The 3-2-1 strategy that can get Romney to the White House

If Mr. Romney carries the states John McCain won in 2008 and regains Nebraska’s second district (the state awards three of its five electoral votes by congressional district, the other two to the statewide winner), the Electoral College will be 14 votes closer than the 365-to-173 total in 2008. That’s because the 2010 Census cost blue states such as Massachusetts, New York and Illinois congressional seats—and electoral votes—while red states such as South Carolina, Georgia and Texas gained seats. …

After this initial hurdle, Mr. Romney’s victory road starts with “3”—as in Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, a trio of historically Republican states. In 2008, Mr. Obama won by narrow margins in Indiana (barely 1%) and North Carolina (0.32%). …

Next up is “2”—as in Florida and Ohio. They flipped from Republican in 2004 to Democratic in 2008. Both were close—a 2.8% margin for Mr. Obama in the former and 4.6% in the latter.