I played with the electoral map earlier and came up with 5 ways that Romney could possibly use to get to 270 Electoral Votes. None of them are likely, and none of them are desirable, but it helps to know the Math going in.
Cross posted (in slightly updated form) at http://spiderstumbled.blogspot.com/
The Presidential race is 4 days away and the President has a pretty clear upper hand in his re-election effort, but Mitt Romney has several paths to winning the election.
Here are my assumptions: President Obama can bank on winning a minimum of 237 Electoral Votes (EV) while Mitt Romney is assured of 191. Romney therefore needs to win 79 EV out of the 110 EV in the nine states that might be carried by either candidate. I think that any path Romney might have to 270 involves him winning North Carolina (15 EV). So for the scenarios below, we'll say that he starts with 206 EV and consider eight states up for grabs, best thought of in two categories:
A. Three Large Swing States : FL (29 EV), Ohio (18), and Virginia (13),
B. Five Small Swing States, Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4).
Romney's Paths to 270 Depends on What Happens in the Large Swing States:
1. If he wins all 3 of the Large Swing States, he will have 266 EV and will need to win just one Small Swing State.
2. If he wins FL and OH but not VA, he will have 253 votes and can be elected by carrying WI and CO. If he wins one of those two, he will need to win two of three among Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. If he loses both, he can't win the election.
3. If he wins FL and VA but not Ohio, he starts with 248 and needs to win CO or WI plus Iowa AND Nevada. (Note, winning WI, IA and NV would get him to a 269-269 tie, which would probably result in a Romney win, although Biden may remain Vice-President, thanks to the quirks of the 12th Amendment)
4. If he wins only FL, he starts with 235 and must win all five Small Swing States.
5. If he wins OH and VA but not Florida, he starts with 237 and must sweep all five Small Swing States.
Winning OH or VA while losing the other two Large Swing States does not present any way for Romney to get to 270.