Political Profile for Week Five: Senator Ted Cruz

5. Ted Cruz, Junior Senator from Texas:
Basic Background Information

  • 44 years old
  • Graduated from Princeton University
  • Received law degree from Harvard University
  • Was a law clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist
  • Briefly practiced law
  • Served Governor George W. Bush as a domestic policy adviser
  • Served as associate deputy attorney general in the US Justice Department
  • Solicitor General of Texas from 2003-2008
  • Practiced law again briefly
  • Became the junior senator from Texas in 2012

5. Ted Cruz Political Profile

  • Well suited for the states that have early primaries/caucuses

–Iowa-yes, New-Hampshire-No

  • Skeletons in the closet (that we know about)

–Canadian citizenship-probably a non-issue, but could be used against him.

–Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, associates with extreme right wing figures and has a propensity to make incendiary and sometimes insane comments. Rafael Cruz has also shown a willingness to get involved in political matters/endorse candidates that could cause further embarrassment (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/07/the-six-craziest-quotes-from-ted-cruz-s-father-rafael-cruz.html).

  • Candidate’s Weaknesses: Ties to unpopular positions or politicians?

–Unpopular politicians: Cruz has embraced being one of Sarah Palin’s favorite politicians.

–Cruz’s role in instigating the government shutdown has made him many enemies amongst “establishment” Republicans.

–Unpopular positions for the Republican primary:

  • Nothing major.

–Unpopular positions for the general election:

  • Pro-life with the life of the mother as the only exception.
  • Personally opposes same-sex marriage; let individual states decide.
  • Opposes gun control.
  • Opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (opposed the Senate’s immigration bill)
  • Supports privatizing social security.
  • Face of the government shutdown and Tea Party radicalism.

–No experience governing (not a governor)

–Abrasive personality.

–Largely seen as an unelectable Republican.

Has only served two years in the senate

  • What is this candidate’s selling points?

–The Tea Party may not be the biggest segment of the Republican electorate, but it is the most passionate, vocal, and fastest growing. Many Tea Party activists would support a Cruz bid.

  • The Tea Party adores Cruz. Becoming the face of the movement.
  • The Tea Party’s backing is extremely important in a Republican primary and Cruz seems likely to win it.

–Seems especially beloved by Iowans, which would prove useful in the important Iowa caucus.

–For whatever you think of his politics or his strategy, he is extremely smart. Did not just attend ivy league schools, excelled there.

–Has a history of being an excellent debater. We have seen candidates who were skilled debaters directly benefit from the frequent debates during the Republican primary season (see Newt Gingrich in 2012).

–May just be capable of taking tea party aims and articulating a coherent vision for America.

–At present, Cruz is personally despised by much of the Republican establishment, thanks to his antics and reputation for not being a team player. For many Republicans, drawing the ire of the establishment is an asset not a drawback.

  • Best suited for the general election or primaries? Establishment or outsider candidate?

–Republican primaries and its not close. Still seems far too conservative to be a viable general election candidate. Identifies as an outsider, behaves like an outsider, but in many ways, his background says otherwise.

  • Trending upward, downward , or neither. Why?

–Neither- His role in the government shutdown hurt his chances amongst the general population, but it did make him extremely popular with the Tea Party and dramatically increased his name recognition.

  • On a scale of 1-10 (with ten being certain to run) how likely is he to run?

–Eight. Cruz seems likely to run, but he is relatively young and can afford to bide his time if he doesn’t feel ready. He has not made an announcement either way yet.

Ted Cruz: Key Questions

  • Can Cruz overcome the unelectable argument to win the Republican nomination?
  • Can Cruz inspire a powerful enough grassroots conservative movement to overcome the Republican establishment?

Political Profile for Week Four: Senator Rand Paul

4. Rand Paul, Junior Senator from Kentucky:
Basic Background Information

  • 52 years old
  • The son of former Congressman Ron Paul
  • Attended Baylor University but did not graduate
  • Received a medical degree from Duke University
  • Practiced Ophthalmology (eye doctor) beginning in 1993
  • Became the junior US Senator from Kentucky in 2010
  • Term expires in 2016

4. Rand Paul Political Profile

  • Well-suited for the states that have early primaries/caucuses?

