How to Follow Election Results 2012, a State-by-State Guide

Figure out whether Obama or Romney is winning.

In any good mystery novel, you can’t guess the ending. That’s what tonight’s election results will be: the end of a good mystery novel. Anyone who tells you they know what is going to happen is fooling themselves. I have heard fact-based prognostications from both sides with different results and all are plausible. That’s what makes tonight’s election so much fun to watch.

If it is a close race, which many are predicting, it favors Barack Obama. If it is a landslide, say 300-plus electoral votes, it will be Mitt Romney. We will know early in the night which scenario is more likely.

As the Eastern Standard Time states start to report, watch New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. New Hampshire has only four electoral votes, but is a weather vane for political wins. If Romney wins New Hampshire, watch out. Pennsylvania is even more crucial to watch and could hold the key to the election. Once part of President Obama’s firewall of states that would assure him re-election, the President has seen a 14-point lead dwindle into a tie. If Mitt Romney wins Pennsylvania, the race is over, and he will be the next President of the United States.

However, Pennsylvania has not gone for a Republican presidential candidate since the ’80s. If President Obama takes both New Hampshire and Pennsylvania as expected, the next three states to watch are Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Romney must take all three to have a chance of victory. If Romney loses one of those states, President Obama will win re-election.

If everything plays out the way it is supposed to, Obama wins New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and Romney wins Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, we move on to the central states. This is where the Obama campaign likes to talk about the firewall of Great Lakes states that will assure them victory. But just as in Pennsylvania, the Obama campaign has seen double-digit leads in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota diminish to single digits. One recent poll showed Mitt Romney winning in Michigan. If Mitt Romney can pick off one of those states, he will have a big advantage. If he picks off two, he will be the next president.

If the firewall holds, all eyes will then be on Ohio and a long night.

Colorado and Nevada are expected to split, with the former going to Romney and the latter going to Obama. Depending on what happens in the East, they may not matter.

Pennsylvania is the key. Out of nowhere, Pennsylvania has become an important state in this election. It went from solid blue for Obama, to light blue, to an honest-to-god battleground state in the last week. That’s why Mitt Romney was in Bucks County on Sunday and why Bill Clinton was here yesterday. That’s why our favorite TV show are being pelted with political ads.

As Republican National Political Director Rick Wiley told me, “If Pennsylvania goes Republican, I am going to start the celebration early because we will have a new president.”

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  • Tyrellco

    This is a stupid person’s idea of what a politics pundit is supposed to sound like.

    “If it is a close race, which many are predicting, it favors Barack Obama.” It’s not a close race, because the EV count has long favored Obama. It’s only the folks trying to pretend it’s a horse race saying that.

    “If it is a landslide, say 300-plus electoral votes, it will be Mitt Romney.” Zero explanation why this is so – bare assertion fallacy. Actually Nate Silver and Sam Wang both say Obama is likely to get over 300 EVs, and nobody with credibility says Romney will. Even the retard at Unskewedpolls.com dropped his Romney EVs from 359 to 275, although nothing says quality analysis like a sudden drop of 84 electoral votes in your projection.

    The rest is fence-straddling ambiguity, blended from other folks’ guesses or serious analysis.

  • Allen Arndt

    i agree completely with tyrell. this is a simpleton’s idea of punditry. it is hackery designed to feed the right-wing masses with what they want to hear. accuracy does not matter to LARRY. shoveling right-wing lies is what he’s paid to do now that he’s a felon. sad.

    “Anyone who tells you they know what is going to happen is fooling themselves.” — LARRY then proceeds to tell us what will happen. “If it is a close race, which many are predicting, it favors Barack Obama. If it is a landslide, say 300-plus electoral votes, it will be Mitt Romney.” Based on what evidence?!? you were, in fact, WRONG. Obama won an electoral college landslide.

    LARRY also said, just days before the election: “I think Romney will win Pennsylvania.” WRONG!

