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 moving today, both toward Romney:
First up, Michigan, with 16 electoral votes. In the last week Obama’s lead in the five poll average in Michigan dropped below 5%, then popped back above 5%, and now it once again drops below 5%. At the moment it sits at a 4.1% lead. The trend toward Romney over the last few polls seems clear though, and this puts Michigan once again into my swing state category.
Now Wisconsin, with 10 electoral votes. Wisconsin is looking pretty similar to Michigan. It is also a state where Obama’s lead was briefly over 10% in the spring, but where Obama’s lead has been deteriorating since then. The five poll average had dipped below 5% in mid-May, popped back above 5% on June 8th… and now is falling back below that level again with the latest poll. Obama’s lead in Wisconsin now sits at 4.4%. So Wisconsin becomes a swing state again too.
With both of these states now “too close to call” as far as my model is concerned, Romney’s “best case” improves significantly:
|Romney Best Case||307||231|
|Obama Best Case||170||368|
Just yesterday, I was talking about how the current state of the race was about the same as it was two months ago and if Romney wanted to change this, he should get started. So is this the start of that?
Well, maybe. But last time I said it looked like Romney was breaking out, the very next day a new poll moved things back in the other direction. So I’m going to refrain from drawing any conclusions like that yet, even though Romney’s best case is better than it has been since February, he has many more paths to victory than he did in April and May, and not even Florida is a “must win” state any more.
No question that this does look very good for Romney. If the next few polls keep Michigan and Wisconsin close, and if more polls in the “Lean” and “Weak” categories show movement toward Romney, then we’ll know that this isn’t just fluctuations in the polls, but is real motion in Romney’s direction. I just don’t want to jump the gun again.
Obama still has a significant advantage and would be a heavy favorite to win if the election was held today. But stay tuned! If there is broad based movement toward Romney, and a few more critical states move in his direction, things will start looking a lot more competitive and a lot more interesting in a hurry!