Which states Romney and Obama need to win, what to look for

Things to Look Out For Early in the Evening

Earlier I’d reported that Chuck Todd said to look for two things that would suggest the President is having a good evening:

A) That VA (7pm), NC (730pm) or FL (8pm) are too close to call.
B) That OH (730pm) and PA (8pm) are called quickly for Obama.

Quickest Path To Victory for Obama and Romney

From an earlier video MSNBC’s Chuck Todd did, posted at the bottom of this story, we have the key states that each candidate needs to win (summarized by me, all times for polls closing are Eastern US times).

The fastest way to 270 electoral votes for the President is:

  1. Ohio 18 electoral votes (polls close at 730pm ET)
  2. Wisconsin 10 (9pm)
  3. Iowa 6 (10pm)

And Obama could even lose Iowa, and still be over 270 if he gets WI and OH.

Mitt Romney’s fastest way to 270:

  1. Florida 29 (8pm)
  2. Virginia 13 (7pm)
  3. NH 4 (8pm)
  4. Ohio 18 (730pm)

The Most Important Early States to Watch

A few minutes ago, Todd was on MSNBC talking about what to look out for in the first couple of hours tonight.  He said that by 8pm tonight (Eastern), in six of the ten battleground states the polls will be closed.  Here’s his take (summarized):

7PM: First big one is Virginia.  Todd says they count their vote quickly.  If Romney is doing well in southern states, then by 9 or 10 o’clock it could be called for him.  However, the longer it takes to call Virginia, the likelier the state has swung to President Obama (since more liberal areas tend to report in later).

7:30PM: North Carolina and Ohio. If Obama is doing well, we may not be calling NC for a while (lots of African-Americans and youth voters).   Todd says that if the President gets Virginia and Ohio, “it’s done.”

8PM: Pennsylvania, keep an eye on how quickly we’re calling it.  If we call it quickly for the President – and same thing goes for Ohio – then that means the President is having a good night.

Todd is quick to add that even if one or the other doesn’t get Ohio, they can still win – same goes for Romney if he doesn’t get Virginia.  But they’re “tougher” paths.

8PM the panhandle of Florida stops voting, though most of Florida stops at 7.

8PM: New Hampshire.

Todd then said that if Romney gets Ohio, and Obama gets Virginia, then the President could get NH and WI and win.

I’d posted this earlier video of Chuck Todd walking through what states are needed by each candidate, it’s worth watching.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Listening to Neroots Radio: Virginia is too close to call. NC probably won’t be. Florida might be.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Is this the open election thread?  We need one.  I’m so stressed out. 

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I love that the Florida Panhandle has its own poll closing time.  Just secede from Florida.  Go ahead, everyone knows you want to do it.  Welcome to the U.S, South Alabama. 

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