The purpose of this post is twofold: 1) to get something up to talk about the election possibilities for 2012, and 2) to put some data on the record here for discussion in Sprint 2013.
Here’s the current unemployment situation in the 10 states that will decide the election.
Historically, there isn’t a very tight relationship between economic conditions and electoral outcomes. So, it’s hard to say if Obama will win a state because it’s unemployment rate is relatively low for an election year (e.g., Iowa), or because the state is performing badly for an election year but is doing better than its neighbors (e.g., Pennsylvania). Either way, Obama has got to get 40% of the electoral votes in these 10 states to win in 2012 (note that he won all 10 in 2008).
The main article that this graphic came from, entitled “Campaigns Gird for Battlegrounds”, appeared in the April 7 issue of The Wall Street Journal, and is not required.
* You can also see how the other states are classified by the Cook Political Report.