We know President Barack Obama can win. He won 11 of the 12 battleground states in 2008 and leads the polls in 10 of them today. With 201 electoral votes in states he can safely win, he only needs 69 electoral votes from these 12 states.
But Republican candidates have been doing very well in these states. If battleground state voters follow their choices for governor, state legislature, or U.S. House of Representatives, Romney would get 118 to 150 electoral votes from the battleground, which would put him well over the 270 he needs for victory.
|Battleground States:||Electoral Votes||State Gov.||State House||State Senate||U.S. House||U.S. Senate|
|Michigan||16||R||R||R||R 9-6||D 2-0|
|Colorado||9||D||R||D||R 4-3||D 2-0|
|New Hampshire||4||D||R||R||R 2-0||1-1|
|Virginia||13||R||R||R||R 8-3||D 2-0|
|North Carolina||15||D||R||R||D 7-6||1-1|
|Battleground Total||156||R 118-38||R 150-6||R 125-31||R 135-21||-|
With the battleground states very comfortable voting Republican for state office and Congress, the question is whether they are comfortable enough to give Republicans full control of the federal government. Or will they split their vote, as they are quite clearly capable of doing too.
There are 8 U.S. Senate seats up for reelection in the battleground states, all but one currently held by Democrats. While Democrats are expected to hold 3 of them (MI, OH, PA), the other five races are considered toss-ups (FL, MO, NV, VA, and WI). That means the battleground states hold the U.S. Senate as well as the Presidency in the balance.
I think it's likely come November that battleground voters will vote Republican in the U.S. House and Senate races. That means the question most will be asking themselves is who will make the best President for a Republican Congress. In other words, the face will come down to whether voters think Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will make the best Republican President.
That's essentially what happened in 1996, when Bill Clinton got reelected over Bob Dole while at the same time Republicans were returned to Congress. Bill Clinton, who had just negotiated welfare reform, was judged the best Republican. However, in this election, we have yet to see President Obama make the moderating move.