This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

Categories

Calendar

September 2012
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-25 (UTC)

  • Reading – FiveThirtyEight: The Number of Things Nate Silver Gets Wrong About Climate Change (Michael E. Mann) http://t.co/zd3QfIwL #
  • Reading – Apple Maps and the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands
    (Stefan Geens) http://t.co/3Mbck18A #
  • RT @gdgt: The iPhone 5 gets its @gdgt Score, and it’s the best smartphone ever made (not to mention a gdgt Must-have). http://t.co/hTRDE4BX #
  • Reading – Mitt Romney admits he’ll need to raise taxes on the middle class (Ezra Klein) http://t.co/yCL3spb2 #
  • Reading – Winning & Losing, Left & Right (Oliver Willis) http://t.co/CkP4WpgZ #
  • Reading – Obama’s Lead is Starting to Look Insurmountable (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/jnMP98r3 #
  • Reading – The Statistical State of the Presidential Race (Nate Silver) http://t.co/y6zYNHVI #
  • Reading – Bustin’ out? (Sam Wang) http://t.co/bVmW05qL #
  • MT @indecision: If airplane windows don’t roll down, how does the pilot stick his head out the window to make sure his dog is okay? #
  • Reading – The Romney In-Flight Fire Scare: Cut Mitt Some Slack (James Fallows) http://t.co/dFRu40By #
  • EC Update for Tue Sep 25 done. Polls added in 15 states. Category changes for MN and TN. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Does this include his victims too? RT @BreakingNews Obama: ‘There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents…’ – Speech excerpts #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign @abulsme R u tryn to tell me that, right now, Obama’s best case is his current case? #Wha Has that happened before? #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign Heh, you beat my post on this update by a few minutes. Since I haven’t finished it yet, I’ll answer that in the post. :-) #
  • Reading – Ohio moves to ‘Lean Obama’ on Fix electoral map (Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake) http://t.co/7UzAVFGk #

Electoral College: Minnesota and Tennessee move toward Romney

Two changes in category today, and bucking the recent trend, they are both moves toward Romney.  In reverse order of electoral college weight:

Minnesota (10 electoral votes) had been pretty sparsely polled before the conventions, and the five poll average had shown an Obama lead as high as 11.7% in July.  With the batch of new polling in September, Obama’s lead has now dropped to only 7.9%. “Only” is of course relative.  7.9% is still a pretty substantial lead.  Minnesota is not in play right now.  The only question is how much Obama is going to win by.  It looks like Obama’s margin will be less than it once looked like it might be.  But this should still be an easy win for Obama.

Tennessee (11 electoral votes) is another state that hasn’t been polled all that often.  The last set of polls, back in May, had moved the five poll average to a Romney lead of less than 5%, specifically a 4.2% lead.  That had put Tennessee into the set of states my model thought could go either way.  After all, a 4.2% lead is pretty slim.  The right set of things happening, and perhaps Obama could have actually taken the lead there.

Well, the new set of polls added this week, which are actually two related results from YouGov, moves the average to a 5.8% Romney lead.  As far as my model is concerned, that pulls Tennessee out of reach for Obama.  Tennessee always seemed like a big stretch for Obama.  It always seemed a bit odd that it was showing up in the “close states” category.  Well, it now resumes a more natural looking position as a “Weak Romney” state, meaning that Romney has a big lead there, but maybe not so big a lead that he should completely ignore it.

Of course it will get ignored, because Obama doesn’t need it to win.  Any scenario that has Obama winning Tennessee is probably an Obama landslide.  So Obama isn’t going to pay attention to it.  Meanwhile, if Romney is in a position where he is really fighting to win Tennessee, he has already lost.  Given he is way behind right now, he needs to be concentrating on states where Obama is ahead to try to bring them back over to his side of the line.  Spending time shoring up a state like Tennessee would be a waste of resources for Romney too.  So, no attention for Tennessee.  Poor Tennessee.

So where does this put the summary?  Minnesota has no effect because it was never close.  I no longer consider winning Tennessee to be a possibility for Obama, so Obama’s “best case” gets a little worse:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 278 260
Current Status 191 347
Obama Best Case 191 347

The interesting thing here is of course that the current status is now the same as Obama’s best case.  This is because there are no longer ANY close states where Romney is ahead.  Tennessee is no longer close because it is now more solidly Romney.  So that is good for Romney.  Two states moved TOWARD Romney today.  This is GOOD for Romney compared to yesterday.

But the overall situation remains very very difficult.

The remaining close states…  Florida (29), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), and New Hampshire (4)…  are all states where Obama is ahead.

Now, all of those states are close, and some of them are very close, with Obama’s lead no more than a sliver.  Romney could retake the leads in one or more of these states with a little bit of a good news cycle and just one or two good polls.

