29: the number of electoral votes the voters of Florida have at their disposal. Florida is crucial this year. Florida is crucial in many elections but it may never be more crucial than it is this year, 2012. According to electionprojection.com, Florida is the 25th most conservative state. That puts us, quite literally, right in the middle. According the CBS/NYTimes/Quinnipiac poll, if the election were held today, Floridians would favor President Obama 51 to 45. That number is close and it’s certain to fluctuate between now and November 6. Because we reside in a state that is so divided, we can pretty much be guaranteed that the candidates will be spending quite a bit of time criss crossing the Sunshine State. That, combined with more senior citizens than any other state also makes us a battleground and make the Medicare debate high on the list of talking points.
According to the electoral math, neither candidate can win the election without Florida and its 29 electoral votes. There are 9 swing states: Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. If you give President Obama Iowa, Ohio and New Hampshire, where his favorable rating is higher than Governor Romney and he leads Governor Romney on the economy, and you give Governor Romney North Carolina, where he leads the President in favorables and on the economy, that gives President Obama 265 and Governor Romney 206. The remaining swing states are: Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia and Florida. Governor Romney, in this scenario, would need to sweep the remaining swing states to win.
So, what does this mean? This means that Governor Romney needs to carpet bomb these 5 states with ads and appearances. It also means that President Obama needs to do the same as winning any one of the remaining 5 states will ensure reelection. Sure, this may be an oversimplification and sure, these numbers may change. But, most certainly, Florida is important and it may hold, yet again, the key to the White House.