Chart and map from the Abulsme.com 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Both assume Obama vs Romney with no strong third party candidate. Both show polling as it currently exists. Things will change before election day. On the map red is Romney, blue is Obama, gold states are too close to call. Lines on the chart represent how many more electoral votes a candidate would have than is needed to tie under several different scenarios. Up is good for Obama, Down is good for Romney.
One state changing categories today. Virginia.
As you can see, The 5 poll average once again drops below 5%, moving the state from “Weak Obama” to “Lean Obama” and making Virginia once again one of the states we consider to be a swing state. The big effect here is the March 2nd Marist poll which showed Obama up by 17 in Virginia rolling off the 5 poll average. That poll was clearly an outlier. Even without it, we see a trend toward Obama around that time, but it wouldn’t have been large enough to move the average over a 5% lead without that one poll. In addition, the more recent polls have been moving in Romney’s direction. In any case, as of now the new 5 poll average has Obama up in Virginia by 2.4%. Clearly in the swing state category.
This change improves Romney’s best case scenario (where we give him all the swing states):
|Romney Best Case||284||254|
|Obama Best Case||159||379|
Since Santorum dropped out on April 10th, there have been 11 changes to state categories. In the case of Florida (29 ev) and North Carolina (15 ev), they changed categories, but already changed back to where they were… so no net change. Ohio (18 ev), Arizona (11 ev), Colorado (9 ev) and New Hampshire (4 ev) moved toward Obama. Pennsylvania (20 ev), Virginia (13 ev) and Wisconsin (10 ev) moved toward Romney. The main net effect is slightly more electoral votes in the swing state category, so a bit larger range between Obama’s best case and Romney’s best case.
Comparing to my last update before Santorum dropped out…
- Romney has improved his best case from 278 electoral votes to 284 electoral votes
- Obama has improved his best case from 368 electoral votes to 379 electoral votes.
- The “everybody gets every state they are ahead in even slightly” result changes from Obama winning 328 to 210 to Obama winning 332 to 206.
All in all, the main result here is the race opening up since the last small doubts of Romney being the nominee were put to rest. The polls are tightening and more states are up for grabs. Obama still has a big advantage in the electoral college… for the moment. It has only been 17 days since Santorum dropped out. My expectation is that this race becomes closer as events play out over the next few months.
Edit 2012 May 2 13:10 UTC – Adjusted horizontal scale on Virginia Graph