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Electoral College: Florida and Virginia move toward Obama

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.

Two states changing status today, both moving toward Obama:

First up Florida (29).  Bottom line is Florida is too close to call.  It has been too close to call for almost all of the last year.  (The exception was two whole days in April where Obama’s lead in the five poll average went over 5%.)  The rest of the time, one of the swingiest of swing states.  Most recently, from May 10th until today, Romney was every so slightly ahead in the five poll average.  Now Obama is ever so slightly ahead (0.3% actually).  The next poll could move it back over the line to Romney.  Bottom line, don’t put too much weight on what side of the line the too close to call states are on at any given moment.  There is a reason I color them all the same on the map.

Next we have Virginia (13).  Obama’s lead in the five poll average gets up to 5.0% which means by my classification it is no longer a swing state, but now gets listed as a “Weak Obama” state.  Generally speaking that means he has a healthy lead at the moment, but not so big a lead as would allow him to take the state for granted and ignore it.

Virginia no longer being a swing state takes the possibility of winning it out of Romney’s best case in the summary, which leaves us in a fun place…

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 269 269
Current Status 206 332
Obama Best Case 159 379

Yes, we are once again in a situation where even if Romney won all the states he is ahead in, plus all the states Obama is ahead in by less than 5%, the result would be a TIE in the electoral college, which would throw the election to the House.  In such a scenario, given the makeup of the House, Romney would almost certainly win.

It is a fun scenario to think about.  It is however an unlikely scenario.  My model doesn’t produce odds, but Darryl’s at HorsesAss does, and in his latest analysis he has the odds of a 269/269 tie at just about 0.05%.  So about 1 in 2000.  So pretty long odds.

Which is a shame, because that would be really fun to watch.  It hasn’t happened since 1824, isn’t it about time?

More to the point though, Romney is back to the very weak position he had in mid-April, and it seems that a lot of the gains he had been making in May have evaporated.

For now anyway.

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