But what this effectively does is put Obama at his ceiling.  Previously, there was headroom above the “current” situation.  You could imagine Obama doing a bit better and moving one or more states that were close but leaning Romney to being close but leaning Obama.  Now there are no more Romney states that are close…  states that one could easily imagine Obama picking up.

To do any better than a 347 to 191 win…  which is where the state by state polls put him right now…  Obama would need to start picking up states where Romney is ahead by more than 5% (but ones where he is ahead by less than 10%, because we need to retain at least some realism).

The areas in this category are now Georgia (16), Arizona (11), Indiana (11), Tennessee (11), Missouri (10), South Carolina (9), Montana (3) and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District (1).  With the possible exception of Nebraska’s 2nd, which is very infrequently polled but where a poll this week showed the race tied, all of these seem like BIG stretches right now.  Even if Romney collapses further and Obama expands his national lead, one could maybe see some of these getting closer again, but they have a long way to go to actually end up in the Obama win column.

As he was looking at the wiki between my update there and this post, a reader asked a question: Has this happened before?

I knew it hadn’t happened in this cycle, but I had a vague memory of there being some time in 2008 where all the close states were leaning in one direction.  But I was wrong.  Looking at my 2008 analysis, this didn’t happen then either.  (I wasn’t doing this in 2004 or before, so I can’t speak to those years.)  So indeed,with my method of classifying states…  with leads in a five poll average less than 5% being considered “close” states that could go either way…  this is the first time in two election cycles where ALL of the “close” states have leaned toward one candidate.

The positive spin for Romney is that Obama has reached a top.  It will be very hard for him to do any better in the electoral college than where things are right now.

Of course, the flip side of that is that at the moment Obama is pretty far ahead, and to win Romney has to win almost all of the close states…  all of which he is behind in at the moment.

This is not where a candidate wants to be in late September.

It isn’t quite time to just call the race for Obama and go home.

But it is getting close.

Last time around I “called the race” on October 3rd.  In 2008 that was the first time we had a situation where McCain’s “best case” in my model was still losing.  I didn’t actually think that situation would be sustained through November, but it the end it was.  From October 3rd onward, the state by state polls showed a clear Obama win.

This time around, Romney has already been in that “best case is to lose” situation in my model three times.  Each time he has recovered, but if Obama increases his lead in one or two key states, he could end up there again pretty easily.  Unlike the last three times, there will be very little time to recover if he falls that far behind again.  Of course, he would have to not just improve from that point, he would have to get to a point better than he has been at any time this year to actually pull into the lead.

At this very moment, his “current” line is well behind where McCain’s was four years ago too.  Four years ago today it looked like McCain would get 256 electoral votes if the election was held then.  That wasn’t enough to put him in the lead of course, but it was a lot better than the 191 Romney has in his column at the moment.

Romney needs some major game changing event to make this an interesting race again.  He is running out of time for it.

He must wake up every day hoping that Obama will make some major mistake.  Instead though, in the last few weeks anyway, it seems like it is Romney putting his foot in his moth over and over again.  That isn’t what he needs to be able to start closing the gap, let alone to take the lead.

Note: With a new poll that I added to my spreadsheet today, the date that Wisconsin moved from Lean Obama to Weak Obama shifts from September 20th to September 21st.  The trend chart at the top of this post reflects that adjustment.

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.

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-24 (UTC)

