Romney May Lose Every State He's Ever Lived in Except Utah

Romney-Ryan may be the first to win the presidency but lose home states since 1916.

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Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

If Mitt Romney wins the presidency, he will likely do so without his home state of Massachusetts, a Democratic bastion, despite having served as governor there from 2003 to 2007. And the GOP nominee may also lose almost every other state he's ever lived in.

[READ: U.S. News' Comprehensive Town Hall Debate Coverage]

Romney has lived in Michigan (his birthplace); Utah (where he attended college, ran the Olympics); California (where he went to Stanford, now owns a home); New Hampshire (where he owns a vacation home); and Massachusetts (where he attended Harvard, ran Bain Capital, served as governor, and owns a Belmont home).

According to Real Clear Politics, poll averages show Obama with a lead over Romney in four of these five states. The only home state for which Romney has a lead is Utah, one of the most reliably Republican states in the country.

As of Thursday, Obama was up 4.4 points in Michigan, 17.4 in California, 18.8 in Massachusetts and 0.8 in New Hampshire.

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Out of these, Romney is closest to winning New Hampshire, a battleground state where the two candidates have been neck-and-neck most of the campaign. Romney also has an outside chance of winning Michigan, where his father was governor and a well-known auto executive. Of all his home states, it seems Romney wants Michigan the most, having said in an ad during the GOP primary: "Michigan's been my home—this is personal."

While the loss of his home states may be of significance to Romney, American University professor and political historian Allan Lichtman says it's hard to assess the significance of it compared to past elections.

"There isn't a lot of precedent of candidates living in a lot of states and losing them," he says. "We are a lot more mobile now."

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Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, agrees.

"In the early part of the republic, we had candidates who lived in Virginia, and moved around some," he says. "But this is the modern era, where candidates move a great deal."

There is another historical comparison that can be more clearly made, however.

As the Huffington Post reported in September, the Romney/Ryan ticket may be the first to win the presidency in quite a few years despite both candidates' losing their home states. (Ryan's home state is Wisconsin, where Obama is currently up by 2 in the Real Clear Politics average of polls).

The one and only time a ticket won with both candidates losing their home states was in 1916, when Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall won reelection despite losing their home states of New Jersey and Indiana.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.