And folks are talkin' like today's the kickoff of the general election campaign, even though the GOP nomination's not sewn up yet.
Gallup started its presidential election tracking poll today, for example: "Romney, Obama in Tight Race as Gallup Daily Tracking Begins." (Via Memeorandum.)
PRINCETON, NJ -- Mitt Romney is supported by 47% of national registered voters and Barack Obama by 45% in the inaugural Gallup Daily tracking results from April 11-15. Both Obama and Romney are supported by 90% of their respective partisans.That sound's nice, of course, but it's the Electoral College that decides the election, and it's a bit more complicated: "A few states could decide Obama-Romney battle."
With the November field set, Americans can look forward to months of trench warfare as President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney wage a costly, brutal and scathingly negative fight over a narrow slice of voters in a limited number of states.Continue reading.
Although Romney still must accumulate the 1,144 delegates he needs to officially claim the Republican presidential nomination — a task made infinitely easier by the exit of his chief rival, Rick Santorum — the more important calculation involves the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House.
Each candidate starts with a core of partisan supporters, which together represent at least 80% of the electorate, and a set of states he can reliably expect to win come November, strategists in both camps agree.
Romney is almost certain to sweep most of the Great Plains and Southern states, notwithstanding his weak performance there during the primary season, as contempt for Obama overcomes much of the resistance the former Massachusetts governor has faced among evangelical and socially conservative voters.
The president should repeat his 2008 performance by prevailing along the West Coast and carrying New York, his home state of Illinois and most of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.
That leaves about a dozen states to decide an election that, barring the unexpected, promises to be more like the cliffhangers in 2000 and 2004 than Obama's comfortable victory four years ago.