–Iowa-yes, New Hampshire-yes, South-Carolina-no, Florida-no.

  • Skeletons in the closet (that we know about)?

–Plagiarism scandal and anything and everything Ron Paul related (isolationism, ties to white supremacism and anti-Semitism).

  • Candidate’s Weaknesses: Ties to unpopular positions or politicians?

–Unpopular positions for the Republican primary:

  • Supported the sequester/supports cutting military spending.
  • Supports legalizing medical marijuana.
  • Opposes mandatory minimums.
  • Opposes the Ryan Budget Plan.
  • Opposes a national ban on same-sex marriage.

–Unpopular positions for the general election:

  • Personally opposes same-sex marriage; let individual states decide.
  • Pro-Life without exceptions/supports banning all abortions.
  • Opposes raising the debt limit without balancing the budget.
  • Wants to eliminate the federal reserve.
  • Wants to make drastic cuts to or eliminate certain federal departments all together (including the Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development).
  • Opposes gun control.
  • Opposes foreign aid for financial reasons.

–Ron Paul’s radical policy positions (especially foreign policy) could harm his son’s candidacy.

–His foreign policy vision, while less radical than his father’s, is still concerning to much of the Republican party.

–Has been in the past been dismissed as unelectable. Working hard to change this perception.

–Also been criticized of frequently changing his views to suit his audience.

–No experience governing (not a governor).

–Prickly (overly sensitive about criticism), has a reputation for treating media members (especially women) poorly.

  • What is this candidate’s selling points/credentials?

–Has served in the Senate for four years.

–Has shown the ability to work with Democrats on a few select issues (i.e. criminal justice reform)

–Appeals to the tea-party, libertarians, and even some establishment Republicans. Is willing to express views that are unusual for the typical tea-party member, yet he manages to remain popular among the different factions in the Republican Party.

–A Paul candidacy has the potential to be very popular amongst Iowa and New Hampshire voters; sweeping those first two states could go a long way to locking up the nomination.

–It is also said that Paul loyalists control Iowa’s Republican party.

–Unique, charismatic, extremely intelligent

  • Best suited for the general election or primaries? Establishment or outsider candidate?

– Originally ran for senate as an outsider. His republican primary opponent was considered the establishment. But Paul seems to be making a concerted effort of late to court the Republican establishment. Has formed an alliance with Mitch McConnell. Not hated by other senators like Senator Cruz is. With that said, Paul remains best suited for the Republican primary.

  • Trending upward, downward , or neither. Why?

–Neither–Since he was Governor of Massachusetts, which borders New Hampshire, Mitt Romney was extremely well-known and popular there. Romney not running, makes Paul one of the early favorites to win New Hampshire.

–Paul made some dumb comments about whether government should compel parents to vaccinate their children. He wasn’t the only Republican to do so. However, Paul’s comments stand out because they come from a doctor. Paul of all people should have known better. Media miscues more generally are becoming a liability.

On a scale of 1-10 (with ten being certain to run) how likely is he to run?

–Nine. What good is a Republican primary if a Paul isn’t running? On a serious note though, although Senator Paul is trying to fight it, it does not appear that he will legally be allowed to run for senator and president. So by running for president, he would risk losing his safe senate seat.

Rand Paul: Key Questions

  • Is Rand Paul electable?
  • Does Paul’s foreign policy positions make it impossible for him to win the Republican nomination?
  • Will he be hurt by having very little political experience?
  • Is he willing to risk a safe senate seat to run in a very crowded and talented Republican primary?
  • Will his efforts to reach out to constituencies who typically vote for Democrats help him in any way?
  • Can he unite the Republican Party (at least the non-establishment parts)?
  • Can he expand his base beyond Ron Paul fanatics?

Political Profile for Week Three: Senator Marco Rubio


3. Marco Rubio, Junior Senator from Florida:
Basic Background Information

  • 43 years old.
  • Graduated from the University of Florida in 1993.
  • Received law degree from the University of Miami.
  • Interned for US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
  • Ran for the Florida House of Representatives in 1999 and won.
  • Became the Speaker of the House in 2007.
  • Served in the Florida House of Representatives until 2009.
  • Ran for the US Senate and won in 2010.
  • Term expires in 2016.

