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 changes status today. This time it is a move toward Obama:
The five poll average goes from an Obama lead of 4.1%, which we consider close enough to call the state a swing state, to a 7.1% lead, which we consider large enough to call New Hampshire a “Weak Obama” state. So it gets colored blue for now.
Since New Hampshire is no longer in our swing category, we take the possibility of winning it out of Romney’s Best case. This leaves us with:
|Romney Best Case||272||266|
|Obama Best Case||170||368|
Romney’s new best case has him with just 3 more electoral votes than a 269-269 tie. This leaves his path to victory very narrow indeed. Assuming he retains all of the states he is ahead by more than 5% in, he would then have to still win ALL of the swing states that are currently too close to call. Florida (27), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Tennessee (11), Missouri (10), and Iowa (6) all become must win states. Lose any one of those, and the election is lost.
Of course, there is still plenty of time to pull more states that are currently “Weak Obama” states back into the swing state category. Pull Pennsylvania (20), Minnesota (10) or Wisconsin (10) back from Obama and make them competitive, and all of a sudden there would be a lot more ways to win. Colorado (9), Oregon (7), Nevada (6) or New Hampshire (4) would help too, just not as much. I suppose a play might even be made at Maine’s 2nd Congressional District (1). At the moment though, Obama has healthy leads in those states (and the CD).
Edit 2012 May 20 06:35 UTC – Fixed Map, SC was incorrectly colored as a swing state, it is now correctly colored as “Weak Romney”.