Mitt Romneyâs comments on the 47 percent of Americans who make too little to pay income tax and âwill vote for this president no matter whatâ are causing him some political problems this morning. But could they cause him any electoral problems? Is he really insulting anyone who would already be willing to vote for him?
Actually, yes. The Tax Foundation put out this helpful map of the states with the highest and lowest percentage of people who donât file income tax returns. The biggest non-filing states are â except Florida and New Mexico â solid red states:
Three of the states with the lowest number of non-filers are solidly conservative: Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming. Two, New Hampshire and Virginia, are swing states. All the rest are solidly Democratic, including half of New England. All told, Obama gets 50 electoral votes from the âmakerâ states to Romneyâs 9 â 17 are tossups â while Romney gets 96 electoral votes from the âtakerâ states to Obamaâs 5, with 29 as tossups.
Now, granted, many of the non-filers in red states vote Democratic. As Columbiaâs Andrew Gelman and others have shown, those making less are likelier to vote Democratic regardless of whether they live in a red or blue state. But in terms of the electoral college, many of the states Romney is taking for granted, and some of the states heâs working hardest to win, have the highest populations of âtakersâ he derided as part of the Democratsâ base.