June 29, 2012 A little punditry
Charlie Cook’s recent National Journal column makes two points:
1. Don’t worry about the Electoral College because the winner of the popular vote nearly always wins the electoral vote (2000 notwithstanding).
2. This election will be close in a lot of states.
1 is absolutely right of course.
2 I am not so sure about. I agree with Cook that if the election was held today it would be very close.
But it won’t. If the economy gets better, Obama will win with votes to spare. If the economy gets worse (as the conventional wisdom now seems to believe) Romney will win with votes to spare.
That doesn’t mean a 55-45 or 60-40 blowout; I agree with Cook that there are probably fewer swing voters than in the 1970s. But I think there is a pretty good chance that the winner will have 52-54% (as in 2008 and in the 2006 and 2010 Congressional elections). If that happens, all the “swing” states will fall in line behind the winner, in which case the Electoral College won’t be particularly close either; the winner should have 300-400 electoral votes.