  • Reading – It’s Official: Apple’s New (TomTom Powered) Maps Suck, Big Time [Fletch, http://t.co/3hxUMkTi http://t.co/MHDMGps7 #
  • Reading – Poll Analysis: SC magically turns red! (Darryl, HorsesAss) http://t.co/ffRGvJVz #
  • Reading – Am I Unfair to Romney? (Josh Marshall) http://t.co/epa7X3r6 #
  • Reading – If Iran goes dark on the internet, will citizens find a way to stay connected? (Lorie Wimble) http://t.co/EJuPyrgY #
  • Reading – Strategic Failure (Josh Marshall) http://t.co/OLzNe1jw #
  • Reading – Campaign 2012: 2nd District (Nebraska) could be blue again [Robynn Tysver] http://t.co/LtybwSHc #
  • EC Update for Mon Sep 24 done. Added polls in PA CO FL OH NE NE2 MT. No category changes. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Reading – I love these. Fuck you, Mitt. (johnjlm) http://t.co/B1ouVBcL #
  • Reading – ‘Free Libya’ Crowds in Benghazi rally against Militias, Drive al-Qaeda out of City (Juan Cole) http://t.co/SULMWiCG #
  • Reading – Space Is the New Frontier of the 2012 Presidential Campaign
    (Megan Garber) http://t.co/sRjKIPDF #
  • Important -> Reading – Five lessons from the de-listing of MEK as a terrorist group (Glenn Greenwald) http://t.co/8b0e2CNM #
  • Reading – Now What Could Explain This Number? (Michael Tomasky) http://t.co/vvLkBLZ3 #
  • Watching – Undecided Voter (SNL) http://t.co/bluHtteR #
  • Reading – Can Romney replicate Bush’s 2004 path to victory? It looks dicey. (Chris Cillizza) ttp://ow.ly/dVEdt #
  • Reading – In Most of the Country, the White Working Class Likes President Obama Just Fine (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/GuiLYYb3 #
  • RT @ppppolls: Romney’s net favorability in Florida has dropped 9 points in the last three weeks #
  • Reading – Maybe The Internet Only Wants One of Everything (Eliot Van Buskirk) http://t.co/MjNGCtP1 #
  • Reading – Historian reveals the Second World War hero who inspired the creation of James Bond (Jasper Copping) http://t.co/7WhTWa5C #
  • Reeading – Why we Disabled Google Checkout / Google Wallet on our Site (Michael, Weaknees) http://t.co/zTQsmmeL #
  • Reading – The New World (Derek Watkins, Joe Burgess & Bill Marsh) http://t.co/Z9wVODvT #
  • Reading – Report: America Ranks Behind Estonia In Internet ‘Freedom’. Here’s Why (Gregory Ferenstein) http://t.co/lZqaGEUp #
  • Reading – Romney follows Axelrod’s script to the letter (Greg Sargent) http://t.co/X14cxYx5 #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme I fear ur right, the people have already litigated this. But Romney’s smarminess is fresh: http://t.co/pOICW81U #
  • Reading – Romney’s Tax Release: No Big Surprises, Ctd (Andrew Sullivan) http://t.co/pOICW81U #
  • Reading – Apple to Launch Personal Pickup for iPhone 5 Tonight (Eric Slivka) http://t.co/Sz1Qxdoz #
  • RT @OreoDCW: It’s a new week. What will @MittRomney‘s GaffeMaster 3000 implant spew out in the next few days? #
  • Reading – SPD Shot and Killed a Mentally Disabled Man in His Doorway Last Night (Dominic Holden) http://t.co/Om0lyFlr #
  • Reading – Daily Breakdown: Romney’s Chances Are In Jeopardy (Nate Cohn) http://t.co/DmRTXYbP #
  • Reading – Apple TV update 5.1 brings shared photo streams and iTunes account swapping, available now
    (Ben Gilbert) http://t.co/xy4oj1hh #
  • Reading – Maria Bartiromo hammers media over “petty” obsession with Romney tax returns (Christian Heinze) http://t.co/Tpk9tA8c #

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-23 (UTC)

