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A couple key pieces:
- If Obama only wins states that he is currently winning by more than 5 points, he will win the election with 284 electoral votes. Meanwhile, if Romney wins every state he is currently winning by more than 5 points AND wins every tossup state, he still losses with 254 electoral votes, 16 votes short.
- Which means for Romney to win, not only does he need to win Florida and Virginia, but he's going to have to pick away at least one of Michigan, Ohio, or Pennsylvania. While Republicans do like wasting money in Pennsylvania, it's gone Blue in every Presidential election since 1992. And "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" coupled with Obama's support of the auto bailout equal Michigan not really being in play. Which means Romney is going to be spending a lot of time in Ohio. Meanwhile Obama would be wise to push hard in Virginia. Demographically, the state has continued to become more Blue since 2008, the state GOP is incredibly unpopular, and if he holds onto it, I don't see a realistic path for Romney to win. Additionally, there's an important open Senate race that it's important for Democrats to win if we want to keep control of the Senate.
- Obama's decision to go after Arizona is smart. Not only is it probably his best (and only) pickup opportunity of states he lost in 2008 (the only reason it wasn't in play then was that it was McCain's home state), but it will force Romney to move further to the right on immigration issues (which will widen the divide among Latinos nationwide) and if Obama can win Arizona I don't see a realistic path for Romney to make up the votes elsewhere. There's also an opportunity to flip a Republican held Senate seat, which would go a long way towards preserving our majority.
- Finally, while not really significant for this election, the fact that Texas is only in the "Leans Romney" category speaks to a demographic shift that in the next couple decades may very well lead to Republicans being locked out of the White House by the Electoral College.