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Jim Messina's Five Scenarios Jim Messina's Five Scenarios

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Jim Messina's Five Scenarios

While Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are looking at each other, President Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, is looking at the electoral college.  Briefing reporters this morning, Messina laid out five mathematical scenarios where President Obama could under-perform his 2008 watermark and still wind up back in the White House. 

Messina assumes a base of John Kerry's electoral votes -- 19 states plus DC.With reapportionment, the Kerry electoral base drops down to 246, from 251.

The Western path assumes victories in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Iowa, giving Obama 272 electoral votes.

The Florida path
adds that state's 29 electoral votes -- think Medicare and the senior vote -- to give Obama 275 electoral votes.

The Southern path delights the campaign, which has been trying to expand the Democratic map.  The convention will be held in Charlotte, NC -- 15 electoral votes -- and hopes that the general election profile in Virginia is more favorable for Obama than it was in 2008, allowing for a tempering of enthusiasm. With 13 more electorate votes, Obama would wind up with 274.

The Midwestern path seems tough: Obama is regularly losing to his Republican opponents in Ohio head to heads.  Obama would narrowly win, getting 276 electoral votes if he kept the Kerry states and added Ohio and Iowa.

The next scenario is Messina's version of expanding the map. Because of immigration and...emigration, the campaign believes Arizona is very much in play. Winning Arizona gives Obama 257 votes, and some breathing room for any of these other scenarios.

Of course, all this assumes that Obama's base -- single women, black voters, Hispanics, younger votes (under 30) and upscale college educated professionals, are fired up and ready to go.  Later today, I'll describe why the Obama campaign is confident. .

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