If swing state voters make housing issues their only priority, Gov. Mitt Romney will pick up the majority of Electoral College votes in those states – but President Barack Obama will still have enough votes nationwide to win the election, according to an analysis from RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac, a distressed listings data provider, crunched the numbers to see which candidate would prevail among real estate voters living in eight toss-up states: Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Virginia, Nevada and New Hampshire. The firm compared the performance of five housing metrics – average home prices, unemployment rates, foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts and share of distressed sales – between September 2008 and September 2012.
RealtyTrac found that average home prices declined in six swing states, except Iowa and Ohio; foreclosure inventory declined in five states except Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin; and foreclosure starts declined in five states except Iowa, Wisconsin and Colorado.
That left Romney with victories in five of the eight states: Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire. Together with his “safe states,” which are expected to go Republican, he would pick up 264 electoral votes across the U.S.
President Obama, on the other hand, would only win Ohio, Virginia and Nevada based on housing votes. But taken with the other 274 Electoral College votes that are expected to go his way, he would still beat Romney in the Electoral College calculus.
At the same time, as Trulia’s chief economist, Jed Kolko, has said, neither candidate has made housing “a winning issue,” and in order to win the swing states, they need to step up their game. The two states that stand out in particular are Florida and Nevada, according to Kolko, as they’re the states with “the highest housing misery in the country.”
According to the New York Times, the housing recovery seems to favor states with Republican voting records. In 22 of 24 Republican-leaning states, home prices have risen, whereas 18 states that lean Democratic have seen home prices fall below crisis lows. – Zachary Kussin