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Obama's uphill battle in the Electoral College means a brutal campaign is coming

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My friend J.T. Young's piece today in the Washington Times lays out a case for Republicans to be a little optimistic about President Obama's vulnerability in 2012.

As you can see in the Washington Times chart below, Team Obama has reason to be nervous about their electoral votes.

J.T. explains what you're seeing:

At the end of last month, Gallup released its aggregated results for state tracking polls from 2011. This survey of 179,170 adults in the 50 states and the District of Columbia accounts for the 538 electoral votes that will determine the presidency. [...]

The accompanying chart shows the results broken down into three categories. The first column lists those states and their electoral votes, or EVs, that gave Mr. Obama a 50 percent or greater approval rating. The second column lists those states that gave the president a 50 percent or greater disapproval rating. The third column lists those states that are split on Mr. Obama -- where neither the approval nor disapproval rating is above 50 percent -- and is registered as positive or negative depending on whether approval or disapproval is higher.

The implications for the November election from such a state-by-state breakdown are stark. Mr. Obama can readily count on just 159 electoral votes. Conversely, he can count against 217 electoral votes. That leaves 162 electoral votes in the toss-up column.

So, what does this mean for the 2012 campaign? It's going to be a brutal one. We knew, going in, that the Chicago team was going to play mean and dirty -- it's what they do.

But looking at these numbers, it looks like they might be extremely desperate, too -- like a cornered animal.

J.T. concurs:

[The state poll numbers] are indicative of the hard, close and compacted campaign America should expect. That is the nature of America's presidential politics. The only difference between it and political philosopher Thomas Hobbes' description of life in the state of nature - "nasty, brutish and short" - is that this campaign will be anything but short.

No matter who the GOP candidate is, he, his team and his family are in for the worst ride of their lives.

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