Our own Big 10

Most of you who follow our polls know that we hale from the heart of Big Ten country (their HQ is just up the road from us). So we just cannot resist the comparison to our latest polling adventure: a look at what we deem are the most crucial ten states for the Presidential race. And just like the Big Ten, we might add one or two as we zero in on November 6.

Our personal big ten states include:

Virginia: We’ll respect Virginian’s prerogative to pay homage to our Founding Fathers by referring to themselves as a Commonwealth. Some believe the presidential race in Mr. Jefferson’s venue may well decide who resides in the White House as well as control of the U.S. Senate. We’ll be polling both.

Pennsylvania: Once thought to be solidly in President Obama’s corner, Pennsylvania is now seems to be edging red, especially outside of Mr. Franklin’s hometown. Many report that Western PA and the areas of King Coal are strongly moving against the President.

Florida: The Sunshine State has multiple political personalities. The Sweet Tea Line–everything north of Orlando–acts more likes its southern brethren. South of that line lies the Land of Snowbirds–those from the Midwest who migrate during the nasty winter months to lounge among the palm trees and endless golf courses. And then you have Miami. Nuff said. The New York Times‘ Five Thirty Eight gives Romney a 63.4% chance of winning this important state–a bit high in our book.

Michigan-Wisconsin-Ohio: The Big Three of our big ten are states the President must have in his column. Michigan and Wisconsin have trended Blue in recent years, while Ohio always is considered a toss-up. But all the fuss over the Wisconsin recall, a rebounding Michigan economy and Ohio…well… just being Ohio makes all three great political theater.

Iowa-Missouri: While most have Iowa in the toss-up category, we think Missouri, a state Obama lost by fewer than 4,000 votes should not be overlooked if the President can motivate the urban areas to offset the very red parts rural areas. Plus a tense Senate race awaits us in the Show Me State after the Republicans pick their candidate in August. Iowa, the conservative state that launched Obama’s political career in 2008, seems to still like their President. But issues like same-sex marriage and the loss of ethanol subsidies may make the President’s job a bit harder. Remember that in the 2010 election, the public summarily dismissed three Supreme Court members who ruled in favor of same sex marriage. A Field of Dreams for Romney? We’ll see.

Colorado-Nevada: These two key western states round out our list (Colorado edged out New Mexico at the last minute). Both considered by some as Purple due to the relatively even and contentious split between the two parties. We agree with those who believe that President Obama is the early favorite to take these two states; the NY Times gives Obama a 56.9% chance in Colorado and a whopping 68.2% probability in Nevada. But the pendulum of opinion may be swinging back far enough to make Colorado and Nevada interesting.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions. If you make a case that piques our interest for one or two more states, we may add them. The real Big Ten was persuaded by Big Bucks to swell to twelve teams. All we ask for is a compelling reason.

Tomorrow: Iowa & Michigan poll results.