Continue reading

Political Profile for Week Two: Governor Scott Walker

2. Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin:

Basic Background Information

  • 47 years old
  • Attended Marquette University but did not graduate
  • Ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly at 22 years old (1990); he lost. Has not lost an election since
  • Moved to a more conservative district, won a seat three years later (1993)
  • Reelected four times (1993-2002).
  • Won a four year term as Milwaukee County Executive in 2002.
  • Ran for governor in 2006, but he dropped out a year later when he could not raise enough money to stay competitive
  • Ran again in 2010 and won.
  • Won a recall election in 2012
  • Won second term as governor in 2014

Scott Walker Political Profile:

  • Well suited for the states that have early primaries/caucuses?

–Iowa-yes, New Hampshire-yes.

  • Skeletons in the closet (that we know about)?

–Spent twenty minutes talking on the phone with a journalist pretending to be David Koch (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/i-punkd-scott-walker-100033.html#.VN_hcXvpwQo, http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/files/Scott%20Walker%20David%20Koch%20Transcript.pdf, http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/02/23/133996140/wisconsins-gov-walker-takes-prank-call-from-fake-koch-brother). An embarrassing and amateurish moment for sure, but not a serious problem going forward.

–Probably nothing, but he did not end up graduating from Marquette University. This has been the subject of a great deal of speculation lately but there has not been a definitive resolution on this issue.

–Still a relatively unknown political figure, so it will be interesting to see what comes out as the country gets to know Walker.

  • Candidate’s Weaknesses: Ties to unpopular positions or politicians?

–A relative unknown: Unlike Christie, Paul, and Cruz, Walker has lower name recognition.

–Like most governors, Walker has no foreign policy experience.

–Good friends with Representative Paul Ryan and John Kasich, so if either of those two enter the race, Walker might be more reluctant to do so.

–Walker’s union busting may not play well in a general election.

–Not known as a great public speaker; said to lack charisma.

–Has supported a path to citizenship in the past.

Prevailing sentiment: “Everyone’s second choice”

  • What is this candidate’s selling points?

–Many high-level Republicans (including Walker himself) have recently stressed the importance of nominating a governor. They think it is critical that the Republican nominee have some previous governing experience, believing the ability to administrate is essential to becoming an effective president. Obviously, Walker fits this description.

–Like Senator Paul, it is conceivable that Governor Walker could win in both Iowa and New Hampshire, which could lock up the nomination:

  • Walker is positioned close enough to Iowa to make frequent trips there.
  • He also grew up in Iowa, which certainly doesn’t hurt.

–He is relatively unknown. As then Senator Obama proved, being relatively unknown can be a strength.

–Could potentially unite all of the factions of the Republican Party. Walker can cite different decisions during his tenure as governor that would please the various Republican factions.

–Appears to be a viable general election candidate.

–Unlike Governor Christie and a few other Republican governors, Walker chose not to accept the Medicare money allotted to Wisconsin under the Affordable Care Act. That will certainly play well in the Republican primary.

  • Best suited for the general election or primaries? Establishment or outsider candidate?

–The general election, but its close. Outsider, but its close.

  • Trending upward, downward , or neither. Why?

–Upward. Governor Romney’s decision not to run again, may benefit Governor Walker the most. Right now there are two top tier Republican candidates—Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.

  • On a scale of 1-10 (with ten being certain to run) how likely is he to run?

–Nine. By all accounts it looks like Walker will run.

Scott Walker: Key Questions

  • Can Governor Walker continue to maintain his appeal with both the establishment and the conservative parts of the Republican Party?
  • Is Governor Walker charismatic enough to lead the Republican Party?
  • Can Governor Walker appeal to independent/moderate voters if he has to move rightward politically in order to win the Republican nomination?
  • Can Governor Walker avoid making the types of amateur mistakes that other candidates who were once thought of as top-tier Republican contenders have been unable to avoid?

Political Profile for Week One: Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush

1. Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida:

Basic Background Information

  • 61 years old
  • Graduated from the University of Texas in 1973 in only 2.5 years
  • Worked in the private sector for years after graduating college
  • Worked on many of his father’s campaigns (former president George H.W. Bush)
  • Served as Chairman of the Dade County Republican Party (1986-1988)
  • Was Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s campaign manager in 1989
  • Ran for Governor of Florida in 1994, but surprisingly to most, he lost
  • Ran again in 1998 and won. Won reelection bid in 2002.
  • Term limited in 2006, Bush reentered the private sector.



