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Electoral College: Romney Increases Lead in Montana

Only one change today, Montana moving toward Romney:

So, although there was some speculation about Obama contesting Montana in 2008… and he did end up making it close, losing the state by only 2.3%… this time around nobody has been talking about Obama trying to win Montana. Although there was one individual poll in April showing Obama only behind by 2%, the five poll average has never shown Obama closer than 6% behind Romney. For most of the year Montana has been in the “Weak Romney” category, meaning Romney is relatively safe, but if something major happened… perhaps a mirror image of the Obama decline after the first debate… then the state might become competitive.

Instead, we see Romney’s lead on an increasing trend over the past few months, and with today’s update, Romney’s lead is now at 10.7% over Obama. So Montana moves to “Strong Romney”… essentially meaning that even if Romney completely implodes, he’d probably still win Montana.

Since Montana isn’t even close to the competitive zone, this does not affect our models:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 301 237
Current Status 248 290
Obama Best Case 191 347

The race remains close. Obama is ahead. Obama has always been ahead. Romney still has NEVER taken the lead in my model.

But if Romney wins all the states he is ahead in, he is only 21 electoral votes short of a 269-269 tie. He can get those 21 electoral votes in a variety of ways. Assuming Romney holds his current leads in Florida (29 ev, 0.4% lead), North Carolina (15 ev, 2.8% lead) and Virginia (13 ev, 4.0% lead), probably the easiest way to a victory right now is to win Ohio (18 ev) where he is only behind by 2.8% in the five poll average today, and then win any one of New Hamphire (4 ev, behind by 0.6%), Colorado (9 ev, behind by 1.3%) or Iowa (6 ev, behind by 2.5%). Of course, if he is winning Ohio, he will probably be close in Wisconsin (10 ev, 2.8% behind) and Nevada (6 ev, 3.9% behind) as well, and either of them would do the trick too.

As of my sweep of polls a few hours ago, we only had TWO state level polls that finished after the second presidential debate. One in North Carolina and one in Ohio. The North Carolina one slightly improved Romney’s position but not enough to recategorize North Carolina, while the Ohio one had no affect on the five poll average at all, as it matched the margin of the poll it replaced in the average. Bottom line, no where near enough data to judge the effects of the second debate. Maybe in the next few days.

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 tweets from 2012-10-17 (UTC)

  • TiVo has chosen the Current network for the debate pre-game show. 00:03:09
  • Not actually watching pre-game. Messing around setting up AppleTV I bought yesterday, plus updating software on various computers. Woo! 00:50:18
  • Playing with computers and AppleTV on hold now. Debate time! 01:00:41
  • TiVo has picked MSNBC for the debate tonight. 01:01:35
  • And we’re off! 01:02:58
  • RT @FHQ: My money is on Gary Johnson in this one. #fhqdebate 01:04:11
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme @wellred70 If Candy Crowley does a good job, I say we give up on male moderators and let the ladies reign. 01:04:50
  • So far Romney solid again. And relating to the questioner. 01:05:17
  • I like the color coded countdown clock. 01:05:49
  • In the first few seconds Obama already looking more engaged than last time. 01:06:20
  • RT @JGreenDC: Let’s just say it. If Jeremy is undecided on Oct 16, his future may not be that bright. 01:07:38
  • RT @politicalwire: Obama is back. 01:07:45
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme He’s on tonight! I personally think it’s because of my tweets. 01:07:57
  • Candy doing the follow ups people were complaining about! 01:08:29
  • RT @politicalwire: And the memorandum of understanding is out the window as Crowley asks a follow-up. 01:09:33
  • RT @MileHighBecky: Oh, here comes the unicorn carrying 12 million jobs. 01:09:45
  • Romney smirking. Obama says NOT TRUE! 01:10:24
  • RT @brendanloy: OH SNAP IT’S FEISTY OBAMA 01:11:12
  • Obama not sleepy this time. Actually paying attention. 01:11:33
  • Romney trying to jump in, but Candy says no! 01:11:47
  • RT @indecision: Crowley, shorter: “Simma down nah Romney, you can call him a liar later.” #debates 01:12:24
  • RT @waltershapiroPD: Who is this guy Obama? Nothing like the nebbish in the last debate. 01:12:35
  • RT @dandrezner: BREAKING: it is NOT the job of the Energy Department to keep gas prices low. 01:12:49
  • Just 15 minutes in but barring major change in the rest of the debate, this should be enough to halt Romney gains. Which is enuf for O win. 01:14:43
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Not Preezy-dential. 01:14:53
  • Frankly, we shouldn’t be pushing fossil fuels. They SHOULD be getting more expensive. Concentration should be on renewables. 01:16:11
  • RT @mattyglesias: North American energy independence is a totally ridiculous idea. 01:16:43
  • RT @GovGaryJohnson: Govt. has been trying to manage energy in US for 40 yrs. Obama & