Karl and I are on the Same Page

A couple weeks ago, I predicted “Romney-Christie will defeat Obama-Biden by winning 270-268 in a map that looks like this. [The electoral map will be] the same as the Obama/McCain map only with Romney adding  IN, NC, FL, VA, NH, and OH.”

Interesting to compare with Karl Rove’s electoral analysis in the video at the bottom of this link.

Rove outlines the way to think about how the Republicans take back the White House in terms of a “3-2-1 plan”.


Romney needs to win back three “historically Republican states” — Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia — that Obama won in 2008. Polling indicates Indiana and North Carolina lean Republican, Rove said.

“Virginia, to my mind, is going to be a donnybrook,” he said.

The “two” in his 3-2-1 are Ohio and Florida, large swing states that Obama won in 2008 but Bush won in 2004.

Then Romney needs to add one wild-card state such as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado or Nevada, Rove said.


That’s exactly right, although some of Rove’s “wild-card” states are not even worth mentioning.  If the Republicans win Michigan, for example, they likely won 350+ electoral votes and ultimately Michigan didn’t decide anything.  NH, IA, CO, and NV are probably the wild-card states most likely to come through for the Republicans.

In terms of the 3-2-1 plan, I think Republicans have reason to be confident about IN, NC, and FL.  It is VA, OH, and the wild-card that will be tough.

One other thing that Rove said is that his analysis shows VPs make no difference, except in their home state.  So you might get a read on what the Romney camp is thinking based on the VP they select.  Rubio as VP could obviously be beneficial in FL (though like I said, I think if you need help there, you are in trouble).  Picking Rob Portman means the Romney camp thinks they’ll need help in OH.  McDonnell would be a great choice if you are most worried about winning VA.  And I haven’t heard much discussion about it, but Senator Kelly Ayotte of NH would seem to make sense if you thought you needed a boost to win a wild-card state.



  1. The Lorax says:

    Aside from where I disagree with you on other things, you left one thing out: the Omaha-based CD will ultimately vote for Obama, meaning that even if your scenario plays out, Romney would still be 1 EV short of securing the presidency.

  2. @Lorax, the Omaha CD is actually a toss-up. That said, if it is 269-269, then what likely happens is Romney wins the Presidency in the House, and the VP depends on whether the GOP is able to gain a net 4 seats in the Senate (Angus King’s entry into Maine is a wild card, as is Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren). It’s entirely possible Biden would get to cast the deciding vote to elect himself to the VP slot. What’s also possible in a 269-269 scenario is the Democrats deciding before the Electoral College vote who will be the VP and making sure at least one of the electors casts votes for that person (if Biden doesn’t want to play obstructionist – which is all the VP position would be there for if Romney wins).

  3. You know what? We went through all this four years ago. It’s close, but not that close. A margin will become more clear for one candidate or another prior to the election. It always does.

    That said, how really awesome would it be to live in the times that created the scenario KPOM gives? Whoa.

  4. Remember 2000, Cindy?

  5. Ryan Morgan says:

    “Aside from where I disagree with you on other things, you left one thing out: the Omaha-based CD will ultimately vote for Obama, meaning that even if your scenario plays out, Romney would still be 1 EV short of securing the presidency.”

    If you go back to my original post, I actually did specify that Romney needs NE-2 as well, but since it is such a given, I didn’t even quote that part of my original statement.

    I’m pretty sure you are just trolling because your statement is the most laughable thing I’ve heard today (and I spent much of today with the in-laws!) 🙂

    Obama squeaked by in NE-2 by a few thousand votes there in his perfect year… he doesn’t have a prayer there this time. I’d bet on it.

  6. Ryan Morgan says:

    Here’s the nightmare scenario…. what if Romney wins exactly as I predicted 270-268, but 2 faithless electors cast for Obama and make him president anyway?

    After Obamacare was rammed through, Dennis Prager wrote a column (http://www.dennisprager.com/columns.aspx?g=bb7277dd-1954-4415-9e24-6f69274efd67&url=its_a_civil_war_what_we_do_now) about where we go from here. One of his 7 recommendations was: “Acknowledge that we are in a non-violent civil war.” I think that’s true, but if the above actually happened, there’s a chance that you’d have to drop the “non” from that statement.

  7. Randy in Richmond says:

    As much as I would love to see a Christie-Biden debate my gut tells me Biden is not a shoo-in for the number 2 spot. The Democratic Convention is not till the first week of September (over 4 months away) and I believe Obama, if polling is not going his way or it is very close, will dump Biden in favor of someone he believes would make the difference in November. And it won’t be an overt act by the President but Biden stepping down for health, personal, or other reasons. I don’t believe Biden is disliked or even hated as Cheney was (is) but he is no big asset either. It’s not like Obama needs Biden to deliver Delaware. Even though crowded, there’s still room under the bus.

  8. Actually, no. Come to think of it I was up to my neck in shuffling kids around in 2000. I can’t say I remember it at all as I pretty much lived out of a mini-van. 🙂