Is Arizona a Swing State in 2012?

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Polling guru Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com/The New York Times looks at Obama's chances in Arizona. He notes that Obama will have a rough road here, but doesn't totally dismiss his chances. However, Silver doesn't see Arizona as a swing state:


None of this is to say that Mr. Obama couldn’t win Arizona — he certainly could. Bill Clinton won Arizona in 1996 when he won the election by about eight percentage points nationally. If Mr. Obama won by a similar margin, he’d be at least even-money to pick up the state as well.

But if he does win Arizona it will probably be superfluous, since in all likelihood he’ll already have won states like Ohio, Colorado and Virginia that are closer to the tipping point.

The situation is analogous to Mitt Romney winning a state like New Jersey, which is also plausible if Mr. Romney wins the election by several points nationally. But that doesn’t make New Jersey a swing state — it’s just extra spoils for the winner.

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