The Nebulous Nine

One might have imagined that there would be record numbers of campaign contributions following the landmark 2010 Supreme Court case, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.

2012, however, is proving to be an unprecedented and unparalleled donation frenzy. Whether it’s taking your possible donors to Deer Valley, Utah or hosting dinners with Los Angeles celebrities, Obama and Romney are making the most of all the potential donations.

Candidates are pulling out all the stops and it’s paying off. Romney gained the support of billionaire Sheldon Adelson- support in the form of 10 million dollars.

Obama attended 6 fundraisers in a single day, raising six million dollars. Something must be wrong with campaign finance if our nation’s leader feels the need (and can find the time) to attend six separate events in a single work day.

The fund-raising frenzy of this election season has caused Jon Stewart (The Dailey Show with Jon Steward) to begin calling the 2012 election the “Cash of the Titans.” An appropriate name when considering the astounding amount of donations these two men have gotten.

So what will all this money be used for? The coveted electoral votes of the nine swing states.

As of June 2012, there are 115 Electoral College votes that are considered to be a tossup. These votes come from are Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and New Hampshire. The candidates’ cash will begin flooding these tossups in what appears to be the first neck and neck race in years. In each state, the candidates face distinct challenges.

While Obama won Colorado in 2008, his “big-government” policies might loose him the state. Romney, on the other hand, will have a hard-time gaining the independent and female voters who went blue in the last election.

Florida with its large Hispanic population could go for Obama, because of his recent immigration executive order, or possibly Romney, should he choose Marco Rubio as his running mate.

Iowa’s primary placement in the caucuses caused Romney to spend large amounts on anti-Obama advertisement, lowering the president’s approval ratings. Who’s to say, though, that the large Sudanese or Somali populations will favor Romney over Obama.

New Hampshire, another forerunner in the primary, is a key state to both campaigns. Romney has a house there and his small government policies are much more appealing to the state’s anti-government sentiment. Yet, Obama did manage to carry the state in the ’08 election and continuously sends Vice President Joe Biden to the state to petition voters on the President’s behalf.

The struggling economic state of Nevada could prove to be the political issue that wins Romney this swing state. In addition, the state has a substantial Mormon population. The increase in the Latino population, however, could tilt the scale in favor of Obama, especially when considering Obama’s executive order forbidding the deportation of nearly a million Latinos brought into America illegally as children.

While Pennsylvania has gone blue in the last 5 presidential elections, Romney might be able to win over independents with his economic message. The state has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but Romney does have the support of the Governor Tom Corbett.

Ohio has correctly picked the candidate in the general election for the past 12 elections. So this state proves especially important for both candidates. The recovering economy is an issue Obama can and has capitalized on to give him a slight lead in the state. Although, many rural areas of the state remain conservative, so Romney could continue to publicize his pro-business message across the state, as he has been doing in his “Every Town Counts” campaign.

Although Virginia has been consistently conservative, changes in population in the north of the state could assist Obama in the upcoming general election. Obama was able to win the state by 17% in the 2008 election and a Washington Post poll conducted in late April, early May found that Obama was in the lead over Romney. While the Governor Bob McDonnell is in support of the G.O.P. candidate, the gender gap is aiding President Obama.

Wisconsin’s recent recall debacle could be a harbinger of Romney’s success in November or could be the motivation the Democrats need to get the support of this rustbelt state. The Democrats have won the last six general elections, but clearly the state is trending away from unions and towards business-Romney’s strongest pressed issue.