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Swing states, or those with undefined political preferences, will decide who will be the next president of the United States. In the 2008 election President Obama obtained 365 electoral votes, when only 270 are needed to become president. The result proved his overwhelming success compared to the previous President George W. Bush, who only obtained 286 electoral votes in the 2004 election. But in November, reelection will not be that easy for President Obama because of the swing states.
In the 2008 election, Barack Obama won back crucial states to the Democrats, such as Florida or North Carolina, which had been in Republican control since the 2000 elections. But this could change this year; the Republicans want to regain control of Florida and hosting the Republican Convention there is proof of it. The Democrats want to remain in control of North Carolina, explaining why they organized their convention in Charlotte.
President Obama’s road to reelection will not be an easy one. Although the last two presidents have achieved reelection, the economic crisis has weakened Barack Obama, and that’s why Mitt Romney will have a chance, since he is seen as someone who knows how to handle economic problems. A recent Gallup poll shows that 60% of the people surveyed said Romney would do a good job handling the economy over the next four years; 52% said president Obama would.
The recent Gallup poll showed in which aspects Mitt Romney is stronger, but it also shows his weak points: he doesn’t generate enthusiasm from his voters and he hasn’t been able to establish a strong connection with the people. The results of the poll show it, and Obama is perceived as a much more likeable candidate with an advantage of over 27 points against Romney.
USA Today/Gallup lists twelve states that can determine this election: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
One state that is not considered a swing state, but could become one at any moment, is Arizona. In the U.S. electoral history this state has only voted for the Democratic Party once since President Truman, but the number of independent voters has grown in recent years in this state. This scenario makes Mitt Romney’s victory uncertain because there are a large number of undecided voters waiting to hear proposals, and that’s why closed elections are expected.
An interesting case of another closed state is New Mexico. In the 2008 election President Obama won with 56.7% of the votes. The Hispanic vote was decisive in this state, but the Arizona Republican Governor Susana Martinez, who has high approval ratings, and the economic crisis, has given Mitt Romney a slight chance to win this state.
The swing states are the ones that will determine the election. If the electoral votes for each one of them are summed up, there are 150 electoral votes, and if Arizona is added, which may become a swing state at any moment, that brings it up to 161 electoral votes that don’t have a clear destiny: they may go Republican or Democrat. The only thing certain about this election is that it would be a close race and if Obama wins, it may not be a comfortable victory like in 2008. Both candidates will have to work hard to achieve the magic number of electoral votes: 270.