Mitt Romney's electoral college advantage

My analysis begins with what I call a “political quotient.” I’ve constructed this device to measure a person’s political views quantitatively. Higher PQs correspond to more liberal views, with “100” indicating an outlook approximately as liberal as Nancy Pelosi’s or Barney Frank’s, while “0” indicates positions approximately as conservative as Jim DeMint’s or Michele Bachmann’s. According to my estimates, the PQ of the average American voter is 50.4.

In my book, Left Turn, and on my website, I estimate the PQ of the average voter in each of the 50 states and find that Iowa is the most moderate state in the nation: its average PQ, 50.7, is closest of all states to the national PQ of 50.4. In 2008, Iowa was also the median state in the Electoral College. That is, suppose you ordered all the representatives of the 2008 Electoral College according to the PQ of the representative’s state, starting with the lowest. In such an ordering, the first six members would be the representatives from Utah (the nation’s most conservative state), the next three members would be the representatives from Wyoming (the nation’s second-most conservative state), and so on. Such a list would contain 538 members, and the 270th member (the number necessary to win a majority of the Electoral College) would be a representative from Iowa.

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