This is a surprisingly likely scenario: Give Obama the entire Northeast plus the Rust Belt except for Indiana. Give Romney the entire South, Plains, and inland West except for New Mexico. Give Obama all the Pacific states except for Alaska. Result: a 269-269 Electoral College tie.
The contest would then go to the House, where the House would vote not by member, but state by state. Twenty-six states would be required to win. By my early guestimates, Republicans would be likely to have majorities in between 26 and 28 states, with a few other states with evenly split delegations. This would mean an extremely narrow Romney win, but only after, probably, some major civil unrets led by Occupiers, etcetera.
Now, imagine that Romney does better than I expect with his Rust Belt strategy, and grabs both Ohio and his birth state of Michigan. But imagine that the liberal DC suburbs of Virginia turn out heavily for Obama while Appalachia and the Blue Ridge voters stay home rather than vote for Richie Rich Romney — and that Obama takes that state, plus Colorado, Nevada and Iowa (all of which I originally gave to Romney). Again, the result is 269-269. Again, well within the bounds of possibility.
Which leaves us where? Well, it means that New Hampshire could really be important. If Romney can also pull the Granite State, where he has a vacation home, back to the GOP, it would give him enough breathing room to avoid having the contest go to the House.
Lotsa interesting scenarios, I’d say.