1. Jeb Bush Political Profile

  • Well suited for the states that have early primaries/caucuses?

–Iowa-no, New Hampshire-yes

  • Skeletons in the closet (that we know about)?

–In 2013 Jeb Bush tweeted “Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.”

  • Bush was tweeting in response to a rumor circulating on right-wing websites that the United States was closing its Vatican embassy and cutting off all diplomatic relations with the Catholic church.
  • Obviously this was not true.
  • In reality the United States was just moving the Vatican embassy into the same building that houses the embassy to Italy in order to save an estimated one million dollars a year.

–Rumors are floating around regarding Bush’s wife and children (his daughter has been arrested on drug-related charges years ago) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-jeb-bush-eyes-2016-key-question-is-how-a-presidential-campaign-would-affect-his-family/2014/05/11/73ef1816-d55e-11e3-8a78-8fe50322a72c_story.html), but nothing has been substantiated

–Admits to smoking marijuana as a teenager, was a poor student until he was getting ready to go to college; some have claimed that he was once a bully (https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2015/02/01/tumultuous-four-years-phillips-academy-helped-shape-jeb-bush/q6ccyHNOtP1n6kqDokMBfK/story.html).

–Took a number of corporate jobs in the private sector that will come under great scrutiny.

  • Candidate’s Weaknesses: Ties to unpopular positions or politicians?

–George W. Bush:

  • Although not his fault, the Bush name—once a great strength—is now one of his greatest weaknesses as a candidate.
  • It will be difficult to prove to voters in a general election that he is not just a clone of his brother.
  • Will also face resentment from primary voters who blame George W. Bush for the current state of the Republican Party
  • Bush fatigue: Many Republicans (including—until recently—his own mother, Barbara Bush) want to avoid nominating a third Bush

–It’s been a long time since he has run for office.

  • Hasn’t run for office in twelve years.
  • Hasn’t held political office in eight years (he was term-limited in 2006)
  • Can he survive the rigors of the presidential campaign trail?
  • Could struggle in debates.

–Prominent supporter of immigration reform (and common core).

  • Like Senator Rubio, will have to justify his views to dubious primary voters.

–An unimpressive public speaker/orator. Can he inspire, connect, communicate?

–Has a Marco Rubio problem

  • Both men are from Florida, it might be tough for both to run. Bush had previously endorsed Marco Rubio for Senate in 2010.


  • What is this candidate’s selling points?

–Can raise a lot of money (much more than any other Republican candidate)

  • The Bush family has built up a sizeable donor list over the last few decades. Can raise significantly more money than any other Republican candidates.
  • With Mitt Romney not running, he will also pick up many of Romney’s donors as the most electable “establishment” candidate
  • By all accounts, the Bush campaign is already raising millions of dollars.

–Brings experience and national appeal

  • The Republican field is shaping up to be a very young one.
  • Unlikely to make rookie mistakes
  • Bush is a rare Republican who has proven he can win over more than just conservatives.
  • Already won Florida (a purple state and a state Republicans must win a general election) twice.

–Could broaden the Republican base

  • Is popular with Latinos (at least compared to other Republican figures) and the Republicans must do better with Latinos if they want to be a viable national party.
  • If George W. Bush knew how to appeal to Latino voters; his younger brother has proven to be even better at doing so.
  • More appealing to moderate voters than most of his competitors.

–Is not associated with recent Republican missteps

  • Was not involved with, and therefore cannot be blamed for: the government shutdown, Benghazi investigations, impeachment talk, refusing to raise the debt ceiling, low Congressional approval ratings etc.

–Has a strong command of the issues. Excels at the question and answer format.

  • Best suited for the general election or primaries? Establishment or outsider candidate?

–The general election. With a name like Bush, how could he be seen as anything other than a member of the establishment? Still, he hasn’t held office for eight years and is not in any way tarnished by congressional foolishness.

  • Trending upward, downward , or neither. Why?