  • Reading – The Romney Campaign Needs a New CEO (Peggy Noonan) http://t.co/22ZBnFlC #
  • Reading – Nest home monitoring device pops up at the FCC with ZigBee, greater ambitions (Jon Fingas) http://t.co/IVn8592D #
  • Reading – How the Tea Party Killed Mitt Romney (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/J4lp9pn8 #
  • Reading – Ground Truth (Devin Coldewey) http://t.co/asmGqrOh #
  • Watching – Walk and Talk the Vote – West Wing Reunion – Bridget Mary McCormack (Bridget Mary McCormack) http://t.co/DTmvkiu2 #
  • EC Update for Sep 23 done. Polls added in 6 states. All backfill from @PollTracker. VA changes cat. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • RT @appwiz @abulsme I’m glad ZigBee is finally going mainstream. I worked with the technology a decade ago and it had promise even then. #
  • Finished recording this week’s CC with Ivan about 30 min ago. Cameos from Alex & Manuel. It will be out later in the week when I have time. #
  • MT @fivethirtyeight: We’ve published forecasts since June. The ONLY two states where the favorite has switched at any point are OH and FL. #
  • Reading – Apple Is Already Shipping Many “Late” iPhone 5 Pre-Orders (Frederic Lardinois) http://t.co/aqSrdyyI #
  • RT @McCainBlogette: What kind of asshat jumps into a tiger cage at the zoo? #
  • Reading – The Cloud Factories: Data Centers Waste Vast Amounts of Energy, Belying Industry Image (James Glanz) http://t.co/glE7MGyH #
  • Reading – Mitt Is Overpaying His Taxes – For Now (Josh Barro) http://t.co/dla9d44G #
  • Reading – Using predictions in the service of ideals and profit (Sam Wang) http://t.co/zBfCpb2l #
  • MT @mschmitt9: Rom tax rate avg 20% 1990-2009. Why? Inc 8 yrs when cap gains rate ~30% (90-97) & 5 yrs at ~21% (98-02) http://t.co/uaJyNh7v #
  • Reading – My Product Feedback (MG Siegler) http://t.co/EoigopsF #
  • Reading – September Ratings Of Five Election Scenarios (Sheri Rivlin And Allan Rivlin) http://t.co/5KksRxj1 #
  • Reading – Lincoln’s Laws of War and Our Own (Doctor Science, Obsidian Wings) http://t.co/DCI5u6Kg #
  • Reading – Sept. 21: Presidential Race Changes, but Swing States Stay the Same (Nate Silver) http://t.co/8FwcMQvw #
  • Reading – Don’t Blame Mitt!
    (Michael Tomasky) http://t.co/ZYbUsY2z #
  • Reading – Romney Shambles, Income Tax Edition (Oliver Willis) http://t.co/tprQZFgo #
  • Reading – Obama tries to lock up Wisconsin (Darren Samuelsohn) http://t.co/4CQYTzs2 #
  • Reading – Texts from Mitt Romney (Nick Douglas) http://t.co/oIVYbbMp #
  • Reading – Source: Apple Aggressively Recruiting Ex-Google Maps Staff To Build Out iOS Maps (Darrell Etherington) http://t.co/DLIAzvmD #
  • RT @KevinGoldsmith: One day in and I am regretting upgrading my iPhone4 to iOS6. Phone is now slow and crashy and using more battery. #
  • Reading – The Free Internet Will Be Just Fine With Do Not Track. Here’s Why.
    (Sarah Downey) http://t.co/ulIeT8WX #
  • Losing was the plan then? Reading – Mitt Romney: My Campaign ‘Doesn’t Need A Turnaround’ (Evan McMorris-Santoro) http://t.co/e1sQ37lT #
  • Thanks Marc! MT @ThoughtnDesign: Curmudgeon’s Corner is like Manna from heaven even though @abulsme flamed my argument: http://t.co/GzOLbinR #
  • RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: iPhone 5’s at a FedEx distribution center. http://t.co/Z7YIrIUd #
  • Reading – The U.S. Suffered Its Worst Airpower Loss Since Vietnam Last Week and No One Really Noticed (John Hudson) http://t.co/G74kG8wo #

Electoral College: Virginia Blue Yet Again

No truly new polls today, but I added some more slightly older ones from Polltracker now that I am using them as a source as well.  They have a few that were not included by my other sources.  In any case, only one change came out of that today:

With this, the five poll average in Virginia goes back above 5%.  If I’d gotten the polls “in order”, Virginia actually would not have dipped below 5% yesterday at all.  Polls arrive out of order all the time of course.  As I’ve mentioned before, with a few exceptions when I find really old polls, I mark changes in category based on my best knowledge as of any given day, I don’t try to retroactively change the status on past days.

In any case, Obama now leads by 5.3% in the five poll average.  So, Virginia once again leaves the group of states I consider possible for Romney to win…  if the election was held today that is.  Things can of course change.

In the mean time though, the summary:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 278 260
Current Status 191 347
Obama Best Case 180 358

Virginia may be bouncing around the 5% Obama lead line at the moment, but be it a little below or a little above, either way, it is a state that would make Romney’s electoral math much easier if it was actually in play.  At the moment, it is just out of reach.  Without it, Romney’s road is pretty hard.

It has been pointed out that although the state by state math looks bad, if there are campaign events that bring a uniform national move toward Romney, then a bunch of states will of course move in his direction too.  That is how it works.  States that are leaning Obama will start leaning Romney.  States that are weak Obama and currently out of reach will start being close.

This kind of move is very possible.  No chickens should be being counted by the Democrats.  But time is running out for things to happen (either positive things from Romney, or mistakes by Obama) which bring about that kind of move.  Polls looking into how set people are on the candidates they support at the moment show a pretty small percentage of actual undecided or “persuadable” people though.  So it may be pretty difficult to bring about that kind of move.

As I’ve said before, to get there we probably need a major screwup by Obama as opposed to anything Romney could do to bring people toward him.

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.

