A Romney pollster revealed the seven swing states that the Romney campaign will most likely view as most important to win in order to defeat Obama.
These states are: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.
Florida: This state is definitely a must-win for Romney in November. At this point, Florida is tilting Romney’s direction. With a lot of retirees and continued housing troubles, Florida is looking favorable for Romney. If Romney picks Senator Marco Rubio as his VP, expect a couple more percentage points of an advantage for Romney.
Ohio: This state is also a must-win for Romney in order to defeat Obama. Without Ohio, it will be very tough for Romney to get 270 electoral votes. This state is looking more difficult for Romney than Florida, but still doable. I would give a slight advantage to Obama at this point simply because of the recent poll numbers coming out of the state. The auto bailout has helped manufacturing in Ohio so expect Obama to play up those benefits as we get closer to November. However, Romney has a good chance of picking Ohio Senator Rob Portman as his VP which should help move the dial a little more in Romney’s favor.
Arizona: Among the three Western swing states, Arizona is polling as the easiest win for Romney. Traditionally a red state, Arizona leans in Romney’s direction. The state also has a great surrogate in Senator John McCain. McCain was an invaluable spokesman for Romney during the primaries and the state is also home to other strong conservatives like Gov. Jan Brewer. At this point, Arizona should fall into Romney’s column.
Nevada: Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and a very poor housing industry since the recession began, but recent polls show that this will be a hard one for Romney to win.
Colorado: Total tossup. Colorado is my home state and is really too close to call. The 2010 midterm elections did not result in many wins for Republicans across the state. In fact, Colorado elected a Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, even after a previously unpopular Democratic governor. And a Democratic Senator Michael Bennett squeaked out a victory also. Recent polling shows the state tilting toward Obama.
Virginia: Traditionally a red state, Romney has a strong chance here but the recent polling does show the state is favoring Obama at the moment. Much of Obama’s stimulus money went to Virginia. The state has a very low unemployment rate, the lowest in the country in fact, which doesn’t help Romney. But the state has a Republican Governor Bob McDonnell who is also on the short list of VP options.
What about the other swing states that weren’t on the list?
Other states seen as possible swing states are Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Michigan, and New Hampshire.
Of these states, those that are tilting Romney are: Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina.
States that are tilting Obama: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire.
Wisconsin and Pennsylvania: Interestingly, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are not on Romney’s original list of top targets. I had heard that the Romney campaign wasn’t planning to compete too strongly in Pennsylvania, but Wisconsin surprised me. Perhaps after last night’s big victory by Scott Walker, the Romney campaign will watch that area more closely for an opening.
Keep in mind that this is an early analyses and the whole game may change depending on future developments such as gas prices, European debt crisis, Syrian civil war, etc. Romney believes in being adaptable and altering his strategy so we can be sure that this is not the final word on the matter. We all remember how Romney changed his strategy during the primaries by heavily competing in Iowa once he realized that there was an opening for him to be competitive.