–Upward. Mitt Romney’s decision not to run again will allow Bush to lock up many of the wealthiest Republican donors and the establishment political consultants. Unlike almost every one of his main competitors, Bush has managed to remain generally mistake-free lately. Rumored to be raising a lot of money already.

  • On a scale of 1-10 (with ten being certain to run) how likely is he to run?

–10. Once thought to be unlikely to run, Bush is now certain to run.

Jeb Bush: Key Questions

  • Can Bush overcome his last name?
  • Will staying out of politics for almost a decade ultimately help or hurt Bush’s presidential bid?
  • Is Bush prepared to run a presidential campaign?
  • Can Bush unite the establishment wing of the Republican Party behind his candidacy?
  • Can Bush convince enough conservatives to earn his party’s nomination?
  • Can Bush survive the Republican primary when his positions on education and immigration are very unpopular with many Republican voters?


A Post-Mortem on Last Wednesday’s Debate

President Obama lost last Wednesday night’s debate and it was not close. In front of nearly seventy million people, President Obama who had previously seemed to rise to the occasion fell apart. The President appeared to be nervous at the beginning of the debate, lethargic throughout, and stunningly unprepared. In just an hour and a half, the President allowed his challenger Mitt Romney, whose poll numbers had never been worse entering the debate, to rise from the dead. This is no exaggeration.

That is not to say that the President Obama lost himself the election with a poor debate performance, far from it. President Obama is still undeniably the favorite going in to the final month of the presidential campaign, but the President missed an opportunity to transform his bid for a second term from a statistical likelihood to a near mathematical certainty.

President Obama is not the only one to blame for this debate debacle, the President’s advisors who had previously proven to be far superior to Mr. Romney’s, let the President down this time in a major way (Jim Lehrer the moderator of the debate, also did the President no favors). How could the President’s advisors during debate prep sessions not remind Obama to, rather than spending most of the time sullenly looking down at the podium as he did last Wednesday night, either look at his opponent or at the camera?

President Obama’s strategy during the debate (if one can even call it that) was to let Mitt Romney dig his own grave. President Obama seemed to be content to simply not make any gaffes and look presidential. The President’s advisors must have thought Mitt Romney to be so unlikeable that if given free reign throughout the debate he would invariably make the kinds of remarks that many Americans have found to be disparaging. President Obama’s camp was proven quite wrong if this was their analysis.

Mitt Romney is not Newt Gingrich who given enough time in front of the camera will say something to jeopardize his candidacy. No, Romney when the bright lights come on is much too politically savvy and too well prepared at this stage of the campaign to make those sorts of mistakes.

As far as the next two debates are concerned, President Obama must practice delivering more succinct responses to questions and learn to directly challenge Mr. Romney when he makes outlandish or factually untrue statements. But more importantly the President needs to recognize that while there will be moments where it will be to his benefit to come off as dignified and presidential, there will be others in which he will need to get his hands dirty and confront Mr. Romney with statement’s he has made in the past that conflict with what he is saying in the present.

This debate must prove a wake-up call to President Obama and his team of advisors. His reelection is not inevitable, Mitt Romney come January Twentieth really could be sitting behind that desk in the Oval Office. If President Obama intends to win this November, then now is the time to shake off any complacency that has set in over the last few months.

The 2012 Republican National Convention:

What can be learned from all of the absences?

It is hard to imagine a Democratic Convention these days without former president Bill Clinton playing a prominent role. Clinton seemed totally in his element when addressing his fellow democratic delegates two weeks ago in Charlotte, North Carolina. The former president’s nearly hour long speech made it clear that he can make a compelling case for President Obama’s reelection. Once seen as a potential distraction to the Obama administration, Clinton is now more popular than ever before, and has become quite the asset to President Obama’s reelection hopes.

The same though cannot be said for most of the former Republican luminaries. Rather unusually (historically speaking), and very conspicuously, The Republicans held their national convention without either of its two living former presidents attending.

Of the two men, former president George H.W Bush’s absence is most easily excused. The elder Bush had been in increasingly poor health in recent months, so it is understandable that he would not feel up to traveling these days. His son’s absence however is another matter.

As the last Republican to be president, it would seem only logical that George W. Bush would speak at the 2012 Republican National Convention. But to the relief of current Republican officeholders nationwide, it appears that George W. Bush has retired from making public appearances.