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-22 (UTC)

  • RT @DemFromCT: RAND poll (often overlooked) https://t.co/s7zqD7gA http://t.co/QzerpWWM #
  • Reading – In 2011, Romney made $14 million while being unemployed (Ezra Klein) http://t.co/tDJLfD8d #
  • Reading – Mitt Romney is paying… too much in taxes? (Brad Plumer) http://t.co/IgKQ6AF2 #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme What r the chances that this is an oversight? #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign Oversight? No. The statement today said it was specifically done to stay above the 13% Romney promised a few months ago. #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme In my opinion totally misses the point. Actual rate is between 9 & 11, but he plays with the #s to make it 13. #
  • MT @fivethirtyeight: There’s actually not much sign that O’s lead is declining if you look at all 4 tracking polls. Just been in Gallup. #
  • Reading – Are Judges finally Standing up to Secretive Drone Assassinations? (Jack Searle) http://t.co/JM6yYLJW #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: Possible, however, that Obama lead was declining, and now 47% is causing problems for Romney. #
  • Reading – Benghazi Reelects Obama (Charles Mudede) http://t.co/UFU6P8G5 #
  • MT @fleetadmiralj: If O wins, will be 1st time 3 straight presidents elected to two terms since Jefferson, Madison, & Monroe, 1801-1825 #
  • Reading – Has Apple Peaked? (Joe Nocera) http://t.co/8yCOXJV4 #
  • Reading – Discovery of huge mosaic in Turkey proves Romans had long lasting influence on the region (Eddie Wrenn) http://t.co/mm1FUreI #
  • Reading – Romney Shambles, Income Tax Edition (Oliver Willis) http://t.co/tf1W0WS2 #
  • Reading – Romney May Be the End of the Line for the Republican Establishment (Scott Rasmussen) http://t.co/M5yq7jcc #
  • Reading – Expert: Romney may have paid less in taxes over 20 years than it appears (Greg Sargent) http://t.co/Jw6xI0zz #
  • Reading – Obama’s Convention Bounce May Not Be Receding (Nate Silver) http://t.co/5nK4EMjf #
  • Reading – ‘Free Libya’ Crowds in Benghazi rally against Militias, Drive al-Qaeda out of City (Juan Cole) http://t.co/jGUOD4v9 #
  • MT @CarrieNBCNews: MT @mmurraypolitics: By tomorrow, voters in 25 states will be casting ballots (absentee/ early in person). #
  • Reading – Mitt Romney’s Cynical Tax Ruse (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/1gfWVBxd #
  • Reading – White House narrative on Libya all but collapsed (Ed Morrissey) http://t.co/ftq8X8wh #
  • Reading – Romney’s Tax Release: No Big Surprises (Andrew Sullivan) http://t.co/av9putk3 #
  • Did the iOS 6 thing overnight. Alex will be mad later when he discovers his “Trainios” are gone. No other thoughts yet. Just started. #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Let’s see if he gets away with this. #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign Suspect this will result in a bit of a brush up as people discuss it this weekend… (Cont) #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign But then I suspect it will die down with issue mostly defused. Ds will look petty if keep harping on other years, details. #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign People get that he is rich & paid low tax rate. Knew that already. Absent bombshell of something unexpected, nothing new. #
  • Reading – Mauled NY man: I wanted to be one with the tiger (Tom Hays) http://t.co/pYnpsPzm #
  • EC Update for Sat Sep 22 Done. Marathon update. Polls added in 15 states. 3 states change categories. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #

Electoral College: NC flips to Obama, VA in play again, SD strengthens for Romney

Big day, lots of changes in polls behind the scenes aided by the fact I’ve now added PollTracker as a source.  They seem to be picking up and including some polls left out by my other sources.  The big batch of new polls today led to three category changes.  So lets get to them in order of electoral college size from small to large:

First up, South Dakota with 3 electoral votes.  It has been very sparsely polled, but it is easy to see why.  This state is not even remotely in contention.  It is a Romney state.  Back in August  a new poll had brought the five poll average down to a Romney lead of less than 10%, moving it to “Weak Romney” instead of “Strong Romney”.  Now the first poll since then moves it back to “Strong Romney”.  Either way, South Dakota is not a state we imagine Obama winning even in his best possible scenario.

 

Next up is Virginia with 13 electoral votes.  On Thursday Obama’s lead in the state tipped just barely over 5%.  With a new poll today, it dips back just barely below 5%.  So once again it goes into my “Lean Obama” category and it is once again considered one of the states Romney *could* win, even though he is currently behind in the state.  So this improves Romney’s best case and opens up more possible “paths to victory” that one can mathematically imagine given the polling.

Finally, North Carolina with 15 electoral votes.  Never once in the last year has this state not been “close”.  Most of the time it has leaned toward Romney though, with just a few bounces toward Obama.  Today’s batch of new polls are all favorable to Obama though, and the five poll average tips toward Obama, barely, at a 0.8% lead for Obama.

Now, there is some oddness in how I count polls here.  When a poll includes results in more than one way (Likely Votes vs Registered, or with our without Leaners) rather than picking one version of the poll based on some criteria I make up, I count those as separate polls if they are reported differently by the sources I use.  This will potentially overweight the one poll with multiple reports.  I count on this effect being washed out over time.  This state is close enough that it can make a difference though.

