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The (next) 10 closest states in Election 2012

On Thursday, we wrote about the 10 states where President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney ran the closest in Tuesday's election.

Several people asked about the next 10 closest states -- under the theory that they could well be the emerging swing states of the 2016 and 2020 elections. So we went back to work -- along with a major assist from Post data guru Dan Keating.

Here are the second 10 closest states -- by percentage -- from election night 2012, along with the winner in parentheses.

11. Minnesota: 7.6 percentage points (Obama)

12. Georgia: 8 percentage points (Romney)

13. Michigan: 8.3 percentage points (Obama)

14. Oregon: 9.45 percentage points (Obama)

15. Missouri: 9.6 percentage points (Romney)

16. New Mexico: 9.9 percentage points (Obama)

17. Indiana: 10.5 percentage points (Romney)

18. South Carolina: 11.3 percentage points (Romney)

19. Arizona: 11.55 percentage points (Romney)

20. Mississippi: 11.7 percentage points (Romney)

Of those states, Romney won six, while Obama won four.

Six of the 10 were also among the 20 closest states in 2008: Minnesota (the 16th closest state in 2008), Georgia (8), Missouri (1), Indiana (3), South Carolina (13) and Arizona (10).

Minnesota and Georgia both seem to be headed toward being more rather than less competitive in future presidential elections.  Places like Oregon and South Carolina could join that list too, although they remain relatively safely Democratic and Republican, respectively. Arizona, due to the large and growing Hispanic community, will likely be a 2016 Democratic target, although Obama's losing margin in the state was larger this time around than in 2008.

And, just because we were fiddling with the numbers, we thought it was worth listing the 10 least-close states -- by percentage -- from Tuesday's election.  They are listed from largest margin to smallest. The two candidates split the blowout states, five and five.

1. Utah: 47.9 percentage points (Romney)

2. Hawaii: 42.75 percentage points (Obama)

3. Wyoming: 41.3 percentage points (Romney)

4. Vermont: 35.8 percentage points (Obama)

5. Oklahoma: 33.5 percentage points (Romney)

6. Idaho: 32 percentage points (Romney)

7. Rhode Island: 27.9 percentage points (Obama)

8. West Virginia: 26.81 percentage points (Romney)

9. New York: 26.8 percentage points (Obama)

10. Maryland: 24.2 percentage points (Obama)

If all that's not enough, check out this great interactive graphic from Emily Chow that allows you to compare state-by-state margins between 2008 and 2012.

Boehner says new taxes 'unacceptable': A day after suggesting his party would be open to revenue increases as a part of a budget deal, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) tempered his comments, calling tax increases "unacceptable."

"Raising tax rates is unacceptable," Boehner said in an interview with ABC News on Thursday. "Frankly, it couldn't even pass the House. I'm not sure it could pass the Senate."

Boehner had said Wednesday that revenue could be part of a deal, if it's the right deal. But fiscal conservatives have balked at that idea.

Meanwhile, President Obama will address the looming "fiscal cliff" at a White House event Friday.

For more, see Paul Kane's and Dave Fahrenthold's recap.


Romney was "shell-shocked" by his loss.

Obama cried while addressing his staff Thursday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) called Obama to congratulate him -- and e-mailed Romney his condolences.

The Asian-American vote shifted strongly for Obama.

Attorney General Eric Holder is undecided about whether he will stay on in Obama's second term.

Opponents of a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington state have conceded defeat, making Washington the third state to have voted for gay marriage on Tuesday.

Actress Ashley Judd (D) sounds like she might challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) is reportedly discussing a plea deal.


"As Nation and Parties Change, Republicans Are at an Electoral College Disadvantage" -- Nate Silver, New York Times

"Why do more votes tranlate into fewer U.S. House seats?" -- Eric Black, MinnPost

"Republican Party begins election review to find out what went wrong" -- Peter Wallsten, Washington Post

"For Romney, All His Career Options Are Still Open. Except One." -- Michael Barbaro, New York Times