By Misty Poe
Times West Virginian
The magic number is 270.
In many cases, it doesn’t matter whether your next-door neighbor or your cousin support a presidential candidate. It doesn’t matter if husband and wife are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to political viewpoints. All that matters is that one presidential candidate gets to 270 electoral votes. That means that a majority of voters could support one candidate, but the other guy gets to hang out in the Oval Office for four years.
Of course, it’s only happened four times in the history of the United States — John Quincy Adams in 1824; Rutheford B. Hayes in 1876; Benjamin Harrison in 1888; and George W. Bush in 2000. As of Saturday afternoon, according to Rassmussen Reports, President Barack Obama and GOP contender Mitt Romney were in a dead heat with 48 percent of the popular vote.
But who’s counting that? If so, we’d have a lot more presidential and potential presidential visits in West Virginia. Sadly, we’ve had none, leaving our voters a little disenchanted and feeling like the red-headed stepchild with all of the attention going to our western neighbor Ohio.
Why? It’s a toss-up state. And West Virginia isn’t. Our five electoral vote are most certainly going to Mitt Romney. So that means the Obama campaign isn’t going to put people on the ground here and try to collect support. And the Romney camp isn’t going to bother fostering the support they already know they have.
It just depends on which poll you use to guess where those electoral votes are going to go. According to Rassmussen Reports, Obama has 237 toward the 170 needed, while Romney has 206. That leave 95 toss-up votes from eight states.
But if you click over to Huffington Post, they’re reporting that Obama already has 281 votes with really only four undecided states.
Who can say ... it’s all about as reliable as astrology. We’ll find out come Tuesday.
But in the meantime, we asked our readers to vote in our “election” — our weekly poll question which can be found online each week at www.timeswv.com. Last week we asked “Who is getting your vote as you head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6?”
And here are our returns:
• I’m still undecided 1.67 percent.
• Is there a “none of the above” option on the ballot? 7.67 percent.
• Barack Obama 38.33 percent.
• Mitt Romney 52.33 percent
Just for the record, the Huffington Post has voters in West Virginia leaning toward Romney 56 percent and Obama 39 percent. Not too far off from our own.
This week, let’s move far away from the election and back to our own backard ... literally. Do you think that an urban deer hunt would help with overpopulation?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online.