The 38 North Solutions team thought you might like a hand at making sense of all the election noise. Here is our prognostication in a super-condensed version of what the airwaves, newspapers, and blogs are telling us to look for Tuesday night. Once all of the results are in, we will send a post-election wrap-up, lame duck session and next-Congress preview for the world of clean energy and innovation.
In our opinion, of the countless models, polls, and projections, those that point to Ohio as the pivotal state are spot on. While there are a number of ways for either the President or Governor Romney to win, Ohio is without a doubt the tipping point for both of them. Here is a brief guide to 270 for each camp:
For President Obama, assuming he wins states thought to be safely in his column all season like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and likely Wisconsin, he only needs to gain Ohio and one other of the remaining “toss-up” states, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, or Virginia. Without Ohio, and again assuming he gets states that have leaned his way all season, he could still win by (1) carrying only Florida, (2) carrying Virginia and two other “toss-up states,” or (3) carrying Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire — while still losing Florida, Ohio, and Virginia.
For Governor Romney, his road to electoral college victory requires carrying a number of “toss-up states” that either remain too close to call, or currently favor the President slightly in the polls. Without Ohio, Romney would need to win every other toss-up state on the map, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia, or pick off states leaning Obama. If he does carry Ohio, Romney would at the very least need to also get four more states in the “toss-up” category, including Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia. If he loses any one of the largest, he would need to make up for it with two more of the other toss-up states, including Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada.
In short, with Ohio in his column, the President’s path to victory is much easier than for Governor Romney. And without Ohio, the path to victory is slightly easier for the President than for Romney, at least as the consensus on state polls sits today.
The team at 38 North Solutions will be following the results closely and sending a preview of what we think the outcome bodes for clean energy and innovation.