Emails (excerpted), responses to PolitiFact Texas, Allan Keiter, president, website, Sept. 6 and 11, 2012

832 pm Sept. 6, 2012

If we take your question literally, it isn’t true.   Those three states have 122 electoral votes, far short of the 270 needed to win:   In fact, the minimum number of states needed to reach 270 is 11:


If the question is being asked in the context of our current political environment, then there’s some validity to the comment.     Here’s a map of this year’s Battleground states, broadly defined:  If we switch Texas to the Democrats and give Florida to them as well, that will give the Democrat 268 electoral votes. Still not mathematically impossible, but the Republican would have to win every one of the remaining states on this map:    Practically speaking, since Texas would likely only go to the Democrat in a landslide, most of these other states would also likely be blue.


Hope that helps.




Allan Keiter



From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) []

Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 6:27 PM


Subject: Newspaper reporter in Texas


Good afternoon.


I am trying to fact-check a claim that if the Democratic nominee carried Texas, Florida and California, it becomes mathematically impossible for the Republican to win for president.






W. Gardner Selby


PolitiFact Texas


Austin American-Statesman

-----Original Message-----

From: Selby, Gardner

Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 1:31 PM

To: 270toWin

Subject: Following Up: Newspaper reporter in Texas


I just realized that I misstated the chairman's statement. He said that if Texas, California and New York voted for the Democratic presidential nominee, it would be mathematically impossible for the Republican to win.


How might this change your thoughts/reasoning...?

108 pm Sept. 11, 2012

As it turns out, Florida and New York have the exact same number of electoral votes (29), so from a purely mathematical perspective, the answer is the same.   The big

difference between New York and Florida is that the former always votes Democratic (since 1988, anyway), while Florida is a swing state, which

sometimes votes Democratic, sometimes Republican.  


While still mathematically wrong, I think swapping out Florida for New York

makes the statement a bit more logical.   Here's what I think he's really



"Texas is a huge electoral prize.         If Democrats can make Texas a blue

state, like the large electoral vote states of California and New York,  it will create an (almost) impossible hurdle for Republicans to overcome in this and future presidential elections."


In the context of 2012 ---- Last week I sent you a map with 11 battleground states

Some people question whether Michigan and Pennsylvania are really 'in play'.

So, if we were to give those and Texas to the Democrats, they would have 275 electoral votes, above the 270 needed.  This might

be how he is coming up with his math.        


However, again, from a purely mathematical perspective, it is not true that winning Florida, New York and Texas makes it impossible to get to 270.



Allan Keiter