few weeks back (read more here). Latest poll by Quinnipiac (5/21) showed Romney leading Obama by 6%—but winning the independent voters by 44%-36%. Romney was viewed as better to handle economy 50%-40%—anyone wonder why Obama has been attacking Bain recently?
North Carolina (15), Virginia (13): I predicted that Romney would win North Carolina and Virginia—although Virginia will be tougher battle. (Click here for more info).
New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6): Romney will need to win one of these 2 states. In 2008, Catholic voters made up 38% of all voters—50% (i.e. 19% of all voters) voted for Obama. This year, that will change. Will it be enough to override Obama’s 10% margin of victory in 2008? Yes, it will be.
Ohio (18): Ohio will be the state that Romney will have to carry if he has any hopes for the win in November. I predicted that he would win it (read more here). Rob Portman as VP will perhaps ensure the Romney victory.
The dark horse will be Wisconsin with its 10 electoral votes. Last time, Obama won it by almost 14%. However, Governor Scott Walker is leading in his recall election. If he wins in June, it will be because of his reforms that turn Wisconsin from deficit into surplus of over $100 million this year. Will a Walker’s win in the recall election deliver a Romney win in November? Perhaps!
2) Who will be the VP?
This, of course, has been a question for Team Romney for the last several weeks as well. Chris Christie is out—no man from the “liberal” north-east states will probably have a hard time to win the South. Paul Ryan may be better for the Republicans to stay in the House. Marco Rubio may be too young and not experienced enough. Tim Pawlenty is rumored to be a serious candidate—although I wonder what he would add to the ticket. I believe it will be one of these 3 candidates: Rob Portman, Bobby Jindal, and Condoleezza Rice. For the record, back in 2008, I hoped that John McCain would pick Rice as his running mate. Just imagine the debate between Rice and Biden—can’t wait to see that.