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.
Today is an exciting day. THREE states change categories.
First up, Obama’s lead in Pennsylvania moves over 5%, so we pull it out of swing state status again. We’d listed Pennsylvania as a swing state since April 14th. The five poll average now has Obama up by 5.8%. This is still pretty close to the boundary, so a poll or two in Romney’s direction could pull Pennsylvania back, but for now we no longer consider Romney winning PA in our “Romney Best Case” scenario.
Second, Ohio gets tighter. Obama’s lead drops to 4.6%, which means I consider it a swing state again, and Romney’s best case scenario now includes Ohio. Ohio has usually been considered a swing state, and our five poll average only showed a greater than 5% lead for Obama from Apr 20 until today… two weeks. So this is a return to Ohio’s “normal” status. Ohio (18 ev) moving back toward Romney balances the Pennsylvania (20 ev) move, so the overall loss to Romney’s best case is only 2 electoral votes.
Third, Arizona moves back toward Romney. There has been talk of Arizona being a red state that Obama may be able to pick off and win. For the moment though, that looks less likely. According to my definition, I consider states to be swing states if the lead in the five poll average is LESS than 5.0%. At the moment the five poll average in Arizona is EXACTLY a 5.0% Romney lead, so the state moves back into “Lean Romney”. So I take winning Arizona off the table for Obama. At least for the moment. One poll could bring it back.
Between all three of these changes, the net affect is to narrow the range of possibilities between our Obama best case and Romney best case scenarios. Obama’s best case is worse by 11 electoral votes, and Romney’s best case is worse by 2 electoral votes.
|Romney Best Case||276||262|
|Obama Best Case||170||368|
Romney’s best case remains very narrow. In order to win the presidency, he needs to win all of the states where he is currently ahead, including Tennessee (11 ev) and Missouri (10 ev) where polls currently show his lead is slim, then he MUST win Florida (27 ev), Ohio (18 ev), North Carolina (15 ev) and Virginia (13 ev), all of which are states where Obama is currently ahead by a narrow margin. Then he needs to win either Iowa (6 ev) or New Hampshire (4 ev) both of which are also leaning Obama at the moment.
Edit 2012 May 4 18:07 UTC – Corrected map, I had forgotten to color Ohio gold.