No. of Recommendations: 20
I would venture at this point, 183 votes are pointed to Obama. I believe that Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, certainly Iowa, and New Mexico, New Hampshire and Vermont are all definitely in play for Romney - and very iffy for the current occupant.

Before the cycle started I would have agreed with you on Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico, and New Hampshire ... and I included Iowa in my original list of "still in play" states. However, we're not at the beginning of the cycle, we're near the end - and the numbers have consistently said that those states are increasingly safe for Obama, with the possible exception of Iowa. I'll bet if we watch where the ad spending goes over this last 6 weeks we'll see most of those states out of the money loop.

You know, come to think of it, I wouldn't necessarily discount Massachusetts and perhaps even Connecticut. They have lost tremendous amounts of industry and jobs under Obama. Those folk are not stupid.

Putting Massachusetts and Vermont on a list of "in play" states for Romney is, at this point, an exercise in saying "how deeply can I damage my credibility in this discussion". Since the 1920s, Massachusetts has voted for Republicans four times - Eisenhower twice and Reagan twice. And there are a lot of things Gov. Romney is, but he is no Eisenhower, and he is no Reagan. Hell - they even voted for George McGovern. And Obama's largest margin of victory in 2008 outside of Hawaii was Vermont - nearly 70 / 30. If they don't vote for Obama 60 / 40 or better I'll be shocked.

Also ... note that since Obama took office in 2009, jobs have:

Increased in Massachusetts

Held flat in Connecticut

Increased in Vermont

Etc. If I believed jobs numbers in these states were going to drive a vote for Romney, I'd expect to see graphs that look like 2008 in the charts I linked to above. That has just not been the case.
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