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There's only one number that really matters in the general election and that's to seventy.
Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen looks a governor Romney's path to winning that number of electoral votes.
Fred good evening as the two campaigns map out their political tactics map out their messaging strategy map out their ground game.
There's one map that matters above all others and it is the electoral map and now GOP strategists using that -- have calculated to route to victory for Mitt Romney that is informally known.
Its first imperative is that the presumptive GOP nominee must retain in the red column in November.
Every state that John McCain won four years ago then it's off to the races the game plan calls for Romney to take back three traditionally Republican states that Barack Obama captured.
These hours you can see Indiana.
North Carolina whose vote for mr.
Obama -- -- wait marked the first time.
But the tar heel state had gone democratic since 1976.
And then Virginia if the Republicans reclaim these red states it adds up as you can see to 39 electoral votes or a shift of 78.
In the Electoral College if Romney manages that then it's a quest to win two traditional battleground states Ohio and Florida both of these states as you can see from the color coding voted to reelect George W.
Bush in 2004.
And then turned blue for Barack Obama.
After the 2010 census cost Ohio.
Two electoral votes and Florida.
Added to electoral votes so combined they still account for a total of 47 electoral votes if Romney prevails in Florida and Ohio.
And takes back those three red states we mentioned earlier.
Then he just has to poach from the Obama Biden called one of these eight states half of which as you can see who voted for the bush Cheney ticket in 04 before turning blue in 08 all of this is a reminder of how in the daily cut and frost a presidential politics it can be.
Easy to lose sight of the objective toward which both campaigns are really working.
It's not about winning the national debate or embarrassing opposing candidate.
It's about winning 270.
In the Electoral College.
-- James thank you.
Let's examine the numbers a little further from both sides with Joseph Trippi and Karl Rove both have done this math on past election nights.
Many -- -- good evening gentlemen.
I wanna start with state by state map first -- and the current state of play as of today.
As far as poles this is the the polls that are out there.
Currently in these states there you see in the blue solid Obama states to seventeen in the red solid Romney states.
Nine B then lean -- here the pink states that's plus or minus -- plus.
Four to eight lean Obama -- the light blue plus 48 and toss up.
Plus or three percentage points and there you see where things stand as of today.
Now -- we have some regions where we can talk about different states as James laid out that 321 strategy.
Yeah three to three states.
That are up for grabs obviously North Carolina Virginia and Indiana that was Republican states in the past.
And there's a pretty pretty good agreement to those to those three states -- -- Romney today and one is going to be about program right to the end.
But look at that is if if if Romney wins those those three states plus Ohio and Virginia -- Ohio and Florida.
And all he needs in order to when the election is either.
New Hampshire or Pennsylvania or Wisconsin or Michigan or -- or Colorado or Nevada or New Mexico but when somebody looks at that map today.
And they look at the numbers today -- look at the disparity between President Obama and Mitt Romney and there's a -- -- chip.
Whether there is a -- that he did Obama starts off with a huge electoral advantage he's only.
You know would -- -- -- on what you're looking at right now about 27 electoral votes away from.
From from getting there says it's a lot easier path for him in the 321 strategy.
It does make sense it's the only credible plan I've seen it says Romney -- in half and maps out how Romney wins.
The problem right now is Obama only has to disrupt one of those things like Virginia in the group of states Indiana.
North Carolina and Virginia I agree Indiana's probably off the table right now.
But you when you get to Virginia.
That's going to be a dead heat all the way to the end of the dog fight in of Obama's stops Romney there just stops them and one of the three it's over for Romney.
You looking to see the regional and these have the numbers in each state and you can kind of make them out these are the explain this this would lose the polls -- -- Curtis is an average of the last thirty days public polls in the states.
So losers -- the result is gonna draw it is gonna lag what's happened nationally.
-- and in just look at the changes over the last two weeks on this map.
From George went from leading Romney to say from me or -- went from safe Obama to -- Obama Wisconsin went from safe Obama do a toss up.
Obama lost ground and -- -- Romney picked up ground in Maine new York New Jersey.
All of them stay Cellini did today in the Obama -- toss up state that got stronger for Rami a six point swing in North Carolina from down three up three.
And Romney got stronger and Tennessee and Oklahoma State's authority in his column.
And as we catch up when there's like Texas who is a -- stayed on this map that's because we don't have recent poll and -- I can tell you have spent a lot of time under home.
It is a going to be a strong deep red states so this map is gonna show over the course of the next several months.
I think increase -- straight for Romney in 321 is a is a good path to victory for -- five states and then pick up one of any almost.
You know ten other states lets you zoom in and out west Joseph and there are a number of states out there that are interest -- Colorado really among them and of that.
Well Colorado Nevada and New Mexico all three years states they they had.
If you give.
Colorado -- you see there leans Obama at this point 6% lead.
New Mexico looks solid for President Obama.
And there you see Arizona is in the tossup category at this point.
Right when I first law I'm not I don't really think Arizona's and played but it will will -- and again the -- Obama can open up states and and pressure Romney to fight there.
That the tougher it is for for Romney -- place so -- they may try to keep it to take Arizona and it can put some pressure there but I don't really think they'll end up winning it.
-- the problem here is because in the number of Hispanics.
It in these.
Those four states actually out west and -- divide -- that Obama has over.
Romney with Latinos.
It makes it very difficult for.
Romney making inroads in those states which means and -- even makes it possible for a bomb an acquittal Arizona in the play.
That forces this strategy that I think 321 well he's got to win the three were Republican leaning states Indiana North Carolina Virginia.
Passed in the -- pull off Ohio it in Florida which -- no Guinea's rentals and all three of the toughest is Virginia.
Oh absolutely I think right now -- -- place that Obama can stop Romney today.
-- and all the way down if he stops Romney in Virginia this race is over and I think that's why you see both of these campaigns unless they -- swapped out with.
Wisconsin they have to DSU two out of them.
Flooding -- there's no one state that that is indispensable if in Virginia I do think is gonna be a battleground right down to the end but Joe's right.
If he if Robby -- -- when Virginia if he wins Iowa and Wisconsin both of which are risk today new polls show the race and at Wisconsin dead even.
And Iowa we've got only old polling here the puts -- in the Obama camp but you take a look at their new TV by thereby and heavy heavy heavy heavy heavy and Iowa.
Which says to me it's a sure sign the state is up for -- looking at this map.
Do you say the odds at this point.
Favor Romney -- well first halted two things one is I'm writing in my column on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal on 321.
And I think there's an easier path for victory for -- then there is for Obama because Obama can no longer take for granted states like Indiana and North Carolina he's going to be defending turf.
And it's harder when you're defending turf than it is when you're -- -- after the second thing is is if you wanna get this map go to Rhode -- comments on apple will send it to you every few weeks I'll see you can conflict continue to operate free.
Five by -- -- -- -- -- -- special report we'll analyze how to act everytime I tell you -- and that's record look I think.
They're -- and -- Obama has organizationally.
And Electoral College wise and I think this is gonna probably come down to Virginia.
I think there's reasons he has an advantage there northern Virginia's grown tremendously.
And so I think look at this I really believe it comes down to Virginia right now today things can change.
The convictions gonna happen in North Carolina that could change North Carolina and those who left the way -- -- political science shows that the state is to have -- convention a state has no impact on the outcome and in Northern Virginia.
Northern Virginia is going to be the key but the thing that the Democrats -- got to worry about is while registration Northern Virginia was -- between Nolo in 04 no -- It peaked in a way and they're 35000.
Fewer voters in Fairfax County today active voters in Fairfax -- -- -- -- at this point three and a half years gentlemen thank you.
DC -- says.
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