One change in this update, and for the first time in more than two weeks it is a move in Obama’s direction.
The state that moves this time is indeed Missouri (10 ev), the location of the recent dustup about comments made by Todd Akin. Could some of that be spilling into the presidential poll numbers? Well, I’d be reluctant to say that quite yet. Two of the five polls in the five poll average were taken after the incident last weekend. A PPP poll on the 20th showed Romney up 10% in Missouri. Then a Rasmussen poll on the 22nd showed Obama up 1%. Now, perhaps that was real movement caused by the coverage going on in those days. Or not. The two polls are just not enough to get a good grasp on that.
The addition of the latest poll does drop Romney’s lead in the state in my average to 3.6% though, which is enough to call the state close again. While Obama is still behind here, it is now close enough that putting some effort into trying to win it doesn’t seem completely unreasonable. Having said that, despite a few scattered polls showing Obama leads, Obama has never been ahead here in the five poll average. Obama winning Missouri is unlikely absent large moves nationally pushing toward an Obama landslide.
This does improve what I call Obama’s “best case”:
|Romney Best Case
|Obama Best Case
Obama’s best case now actually exceeds his 2008 results (a 365 to 173 victory). This would require a sweep of all of the close states though, including the ones he is behind in at the moment. That would be Florida (29 ev), North Carolina (15 ev), Tennessee (11 ev) and Missouri (10 ev). In the five poll average at the moment, Romney is ahead by 3.5% in Florida, 0.6% in North Carolina, 4.2% in Tennessee and 3.6% in Missouri.
I’ve always said that a lead less than 5% can disappear overnight with the right events in the news, but still, it is hard to imagine at the moment the kind of news that would get Obama all four of these states.
Florida has bounced back and forth all year. It is easy to imagine it going either way.
North Carolina is more of a stretch. Obama has sometimes been in the lead there, but most of the time Romney has been. But maybe if things go very well for Obama he will manage North Carolina.
Tennessee and Missouri though? Obama has never been ahead in those states. Obama taking leads in either states would be indicative of a huge Romney collapse.
The Republican convention is starting in a few days though. So don’t expect many moves in Obama’s direction in the short term. Unless the convention is a huge disaster, it is much more likely we see more movement toward Romney from now until the Democratic Convention gets under way.
Note: Chart and map from the Abulsme.com 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.