Obama Cruising For A Historic Defeat…Or Maybe A Tie?

Drudge headlined this Beltway Confidential analysis of Gallup’s state-by-state presidential approval numbers. Beltway Confidential drew a map, based on whether President Obama is in the black or the red in Gallup’s approval data:

Does that look great, or what?! It represents a 323 to 215 Electoral College sweep by the Republican candidate.

We all would like to see that happen, of course, but the raw approval numbers don’t give me a lot of confidence. Gallup’s numbers aren’t even testing likely voters at this point, and, more important, until Obama has a specific opponent, voters’ abstract attitudes toward him are important, but not definitive. So I would put that map in the “aspirational” category.

A reader sends an alternative analysis: a plausible state-by-state breakdown that has intriguing consequences:

If you see anything unlikely about this hypothesis, leave a comment. The result on this scenario, would be a 269-269 tie–which suggests to me that the Republican nominee should campaign like Hell in New Hampshire. Our reader assumes that the Electoral College tie would be broken by constitutional means:

Then Romney wins in the House…..28 – 20…..and Slow Joe Biden wins in the Senate!……51 – 49….on 1/20/2013 Romney is inaugurated President….and Joe Biden as VP!

Well, that would be a big improvement on what we have now. I’m not so sure that is how it would play out, however. In recent cycles questions have been raised about whether electors are legally bound to vote for the candidate on whose behalf they ran. In 2004, Democrats were madly soliciting moderate Republicans to cast their Electoral College votes for John Kerry if the election was a cliffhanger. What consideration they offered from their vast money pot, we never learned; thankfully, the 2004 election wasn’t close. But if we ever had an Electoral College tie, it is hard to imagine the pressures and enticements that would be brought to bear on otherwise-obscure electors.

All of which is to say that the 2012 wheel is still very much in spin.

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