The Most Important State in 2012?

If you could choose which state to vote in where would it be? For the strategic voter, you would place your vote so it would count the most for both the Presidency and the Senate.  Assuming one cares equally for both, here is my list of the most important states for this Sixth of November.

Tier One Nevada, Ohio, Virginia
Two Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa
Three Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire
Four Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri
Five Arizona, Colorado, Michigan

For Example, this means only Nevada and Virginia are as important on the national level as Ohio this year.

Methodology: For those who care I chose this list continue reading. I gave each state with a score out of 100. 50 for the Senate Race, 50 for the Electoral College. For example, Colorado would get zero in the first category because it has no senate race while New Jersey would get zero for the white house because it has virtually zero chance at swinging the electoral college.  In the race to become President I looked at Nate Silver’s 538 election model and the chances it gave to tip the electoral college. Ohio has the highest chance at 30% so it would get a full 50 points  while Virginia would get 25 because it has half the score. The Senate is a bit more subjective where I looked at various polls(RCP), blogs(538, Princeton Election Consortium etc), cash on hand advantages(open secrets) and general knowledge(past elections). Then I rank the Senate race. These scores were then adjusted with a population multiplier(from zero to one).  A state with a small population would give a voter a much higher chance of casting the deciding vote. A state with around NH’s population would have 1 while double the population would have a multiplier of 1/2. I did adjust that to reflect differences in past/expected margins of victory. For example FL has had elections tighter than CT and NH. So all together it looks like this: (Electoral College Score + Senate Score) * Population Multiplier. Finally, I grouped them into tiers to reflect/undo any uncertainty/bias. You can also notice similarities in the five groups such as all 5 swing states with senate races are in the top 2 tiers with the difference being population/closeness.

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