Currently Projected at 303 Electoral Votes with Florida yet to be called, President Obama could have won reelection without winning Florida, Ohio, and Virginia’s electoral votes (272 Electoral Votes total without these states). Given this fact, Colorado currently stands as the state that put Obama back in the White House.
Ranking states by Obama’s Margin over Romney (based on partial results), Colorado is the tipping point.
Obama won Ohio by maintaining margins that were only slightly below his 2008 performance. He only under performed by about 1% in the four most populous counties.
He won Cuyahoga by 38.5 points (39.3 in 2008), Franklin by 22.1 points (21.0 in 2008), Hamilton by 5 (7.1 in 2008), and Summit by 15.0 (17.4 in 2008). These counties represented 1,753,219 total votes, over 61% of which went to Obama in 2012. Cuyahoga County actually increased turnout over 2008.
While Romney attacked Obama in the coal-rich southern Appalachian counties of the state, Obama remarkably improved on his 2008 performance there. Although he lost most of these counties (excep Athens) in both 2008 and 2012, he actually performed better in most of the southeastern counties – especially in Ross when he out performed 2008 numbers by 5.4%.
Republicans pointed to gains that they made in early vote in 2012 over 2008, expecting that they would then win Election Day soundly. However, only 3.5% of the Republican early voters were first time voters. This compares to 12.2% of Democratic early voters. A full third of Republican early voters were “Super Voters”, who turn out in every, or almost every election, while only a quarter of Democratic early voters were.
(Above analysis with 98.2 Percent Reporting)
With approximately 90% of Florida precincts reporting and the Presidential contest yet to be decided, some interesting trends are emerging….
President Obama appears to be poised (pending the final vote tally) to build on his already strong 2008 margins in some key regions of the state; most notably in Miami-Dade and Osceola Counties. In north Florida, Mitt Romney made only incremental progress over John McCain’s performance in 2008, likely not enough to produce a statewide victory. The President largely maintained his strong 2008 performance in Duval County, trailing Romney by less than 4%. Mitt Romney is seeing his largest gains over 2008 Republican performance in areas like Collier County, accompanied by a large surge in turnout relative to 2008, and cutting into Obama’s margins in Palm Beach County.
Should President Obama prevail in the sunshine state, the campaign’s robust early vote program may deserve much of the credit.
While both campaigns drove massive numbers of voters to cast a ballot prior to Election Day, Republicans largely converted likely voters (those voters who would have almost certainly voted on Election Day) while Democratic early voters were much more likely to be casting a ballot for the first time.
2008 County Level Presidential Vote