On Tuesday, November 6th, millions of Americans will head to the polls to decide on the next leader of the free world. As of today, popular opinion polls have incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Governor Mitt Romney in a dead heat for the Presidency.
But popular opinion or even the popular vote doesn't always tell the whole story. In America, its not the necessarily the number of votes you have, it's where they are.
The following is a state-by-state breakdown of America's electoral colleges. The numbers next to each state represent the number of votes the they hold. The magic number to win the Presidency? 270, half plus one of the total 538 electoral colleges represented. Based on recent polling and campaign issues, we've called which way the state is likely to fall; keep track with our running total at the bottom of the page.
|Alabama – 9
During the arduous Republican primary process, Alabamians favored the more hard-line policies of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to the oft flavorless pandering of Mitt Romney. But now that he’s the last man standing, they’ll take him; just right of center is still better than just left of it for the notoriously conservative Deep South. Advantage: Romney.
|Alaska – 3
With only three electoral votes, and detached both figuratively and literally from the nation, not much polling data comes out of Alaska, but given their track record of electing Republicans (only one Democrat has carried the territory since their statehood in 1959), it’s safe to assume they sympathize with the American Right. Advantage: Romney.
|Arizona – 11
Barack Obama has a tough draw in Arizona, where, by all rights, the Democrats should be able to swing the state’s growing Hispanic population based on their immigration policies not being an arcane throwback to the Dark Ages, but the Republicans have held these borderlands since about that same time, and, unfortunately, many of the immigrants affected by the policies aren’t eligible to vote. Advantage: Romney.
|Arkansas – 6
Arkansas has pulled the trigger thrice on Democrats in the past 40 years; twice to elect native son Bill Clinton and once, reluctantly, to run the undemocratically “elected” usurper Gerald Ford out of office. The rest of the time they’ve been red, and it’s a safe bet to call the state again for the Republicans in 2012. Advantage: Romney.
|California – 55
With its 55 electoral college votes, California is November’s biggest prize. Though it’s the traditional home of big-time Republican ringleaders, deep-pocket, pro-business backers who definitely favor Romney’s economic model, the state’s sheer numbers and pluralistic demographic favors Obama vote-for-vote. Advantage: Obama.
|Colorado – 9
Barack Obama did well to take Colorado in 2008 with a decisive nine-point victory over neighbor John McCain (Arizona), but he’s in danger of losing the state in 2012; the latest polls show Romney as a slight favorite, with voters having more faith in his ability to manage the economy and handle homeland security. Advantage: Romney.
|Connecticut – 7
Twenty years ago, Connecticut was a Right-wing holdout in the East, but the state hasn’t so much as elected a Republican senator to office since 1982. The few Republicans who do call Connecticut home will likely come out in force behind Mitt Romney, but it’s unlikely they’ll come out of the woodwork in such numbers as to elect him. Advantage: Obama.
|Delaware – 3
This is another safe bet for the Democrats out East. Delaware’s Republican Party is in severe disrepair, having split the state senate vote in 2010, electing noted Tea Party activist Christine O’Donnell to the nomination only to be crushed in the general by the Dems. Put simply: even if Delaware were a Republican state (it’s not), it doesn’t have enough organization to line up behind a single, center candidate. Advantage: Obama.
|District of Columbia – 3
The Vatican of the Electoral College, D.C., with so many political lifers in its population, has never voted Republican, catapulting Democratic candidates to office with typically over three quarters of their voting populace. For the Democrats, losing these Electoral College votes would be like losing the America’s Cup, you know, before we lost it. Advantage: Obama.
|Florida – 29
The swingingest of the swing states, Florida’s 29 electoral votes would be a coup for Mitt Romney and the Republicans’ quest for the White House. Between the housing crisis in ’09 and sky-high unemployment rates, Florida has had a rough four years and has no kind words for the Federal government. Their displeasure could very well manifest itself at the polls on November 6th. Advantage: Romney.
Tally: Barack Obama - 68, Mitt Romney - 67