    “If everything plays out the way it is supposed to, Obama wins New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and Romney wins Virginia, North Carolina and Florida …” Again, telling us what will happen — and getting it completely WRONG!

    “Colorado and Nevada are expected to split” — WRONG AGAIN!

    “(PA) went from solid blue for Obama, to light blue, to an honest-to-god battleground state in the last week.” no, it was never a battleground. obama won by 5 points. WRONG AGAIN!

    How is it that someone who is so consistently wrong still have people paying him to shovel his BS?

    If LARRY can’t be trusted with simple political punditry — why should we believe what he has to say about Libya, voting fraud — ANYTHING?!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/skip.weis Skip Weis

    Letter to the Left

    To all leftists, occupiers, union thugs and malcontents,

    Thank you! What an election! We couldn’t have done it without you. Without your tantrums, outbursts and boorish behavior we might have stayed home for this election. Without your filthy, pot smoking hemp -headed minions occupying, dirtying and damaging our Capitol we might have been complacent. Without your obnoxious p…rotests, boycotts and other actions from your union playbook, we might have sat this one out.

    But you couldn’t hold back. You couldn’t restrain yourselves and behave like adults. You couldn’t accept the 2010 election results. We sat and watched as you erupted in a juvenile hissy fit that embarrassed Wisconsin. The spectacle you created is what motivated us. And thanks to your pathetic behavior, we won. We turned out. Big time! And now we are organized and energized. Committed. “All in”. And we aren’t going away. We now have our own organizations (no dues required), an army of volunteers and the means to communicate. And countless new sources of funding, including a donor base from all 50 states. And we have “iverifythe recall” to ferret out your infiltrators in our future local elections.

    So thank you little boy Tate, Graeme Zielinski, Fred “Loonie” Levenhagen, Ismael Ozanne, Maryanne Sumi, Noble Ray, Charles Tubbs, Joanne Kloppenberg, Segway Boy, John Chisolm, public employee union members, UW TA’s, WEAC, SEIU, MTI, AFSCME Council 24 in Union Grove and WI prison guards,. Thanks for the death threats, the intimidation, the bullying, belligerence, thuggery and goonish behavior. The lack of ethics and the failure to enforce rules and laws. Thank you for putting your selfish, greedy motives on display for all taxpayers to see.

    Your antics might have made you feel good but they didn’t make you look good. They sickened the rest of us.

    Thank you Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley. Your petty politics woke us up. Thanks you Miles Kristan for dumping the beer on Robin Vos’s head. Thank you University doctors for writing the phony excuses; Madison teachers for calling in sick or dragging your students to the protests without permission. Thank you Katherine Windels for making death threats against the Governor. The noontime capitol singers who taunted Sheboygan high school students. Thank you WEA Trust for raping Wisconsin taxpayers. Thank you Gwen Moore for your embarrassing minstrel show. And thanks all of you for harassing the Walker family at their private home.

    You have all been exposed. Your tactics have been rejected. Your bad behavior has been forever captured on You Tube.

    Thank you Peter Barca and fellow Assembly members for donning your foolish orange T-shirts and screaming “shame” at legislators just doing their jobs.

    Thank you Mark Miller and all 14 senators for fleeing the state and making fools of yourselves in the process. Your combination of childishness and ignorance fits in very well in Illinois. I’m sure you felt right at home. Thanks for showing us what democracy doesn’t look like.

    And Mayor Barrett. How grateful we are that you chose one low road after another in your issue-less campaign against the Governor. This was your strike three. You are out. Take a seat on the bench and stay there. I have a hunch this was your final at-bat.

    All of you helped turn Wisconsin permanently red. Your Governor, Scott Walker, will not just complete his first term, he is all but assured as many future terms as he seeks. He will be your governor for a long, long time. Get used to it. And his national “rock star” status just might lead him to be your President some day. Just think, it couldn’t have happened without you! So to all of you blue fisters, thank you from the bottom of my happy, red heart.

    Sincerely,

    A Wisconsin taxpayer