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Electoral College: Michigan Swings Too

So, just as July was very bad for Romney, August has so far been very good for Romney.  Today’s move is the state of Michigan, with 16 electoral votes:

Over the course of the last year, Michigan has polled all over the place, ranging from Polls showing Romney ahead by 5%, to polls showing Obama ahead by 18%.  A huge range.  More recently the five poll average had an Obama lead of 6%.  Today’s update pulls that down to 4%.  Since that is below my 5% threshold, Michigan once again goes into the “could go either way” category.  4% is just a very slim lead that can disappear pretty easily with the back and forth of the news cycle.  This of course improves Romney’s “Best Case” in my model:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 317 221
Current Status 206 332
Obama Best Case 180 358

With this update, Romney’s “best case” (where he wins ALL the close states) is better than it has been since February.  Over the past few weeks, he has diminished Obama’s lead in several critical states.  The “current” line in my model, where each candidate wins all the states they are even slightly ahead in, has stubbornly stayed still at Obama 332 Romney 206 for almost three months now.  But getting states close has to happen before states jump over the line.

There are now 9 states where Obama is ahead, but by less than a 5% margin… which can be considered very vulnerable.  Of those Obama’s leads in Florida (29 ev), Ohio (18 ev), Virginia (13 ev), Colorado (9 ev) and Iowa (6 ev) are all actually less than *2%*.  Those five states could really flip at almost the drop of a hat.  They are right on the edge. That is 75 electoral votes right on the verge of going over to Romney’s side of the fence with a few positive news cycles for Romney.  And guess what.  Move those 75 votes to the other side and Romney wins 281 to 257.

Obama is still significantly ahead in the electoral college analysis at the moment.  And Romney has never been ahead in this analysis.  But the above serves to show just how quickly things can change.  Over the last few weeks things have moved quite nicely in Romney’s direction and there are a lot of states that could easily move further.

This isn’t even close to over yet.  The amount of time left is getting shorter all the time, but if Romney keeps things moving in this direction, this could get very interesting!

Note: Chart and map from the 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Both assume Obama vs Romney with no strong third party candidate and 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.

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