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5 Things to Watch For on Election Night Coverage

obama romney
DonkeyHotey / flickr

The battle for the presidency may go right down to the wire, making watching Election Night coverage the best drama on TV for Tuesday night. 

According to Real Clear Politics, combined polls of about 14,000 likely voters in the last 5 days have this election a virtual dead heat!  President Obama is less than 4/10 of a percent ahead of Mitt Romney in the polls – 48.5% to 48.13%.

Many interesting things could happen on Election Night, but here are 5 things to pay attention to while you watch the coverage:

1) “Too Close to Call!”

You could conceivably hear this for as many as a dozen contests, setting up for a long night!  Could we re-live Florida 2000?  Not in the sense of “Hanging Chads” but possibly in the margin of victory for some contests.  This could prove to be as close as 1976 – where 31 states were settled by 8% margin or less (20 states were settle by 4.5% or less – defined as withing the margin of error).

2) Ohio and Virginia

The results in these 2 states will set the tone for Election Night.  Romney cannot lose Virginia and expect to become the next President – polls over the last week or so of some 10,000 likely Va. voters have this contest all tied up (48%-48%).  The path for Romney to the presidency without Virginia would seem near impossible.

Ohio is the state you keep hearing about because no elected president has lost Ohio since 1960 (Richard Nixon defeated JFK handily that election in Ohio).  The theory is you have to win Ohio to win the election, and the polls show Obama holding about a 3-point margin but Romney has made major gains over the last month.  The numbers say Romney could win without Ohio, but history says otherwise.

3) Romney is swept in his home states

Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000, George McGovern lost his home state of South Dakota in 1972.  Losing your home state is a rarity in presidential elections, but Romney could make history by losing the state he was born in (Michigan), the state he governed (Massachusetts), and the state he has a home in (New Hampshire).  What could save him from the shutout is N.H. where polls show him within 2% of Obama going into Election Day.

4) The elected President loses the Popular Vote

Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the Electoral College – this scenario could see itself happen again.  Looking at the numbers, it is very conceivable that this elected President will do it without the majority of the popular vote.

Romney could conceivably win 30 states (the majority by 9) and the Popular Vote, but lose to Obama 271-267 – should be noted if this happens, Romney would win the most contests by a losing candidate ever (Ford won 27 in ’76).

5) A 269-269 tied election?

This scenario was discussed a great deal earlier this month, and I posted this scenario with the tie breaking rules.  This Electoral College nightmare seems less likely now, and when you consider one tf the keys to that tie would involve Romney stealing an Electoral Vote from Maine – one of only 2 states who allocate their Electoral Votes by district.  Romney has invested about $500,000 in ads for the southern Maine district just above N.H.

There is a feel that 2012 will be a historic election – remember to take part in the process.  You have the privilege to take part in the democratic process, and this year may be more difficult after the “Super Storm”, but the process has been made easier by Governor Christie for N.J. - click here for all the info!

 

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