What the Election Looks Like Now

President Obama has fought back since the Denver Debacle and stemmed the Romney tide, according to several polls. The Republican presidential nominee is ahead of where he was going into the debates, but I think his campaign peaked in early to mid-October, before the president showed voters he really wanted the job.

And so, as I look at the Electoral College map this week I see a slight move towards the incumbent  in a couple of key states. Remember, this is not a national election but a series of elections in critical states that will ultimately determine the victor.

So, I’m revisiting my Electoral College map and am broadening my method—I’ve been using RealClearPolitics’ state poll averages and Nate Silver’s probability measures at The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog.  Now I’m adding The Huffington Post’s Pollster Model vote estimates and making my own admittedly subjective judgment on trends in each state’s polls.

I’m keeping Florida and North Carolina in Romney’s column. RCP gives the GOP candidate half-decent margins there and the polls have been moving his way. Team Obama has big get-out-the-vote efforts in both states, but I don’t think they will prevail on Election Day.

Similarly, I’m keeping Nevada with the president, because of the Silver State’s Hispanics, powerful unions and a Democratic machine that even got Harry Reid re-elected in 2010. NBC News’ Chuck Todd moved it from “toss-up” to “blue” last week.

I’ve also moved Colorado and New Hampshire from Romney to toss-up, joining Virginia. The momentum is slightly in the president’s direction in those two swing states, and I probably shouldn’t have given Romney New Hampshire so quickly. Nate Silver gives the Granite State a 70% probability and Colorado a 58% likelihood for President Obama. Colorado and Virginia are dead heats in RCP’s poll average.

The latest electoral map shows the race remains very, very tight. Souce:270towin.org,

The RCP average puts the president ahead in the central battleground of the Upper Midwest—Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin– by more than Romney leads in Florida. Nate Silver gives all three at least a 72% probability of going Obama’s way. The Huff Post’s Pollster estimates at least a three-point margin for Obama, and the polls’ momentum is going his way.

Iowa has been  steady for the president, even though The Des Moines Register just endorsed Romney.

And in Wisconsin, Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin is hanging in there against former Gov. Tommy Thompson in a tight Senate race. Republicans are highly organized there after their battle to keep Gov. Scott Walker in office, and it may be the only state where the GOP can match Team Obama in the ground game. Still, this has been a Democratic state on the presidential level forever, and I don’t think favorite son Paul Ryan can change that this time.

Ohio, of course, is the must-win state for Romney. President Obama holds a narrow lead, and he may be at his strongest there, with the auto bailout, a 7.2% unemployment rate and what may be his strongest statewide organization. Silver gives him 74% probability of winning Ohio, and the early voters are breaking his way big time.

So, I’m keeping Ohio in the president’s column, which gives him that state’s 18 electoral votes and, by my calculation, the election: He’ll win least 277 electoral votes to 235 for Romney and 26 undecided. I’ll post my final map next week.

Also read:  The Choice We Face

The Case for Obama

The Case for Romney

16 Responses to What the Election Looks Like Now

  1. guest October 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    You are way off. Look at the details of the individual polls. At a minimum, Romney will get at least 295 electoral votes and probably closer to 330. He will win OH, VA, CO, NH, IA, FL, NC, WI and possibly PA, MI and MN. This has not been a close race for a long time.

    • Guest October 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

      Nonsense. Can't do math.

    • Ole Unca Bob November 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Who are you, Guest, Alice in Wonderland or Bo Peep miscounting her sheep?

    • Another Guest November 8, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      Romney will get at least 295? You look pretty foolish now, don’t you? Lesson: trust the math and science of people like Nate Silver not the “gut” and “instinct” of pundits. Probably closer to 330? Seriously?

  2. Guest October 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Pa might just go for Romney – and if Ohio, Florida, Colorado – we have a new President!

  3. Alan October 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    Man, I hope you're right, guest. Need to fire this dude

  4. Guest October 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Off your meds huh???

  5. David October 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Wow, this was a waste of time. Worst analysis I have seen so far! As the other poster noted… way off.

  6. Bill October 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    I totally disagree with you. I believe your way off base. In NH I don’t believe the UNH or the other college poll at all. They lean totally left and I believe they both are slanted polls in favor of Obama. I believe more likely in the ARG and Rammusen Poll which have Romney up by 2Pts. I also believe when its all said and done NH will go Romney. I believe that the people are sick of the media trying to give this election to Obama by under reporting Libya and all of his many missteps and the potential is for there to be a landslide electorial victory by Romney. Look Minnesota a liberal state Romney’s gaining there same as Oregon once thought very safe for Obama. The surge continues for Romney

    • HowardRGold October 30, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      I think I have New Hampshire as a toss-up, don’t I?

  7. Mary October 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    This is non-sense!
    I’m no fan of either candidate. However, the facts indicate that Romney will win with a comfortable margin in Ohio.

    • HowardRGold October 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      Actually there have been several polls in Ohio, and Obama is on average up by a couple of points, and Romney hasn’t been gaining ground lately.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • HowardRGold October 30, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      You say you’re no fan of either candidate then say the liberal media is trying to give the election to Obama. Which is it?

      Also, you make a fair point about Minnesota and Oregon, polls which broke after this piece was written. I’ll look at them again for my final map next week. But the national polls have definitely tightened in the last two weeks, like Pew, which is now even after being five points ahead for Romney.

      Thanks for your comment,

  8. Randy November 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    I pray that you are wrong. We can’t afford another four more years of this inept boob.

  9. mike c November 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Obama is going to win Romney flip flops to much he flip flops more than my fish do look at the polls good

  10. Jeannine November 2, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    I am in FL. There may be a bunch of retired people here, but the snowbirds don’t return until after Thanksgiving. Yes, there are a bunch of homes in foreclosure, but thanks to Obama, the people are still living in them, many for free. They also are getting unemployment checks and food stamps. Romney would have all these people homeless and starving in the streets. The people of FL know this.

    It’s funny that NO ONE thinks that he will win MA. Wasn’t he the Governor there? That is something that Obama’s campaign should be pointing out!

    One more thing, do you think that the people of OH are going to vote for Romney after he FLAT OUT LIED TO THEM about Chrysler leaving? I don’t think so.

    Romney thinks that we don’t need the Federal Government regulating private enterprise. How much do you think the big companies would pay min wage employees if there were no min wage requirement? How much do you think that it would cost for a gallon of milk? Could they employ 12 year old children to work in dangerous conditions like China?

    Or how about working your whole life and having no place to live or to be able to get medical treatment when you can’t work anymore? What’s Romney’s answer? Ask your kids? You should have saved money when you were working? It is not the government's problem.

    I am 42, financially stable, with the same job for 5 years. They take almost 30% in taxes. We don’t have state taxes in FL, but I would pay MORE if it meant that no one went hungry and all children could go to college. It is the right thing to do.

    “Lean Forward,” people!

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