But the difference is between just barely leaning one way, and just barely leaning the other way.  These two situations are barely distinguishable from each other.  So, for instance, in the case of North Carolina, while the new polls tip the state over the center line, it should be kept front of mind that a 0.8% lead is NOTHING and is close enough that it can easily just be statistical or methodological noise, and even if it isn’t, is close enough it can be wiped out overnight by the events in a news cycle.

So while this does move the “everybody gets every state they are ahead in” line in my models, do keep in mind that ALL of the “close” states should be considered to be states that easily could go either way.

So, with all of these, the new model summary:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 291 247
Current Status 191 347
Obama Best Case 180 358

With this the “Current Status” where everybody gets every state they are ahead in is back up to matching Obama’s previous highs in April and May.  Even with Obama’s best case, he isn’t matching his 2008 performance.  But he is at what has so far been his ceiling in this race.  To move beyond this he needs to start pulling ahead in states like Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Montana.  All of these have so far seemed way out of reach this time around.  And they still do.  We would need a major Romney collapse to start bringing these states over to Obama.

As I said though, this lead in North Carolina is by the slimmest of margins, and is helped along slightly by my methodology.  It would not be surprising at all for this to flip back to the “normal” 332 to 206 Obama victory margin we’ve been seeing most of the year in my model.

In the mean time, Virginia getting a bit closer again is good news for Romney.  If he can’t bring states like Virginia back to being at least close, it is really hard to see how he pulls off a win.  Having said that though, the recent trend in Virginia has been against him.  We’ll need more polls (I’m sure we’ll have them soon) to know if Romney is really making Virginia close again, or if it will slip back away from him with the next batch of polls.

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.

(Edited 2012 Sep 22 23:50 to add some final thoughts and do some cleanup.)

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-21 (UTC)

  • Reading – Checking Rove’s math (KosFollow) http://t.co/QVDriJtm #
  • Actually, X-Reay results came back. Looks like the kidney stone I suspected after all. Not the gastro thing the doctor thought. Still fun! #
  • Reading – Apple Knows Apple Maps Suck Right Now But Says It’ll Get Better (Casey Chan) http://t.co/CKkQH2GU #
  • RT @usernamenuse @abulsme yeah, really SOUNDS like fun…. #
  • .@usernamenuse Fun in the absolute best sense of the word. But hey, cool pain killers. :-) #
  • .@abulsme X-Reay? #NotActuallyOnPainKillersRightNowReally #
  • Reading – What Would Happen if Mitt Romney Dropped Out Now? (Paul Constant) http://t.co/6HT22urq #
  • RT @JoeMuto: CW hardening — Obama re-elect hits 70% on Intrade: http://t.co/wdtEP7H5 #
  • RT @wsdot: Although #ios6 may say differently, we can assure you that the Tacoma Narrows Bridges have not melted: http://t.co/vxUjpp2W #
  • Reading – Good Signs All Around
    (Josh Marshall) http://t.co/nLUSXsYQ #
  • Reading – New York Times bans ‘after-the-fact’ quote approval (Jim Romenesko) http://t.co/tlDhiH26 #
  • RT @kkondik: Election, if it tightens, probably comes down to this – Romney needs to win OH, VA or WI. O currently up by 4.5+ in all 3 #
  • Reading – Poll Analysis: A not-so-good week for Romeny (Darryl, HorsesAss) http://t.co/6DDb26Ze #
  • RT @jamisonfoser: I mean, honestly. Think for half a second: “Is what I’m about to say really stupid?” If the answer is “yes,” don’t say it. #
  • Reading – Mitt says Obama threw in ‘white flag’ on changing Washington (Jonathan Martin) http://t.co/2HP5jUsL #
  • Wait, no TbT on the 4? No point then. Reading – How the iPhone 4 Displays Map Directions in iOS 6 (Jordan Golson) http://t.co/CDzSdzXx #
  • RT @joshtpm: I’m with Buzzfeed and Politico: Mitt is going to ride “No We Can’t” right to the White Hosue. #theawesome #obamadownfall #
  • Reading – Obama’s latest `gaffe’: Vowing to engage more Americans in the political process (Greg Sargent) http://t.co/sKfwRl9v #
  • RT @dangillmor: Is Apple’s iOS maps decision is the first major consumer-facing choice Tim Cook has made? #
  • RT @DannyZuker: You cad now sand tweets wet Siri. Intact I’m using at write nod! #
  • Grrr… Reading – iOS 6 users lose Bluetooth audio track listings and control features after update (Bryan Bishop) http://t.co/0rrYxteJ #
  • BTW, haven’t upgraded my iPhone 4 yet. Recent upgrades my policy to wait until the phone prompts me rather than rush as soon as possible. #
  • Reading – Let those global warming dollars flow (Phil Plait) http://t.co/rsihiyAr #
  • Also, I almost never used the Maps app. Used Waze or Garmin for TbT. Was looking forward to new Maps for TBT. Will stick with Waze I guess. #
  • Reading – What working class whites really think about dependency and redistribution (Greg Sargent) http://t.co/B7CP9Dcm #
  • Reading – How Bad Is Apple’s iOS6 Maps Disaster? (Carl Franzen) http://t.co/MH8hCQ4h #
  • Reading – Why Presidents Love Foreign Affairs (Daniel W. Drezner) http://t.co/1we1ORMa #
  • MT @electionate: Signals are mixed on CO and IA is seriously underpolled. But remember that CO/IA/NH/NV allows an O victory without FL/OH/VA #
  • Reading – The WELL is bought by its users
    (Cory Doctorow) http://t.co/gWoppUAu #
  • RT @xeni: If socialized medicine is a communist plot, man, pass the fucking hammer and sickle. I am so on board with that shit. #
  • Reading – Romney is losing the argument over the economy (Greg Sargent) http://t.co/NITWokeb #
  • MT @delrayser: Didn’t take long for Romney camp to go frm “U need 2 watch entire 50 min video” 2 “Here’s half of one sentence Obama said!” #
  • Good Analysis on why it ain’t over -> Reading – State of the Race, Part 2: Why Romney Wins (Sean Trende) http://t.co/ENDQiSTS #
  • MT @anamariecox: Clearly the main problem with Romney’s electoral map is iOS 6. #
  • Reading – Mitt Romney: The GOP’s Very Best (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/gBv1zRYY #
  • EC Update for Fri Sep 21 done. Polls added in MA PA MI FL CO WI CT NV IA VA. Category change in CT. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Reading – Factions, Coalitions, and the Two Party System (Bruce, The Contrarian Conformist) http://t.co/aS09hVAs #
  • Reading – There Go the Undecided Voters (Larry Bartels) http://t.co/yf9mrOgK #
  • Reading – Why all that money won’t save Mitt Romney (Jamelle Bouie) http://t.co/Qbg9MoIR #
  • Reading – Be More Cynical! (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/90mEWcZV #
  • MT @dangillmor: Cook said Jobs urged him to ignore “what would Steve do” strategies. iOS Maps are evidence that he took advice seriously. #

