Romney is a shoe-in to take Nevada tomorrow, despite Trump backing him.
With Nevada (a heavily Mormon population) a sure-thing, we turn our focus to Maine, which officially begins its caucuses tomorrow (though really, they started days ago). They will come to a close on the 11th. Ron Paul has collected the endorsement of 11 state legislators, and Linda Bean, heiress of the L.L. Bean clothing company, which is a major employer in the state.
Paul has focused his efforts on caucuses, rather than primaries. Paul is expected to go head-to-head for the most delegates in the state against Mitt Romney. Neither Santorum’s nor Gingrich’s campaigns have spent much time or money on Maine.
Next Tuesday, there will be three contests: caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado, and a non-binding primary in Missouri (which will be complimented with a caucus on March 17th, which will actually assign the delegates). Paul has focused quite a bit of effort in Minnesota, which has also been aggressively courted by Gingrich. Some are calling next Tuesday Gingrich’s last stand, as poor performances in Colorado and Minnesota may signal that his campaign is terminally ill… and we all know that is Gingrich’s signal to jump ship.
Santorum remains redundant.
Perhaps the biggest piece of news to affect the campaigns has nothing to do with the candidates, but the economy. With what looks like a tentative turnaround in the works, polls continue to show Obama rising in popularity. Even last week before the news, Obama was more popular in Texas than Rick Perry.
Obama’s national approval rating stands at 45% according to Gallup. What is surprising is that 12% of Republicans approve. I’m a little shocked so many Republicans are cognizant enough to realize Obama is a better conservative than Bush ever was. I thought they were all brain-washed automatons, but apparently only 88% are. No surprise, 80% of Democrats approve of the job Obama is doing. There’s nothing astounding at all about 4 out of 5 Democrats expecting so little of Obama. That sounds about right.
State to state, there is also some interesting finds. In DC, Obama has an approval rating of 81.1%. Obama also has over 50% job approval in 10 other states: Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois, and California.
Looking to the general election, there are 12 swing states that are expected to be contested. Here is a list of them, with their electoral vote value:
New Hampshire (4)
New Mexico (5)
North Carolina (15)
In 2008, Obama won them all.
If you live in one of these states… I recommend buying Tivo and listening to CDs instead of the radio until November. The worst to be hit with political advertising blitzes will probably be Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. These are all states with strong Republican registration and turnout in 2010, and their high-value electoral vote count will likely be the deciding factor in 2012.
But I get ahead of myself. As the election drags on… I’m sure there will be plenty of time for all of this in the… Jesus… 9 months left in the campaign.