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Electoral College: Georgia goes Deep Red, Arizona Swings Again

Chart and map from the 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.

Two states change status today. One moving toward Romney, one moving toward Obama:

First up, Georgia with its 16 electoral votes. Like Texas a couple days ago, Georgia is one of those states that nobody thinks will be a swing state, but some polling was showing it closer than one might expect, leading one to think that Romney might have wanted to spend at least a little time and money on shoring it up. The latest polls though have Romney’s lead there in my five poll average going over 10%. This moves it into the “Strong Romney” category which generally are quite safe for Romney and therefore can effectively be ignored in the campaign. These moves from Weak to Strong don’t change the range of outcomes in my model, but they do show Romney’s consolidation of his base states.

Second we have Arizona. This has been bouncing back and forth, over and under the Romney 5% lead line in the five poll average. With today’s update, the 5 poll average drops below 5% again, so we once again classify it as a Lean Romney Swing State. Now, the five poll average in Arizona has never shown Obama actually ahead in Arizona (although a couple individual polls in the last year have), so Arizona is not as swingy as, say, Florida or North Carolina, where the actual lead keeps changing hands. But it is close enough that the lead could be wiped out in a few days depending on the news cycle. So, for the moment, Arizona swings again.

In terms of our summary, since Georgia was never considered a real Obama possibility, only Arizona causes a change, improving Obama’s best case by 11 electoral votes:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 282 256
Current Status 235 303
Obama Best Case 159 379

Note 2012 Jun 8 15:00 UTC: A correction noted June 8th moved a Tennessee change from “Weak Romney” to “Lean Romney” from March 2nd to May 24th, which would have been the day before this post. Updates between March 2nd and this post therefore incorrectly classified Tennessee.

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