Today, on Daily Rundown, a segment was devoted to two of the most highly respected political prognosticators in America, Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg. They each discussed which states they believed are currently swing states, that is, the states that currently are just as likely to go Republican as Democratic in November. Following the analysis, is the video of the interview.

Cook, the author of the Cook Political Report, currently has President Obama leading the Republican nominee, 201 – 195 electoral votes. Since 270 are needed to win the presidency, the race is wide open at this point. The states which he has classified as toss-ups are in three regions of the nation, with one wild card state. Since the Republicans have yet to choose a candidate, obviously, much of the analysis is dependent on Democratic power or Obama’s own vote-getting ability. This will change once the Republican nominee picture becomes more focused.

South – Florida (29 electoral votes); North Carolina (15); Virginia (13). Obama has never had a lot of strength in these three states; his advantage is that, of the states in this region, they have the most college educated voters, which remains one of his assets.

Mountain States – Colorado (9 electoral votes); Nevada (6). Obama’s main problem in this region is that suburban voters have become more numerous in recent years, and he has had difficulty maintaining his popularity among this group. His assets are the number of minority voters, and, in Nevada, the high percentage of union employees.

Rust Belt – Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes); Ohio (18); Michigan (16); Wisconsin (10). As many observers have long anticipated, this region will dominate the election campaign on both sides. Obama’s disadvantage is that he has low job approval among both high-school educated white voters and older whites. His advantage has to do with the economy. This region has seen resurgence in recent months due to the automobile industry and the development of mining in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Other manufacturing in this part of the country has also seen increases in employment.

Wild Card – Iowa (6 electoral votes). Iowa is almost always closely fought. The demographics in the state are among the most stable in the nation. Because of its widely spread population, television advertising here is less effective than the legwork done by volunteers. So, whichever candidate has the most enthusiastic supporters has a big advantage.

Stuart Rothenberg, who writes the Rothenberg Political Report, has the race currently tied, 237-237. So, there are only 64 electoral votes within 6 states in the swing state category. These states are Florida (29), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), and New Hampshire (4). The interesting thing about this analysis is that, if accurate, either candidate to take Florida only needs one of the other five to secure victory. I’d expect if these results hold, that hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent in advertising between Labor Day and Halloween there, most of it in the southern part of the state.

Here is the interview. If you have a few minutes, watch it. They each treat the viewers as intelligent people, and seem to honestly present their perspectives.

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