Electoral College: Connecticut Gets Bluer

Only one status change today, as Obama’s lead in Connecticut tops 10% in the five poll average.

On August 30th Obama’s lead in Connecticut dipped slightly below 10% in my five poll average.  With the first new poll in the state since then, the average pops back above 10% to 11.4%.  So I once again classify Connecticut as “Strong Obama”.  While the last poll is quite a bit higher than anything seen before and may be an outlier, the five poll average has been over 10% for almost all of the last year, so this is probably more representative of the “normal” status for Connecticut.

Of course, no matter if Obama’s lead in the state is a little more than 10%, or a little less than 10%, Connecticut isn’t even close to being a state that could go either way.  Connecticut is not in contention.  It is going to be an Obama state this cycle.  So the model summary does not change:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 278 260
Current Status 206 332
Obama Best Case 180 358

Not much else to say this time around. Obama increasing his lead in Connecticut doesn’t change the state of the race. There are now tons of new polls every day though, so keep tuned, there will undoubtidly be more changes to the core “Lean” and “Weak” states soon enough.

Most polls are still of the Lean Obama and Weak Obama states though. This is natural, as these are the states that will end up closest to the 269 electoral vote line if you ordered them by support levels, but it would be nice to get a few more polls on the Weak Romney states to see if Obama is gaining ground there too, or if those states are consolidating for Romney.

Maybe there will be some of those polls soon.

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.

Edit 2012 Sep 22 23:51 to add final note.

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-20 (UTC)

