Ohio Is The New Belle Of The Bellwether Ball

With Election Day 2012 now only hundreds and hundreds of days away, you're probably asking yourself: "What are the bellwether states in America?" And by "bellwether," you mean, "states that have racked up the most consecutive occasions of coincidentally voting for the person who eventually became president through the machinery of the Electoral College." Well, the folks at the University of Minnesota's Smart Politics blog have crunched all the numbers for you. The big loser? Missouri.

Falling less than 4,000 votes shy in 2008 of extending its streak to 13 consecutive cycles in which the state voted for the winner in presidential elections, Missouri has now officially ceded its unofficial 'bellwether' status and a new state has taken its place.

Yeah, snack on that, Missouri, and your state full of people who just didn't want it bad enough! And welcome your new king of bellwethers:

Ohio now owns the best-in-the-nation streak with 12 straight cycles seeing its Electoral College votes go to the eventual president.

Only one other state is within shouting distance - Nevada with eight - although the Silver State owns the best overall record in voting for presidential victors throughout the past 100 years.

That's right: Ohio now owns the title. And not too shabby, Nevada. Up until the most recent census, you only had five electoral votes, but you guys did a lot with what you had. Tell you what, guys, have a sixth! Go nuts!

Why is this important? Well, the GOP had successes in Ohio in 2008, which they could theoretically sustain, unless the overall voter profile is different in presidential election years than it is in off-year elections. (Hint: It is.) Really, the importance of this is that now you will hear hundreds of pundits saying things like, "Well, as you know, as Ohio goes, so goes the nation" hundreds of times in the next year and a half. This will be true unless Ohio "pulls a Missouri," in which case it won't be true. Still, the next time you're at a party, drop a line about Ohio, and your friends and acquaintances will pause and nod their heads at you, with grave significance, just like they do to the pundits on the teevee.

(The District of Columbia has only voted for the eventual winner of the presidential election five of the last 12 cycles, so I guess people should really, really try to lose those votes.)

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