Electionate

The Final Stretch: Monday's Stops

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The campaign’s blanketed the country over the last few days, but both have settled on reinforcing their quickest to 270 for the last day of the campaign. Obama is hitting each of the three firewall states that add up to 272 electoral votes, and Romney is hitting 4 states that get him to 270, provided he also wins North Carolina.

Romney

Sanford, Seminole County, FL

Sanford lies outside of Orlando in Seminole County, a Republican-leaning county in the Orlando media market where Obama narrowed Bush’s 17 point victory in 2004 to just 3 points in 2008. A growing minority population underpinned Obama’s improvement in Sanford, so Romney is unlikely to return to Bush’s levels. Even so, it’s a spot where Romney has room to improve over McCain’s performance and it also hits the critical Orlando media market, which encompasses much more than the immediate Orlando metropolitan area.

Lynchburg, Lynchburg City, VA

Romney leads off his final day on the stump with a stop in Lynchburg, a deeply evangelical town in the heart of conservative central Virginia and home to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. McCain won Lynchburg City by just 4 points in 2008, but he won neighboring counties with as much as 67 percent of the vote. To overcome Obama’s big margins in northern Virginia and African American cities in southeastern Virginia, Romney will need a big margin out of central and western Virginia.

Columbus, Franklin County, OH

Although Franklin County was one of the prominent swing counties of the Bush elections, Obama won by 20 points in 2008 and will comfortably carry Franklin County again in 2012. Nonetheless, holding down Obama’s margin in Franklin County is critical and Romney needs to perform much better than McCain elsewhere in the Columbus media market. McCain did poorly in fast growing and affluent Delaware County, home to Columbus’ northern suburbs and exurbs, and Romney will need to rack up big margins in the countryside of central Ohio.

Manchester, Hillsborough County, NH

Romney closes the 2012 campaign in Hillsborough County, the biggest county in New Hampshire and a Bush-Obama county for good measure. The county rests on border with Massachusetts and many affluent Bay State ex-pats live alone the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. A Romney victory in New Hampshire would almost certainly involve a victory in here. The decision to close in New Hampshire is almost certainly a function of its proximity to Boston.

Obama

Madison, Dane County, WI

Obama closes his final day of campaigning for the presidency in the liberal city of Madison, Wisconsin’s capital and home to the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Obama isn’t in any question in Dane County, which offered 73 percent of the vote to Obama in 2008, but the margin will be critical in a close race.

There isn’t much early voting in Wisconsin, but there is same-day registration and the Obama campaign probably hopes that a big event in Dane County might get a few more young voters to take advantage and vote. To that end, Springsteen will accompany Obama on his final day of campaigning, which also explains why they’re only stopping three times.

Columbus, Franklin County, OH

Columbus is also a state capitol with a large state university where Obama is expected to win. Romney is stopping in Columbus as well, so you’ve already read about Franklin County.

Des Moines, Polk County, IA

Obama closes in Iowa’s largest city, which also happens to be nearby his home of Chicago. Polk County will almost certainly vote for Obama, but the margin in the Des Moines media market could easily sway the state. In 2008, Obama won 15 points; Kerry carried it by just 5.

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