Friday, August 10, 2012

The price per vote

Paul Begala is a contributor to Newsweek and is an advisor to a Super PAC promoting Obama. He looks at how the presidential race is playing out. There are a lot of states, 44 by Begala's count, where their Electoral College votes are obvious. Texas will go to Romney. California to Obama. Alaska for Romney, Massachusetts for Obama. That leaves the battleground: Ohio and Florida (troublesome states in previous elections), Iowa, Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Even in these states 48% of voters are reliably for Obama and 48% for Romney. That means the two are battling over 4% of voters, the ones still undecided. Across those half-dozen states that comes to less than a million voters. That's fewer people than in the city of San Jose. The candidates and the Super PACs will be spending over $2 billion to convince those less-than-a-million voters. Yeah, they'll spend over $2,000 a vote. No doubt, many of the voters would rather have the $2K be put in their pocket.

These important swing voters are mostly female, mostly younger, mostly Hispanic, and mostly with a high school diploma but not one from college -- because she can't afford it. And she probably won't decide until November.

All this does not suggest you should stay home on election day.

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