Even if George W. Bush had volunteered to speak at the convention he would have undoubtedly been told to stay home. George W. Bush is still so universally unpopular that the current Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, (following John McCain’s lead in 2008) is loath to even utter Bush’s name publically.

The previous two Republican vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin were also conspicuously absent at the Republican convention. When asked why he would not be attending the convention, Cheney replied that he had an important fishing trip planned (I’m not kidding about that!) While Sarah Palin responded that she would be too busy observing Russian troop movements from her kitchen window (ok now I am!).

Despite the fact that many Americans dislike Cheney and Palin, they still would have been positively received at a convention full of ardent Republicans. Both Cheney and Palin are capable of energizing the Republican base. So why were they too missing at the convention?

The lack of past party leadership at the convention was an attempt by the Republicans to make it appear as though they were moving away from their party’s failures of the previous decade. The Republicans hoped that by introducing viewers to a new generation of Republican faces, those same voters might just forget about the string of  embarrassments the  Palin’s, Cheney’s, and Bush’s of the world brought to the party.

But if someone thought that by making sure those polarizing politicians were nowhere to be found that the Republicans were making a clean break from their political past, that someone would be dead wrong.

My next blog post will prove rather conclusively, I think, that while the current Republican leadership is willing to replace those that once represented the party, it is still unwilling to replace the policies that continue to alienate many independent minded Americans.

Governor Markell’s Campaign Kickoff

    Please join us this Saturday, September 15th as we welcome Governor Jack Markell (and other special guests) to the University of Delaware.  The Governor is coming to campus to formally announce his re-election campaign. This is a truly unique opportunity to get to see some of Delaware’s most distinguished and influential politicians up close. Governor Markell’s Campaign Kickoff will take place at 7:00 pm on the steps of Memorial Hall, facing the South Green. On behalf of all us here at the College Dems, we hope to see you there!

UPDATE: We now have U.S. Senator Carper confirmed for attending the event. So if you want a chance to meet a sitting Senator come out on Saturday for Governor Markell’s Campaign Kickoff!

Will the Democrats keep control of the Senate?

As the November election rapidly approaches, the Democrats’ prospects for maintaining control of the United States Senate have noticeably brightened. The Democrats have Congressman Todd Akin to thank at least in part for this. His much-maligned remarks have singlehandidly made the Missouri Senate seat currently held by Democrat Claire McCaskill, go from a seat likely to be picked up by Republicans to one likely to remain in Democratic hands.

But the Missouri Senate race is not the only race that has Republicans worried about their chances of regaining control of the Senate. David Catanese of Politico.com does an excellent job examining the other contested Senate races. Check out his article at http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=42B32868-CBD6-4C11-8B79-A33B7630550A.

The race to 270: Why President Obama has the Easier Road

In 2008, Barack Obama won 365 electoral votes to John McCain’s meager 173. Keeping in mind Obama only needed 270 electoral votes to become president, 365 votes was quite the landslide. This upcoming 2012 presidential election sets up to be a much closer race.

Historically, presidential elections have been determined by just a handful of states. The media tends to refer to these states as battleground or swing states. At the moment, eleven states appear to still be winnable by either side. Those states include Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. Though unless something drastic takes place in the next few months, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Nevada all appear to be likely Obama victories.

The latest polls have Obama winning Pennsylvania (by eight to ten points) and Michigan (four to six points) by a comfortable margin. Considering that 1988 was the last year a Republican presidential candidate won either Michigan or Pennsylvania, they seem likely to stay blue this time around. While New Hampshire and Nevada appear to be tighter races, they too seem likely to be Democratic wins. The latest polls have President Obama maintaining a four point lead over Mitt Romney in both New Hampshire and Nevada. President Obama carried both of these states in 2008 as well. Putting these four states in the Democratic column would leave President Obama with 247 votes to Mitt Romney’s 191 votes

In this rather probable scenario, seven states and one hundred electoral votes would determine this presidential election. In 2008, then Senator Obama won all seven of these states. This time around, of those seven states, President Obama only needs Florida or a combination of two or three of the smaller swing states to get to the magic number of 270. Though a Romney victory is not impossible by any means, the electoral math is simply much more challenging for him.