To win reelection, the president doesn’t have to replicate his 2008 blowout. He just needs 270 electoral votes—95 fewer than he racked up four years ago. Team Obama sees five ways to get there, as I reported in January. The West Path would add Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada to the Kerry states, for 272 electoral votes. The Florida Path would add just Florida, for 275. The South Path runs through North Carolina and Virginia (274 electoral votes), while the Midwest Path includes Ohio and Iowa (270 electoral votes). Finally, there’s the Expansion Path: Obama carries all the John Kerry states except blue-collar Pennsylvania and libertarian New Hampshire, then compensates with victories in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and John McCain’s home state of Arizona, which was uncontested in 2008, for obvious reasons.
This article originally appeared on: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/12/why-obama-s-gay-marriage-stance-won-t-much-matter-in-november.html