  • RT @cmdrtaco: Analysis of today’s most epic XKCD comic (weighing in at 79872x165888px)
    http://t.co/CMxq5TzF #
  • Reading – How `47 percent’ could fracture Mitt Romney’s coalition (Jamelle Bouie) http://t.co/B065QQpO #
  • Reading – Chick-Fil-A Ends Anti-Gay Donations, Moves into Chicago (Alexander Abad-Santos) http://t.co/9kLHYyXL #
  • Reading – Another Day for Ol’ Etch A Sketch (Paul Constant) http://t.co/NYCf2I0d #
  • Reading – It’s not all over for Romney (Timothy Stanley) http://t.co/c0902vAX #
  • EC Update for Sep 20 done. Polls in MA NH MI FL VA CO CA ME ME2 ME1 WI OH. Category changes in VA & WI. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: The. Polls. Have. Stopped. Making. Any. Sense. #
  • RT @BenjySarlin: Did the predict-o-bot explode? RT @fivethirtyeight: The. Polls. Have. Stopped. Making. Any. Sense. #
  • MT @fivethirtyeight: .@jedlewison: National polls fine. Consistent with an Obama lead of ~3 points. It’s states where things get weird. #
  • RT @TheFix: Conclusion of last 3 days: Lots of polls. Saying lots of different things. [Takes a bow] #
  • Reading – Obama official: Benghazi was a terrorist attack (Josh Rogin) http://t.co/IcpgYMZ4 #
  • MT @electionate: Pretty sure FirstRead folks said Madison was the 2nd most heavily saturated market this week. Obama might lead, but not 14 #
  • RT @FingerootB: Lesson from the last few days worth of polls: There are a lot more Senate seats in play (for both sides) than we thought. #
  • RT @electionate: Fact: there’s a poll saying Romney’s up 3 in NH and a poll saying Obama’s up 14 in Wisconsin; #pollsgonewild #
  • Reading – What Did David Corn Know, and When Did He Know It? (David Weigel) http://t.co/uue7JGNr #
  • Reading – In Presidential Campaign Coverage, It’s the Facts, Not the Gaffes, That Matter (Larry Sabato) http://t.co/ECWtcTeL #
  • Reading – If Your House Is On Land Expropriated From Indigenous Inhabitants – You Didn’t Build That (Matthew Yglesias) http://t.co/XFnj1hYl #
  • Reading – Senate Races Looking Up For Democrats (Eric Kleefeld) http://t.co/i3L3OkUA #
  • RT @mattyglesias: Romney’s polling deficit is awfully small for an allegedly flailing campaign helmed by an unpopular candidate. #
  • MT @mattyglesias: Could explain the flailing gap RT @fivethirtyeight: O’s Lead Stronger in Polls Including Cellphones http://t.co/6XiLSQYb #
  • Reading – Obama’s Lead Looks Stronger in Polls That Include Cellphones (Nate Silver) http://t.co/vuYPXO6x #
  • Reading – Jordan Going Darker (Marc Lynch) http://t.co/8J5FimVW #
  • Reading – Three Generations of a Hackneyed Apologia for Censorship Are Enough (Ken, Popehat) http://t.co/JLjrNJqy #
  • RT @mattyglesias: If you think of mapping software as primarily artwork rather than about helping you find places, iOS 6 Maps is great. #
  • MT @NKingofDC: 30% of voters-and growing-will never own a landline. Which is why landline-only polls are skew old, to put it mildly. #
  • Reading – It Takes One to Know One (Nicholas D. Kristif) http://t.co/aJmEEz4U #
  • Reading – It Might Be a Couple of Months Before We See a Proper Google Maps iPhone App (Adrian Covert) http://t.co/olPtnUXs #
  • Reading – Romney’s Video-Debunking Claim Is…Debunked (David Corn) http://t.co/77TxOBFJ #
  • RT @HuffPostHill: There are 47 days left until the election. Yep. 47 days. Four seven. Forty-seven………….. 47. #
  • RT @TheFix: Senior D emails wishing election was Tuesday. Common sentiment in party. This is best political moment for Dems in a long time. #
  • Reading – Why they Hate us: Romney Secretly Plots to Screw Palestinians over Again (Juan Cole) http://t.co/E5EdOWJd #
  • Reading – Apple’s Maps app slammed over missing cities and other mistakes (Lance Whitney) http://t.co/mjjCEqsa #
  • RT @owillis: paul ryan tells house gop: “this is gonna be an up and down race” http://t.co/L3xSYF00 mostly down for you though, paul #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: All of this just goes to show that the G.O.P. should have nominated Gingrich. #ThingsNobodyHasEverSaid #
  • RT @owillis: buck up romney team, you’re probably gonna take indiana and north carolina from obama, so there’s that! (maybe) #
  • Reading – Why the Campaigns Should Pay Attention to More Than 9 or 10 States (Garance Franke-Ruta) http://t.co/0BD6JvSI #
  • Reading – The Wrong Side Of A Class War (Sheri Rivlin & Allan Rivlin) http://t.co/CMvWFhhM #
  • Reading – We’re Already Past the Makers/Takers Tipping Point (Matthew Yglesias) http://t.co/k85hmJmg #
  • BTW, sick again today. Doc says some kind of fun gastro something. Maybe. They aren’t really sure. Anyway, fun! #
  • Reading – Usage of Apple’s iOS 6 Hits Staggering Levels on First Day of Availabi (Ina Fried) http://t.co/vStoa3ny #
  • Reading – The GOP is stuck with Todd Akin (Aaron Blake) http://t.co/MdWrLBSG #