|Barack Obama makes his picks|
Perhaps this is overthinking it, but look at Obama's third Final Four team - Ohio State. Ohio is one of the key Swing States in this election. He also has the Buckeyes beating Florida State in the Sweet 16. The Seminoles come from another big swing state.
Only Kentucky makes Obama's Final Four from a non-swing state. Obama could have picked Duke out of that region, but UNC was already covering North Carolina. Other than that, the only high seed from a swing state is Indiana (#4). If Obama really wanted to get serious, he could have picked Duke, but this makes it slightly less obvious.
|Is Obama just picking the Rams|
because Virginia is a swing state?
In the East Regional, three of Obama's four Sweet 16 teams are from swing states - the aforementioned Buckeyes and Seminoles, and the University of Wisconsin. Again, most of the Badgers fans live in Wisconsin.
|Is North Carolina's "swing"|
status a motivation for Obama
to advance the Wolfpack
to the Sweet 16? Perhaps.
In the West regional, there simply aren't many swing state teams. But both Elite Eight teams, Michigan State and Missouri, come from swing states. And it is the Tigers, from the far closer swing state, who advance to the Final Four. The only First Round Upset Obama has here is Virginia over Florida. These teams are both from swing states, surprisingly.
Overall, in terms of first round upsets (by seeding), Obama picked six of them. Four of them involve a team from a swing state beating either a team from a non-swing state or a team that is unlikely to have many fans who are consdering voting Democrat (Notre Dame). One (Virginia over Florida) involves two swing-state teams, and one (West Virginia over Gonzaga) involves two teams not from swing states.
This is the last "Baracketology" before the election. If Obama is trying to appeal to swing-state voters, this is certainly an interesting way to do it. But looking at his predictions, it seems entirely possible that this is what he is trying to do. I'm not saying he is, I'm just saying it's possible.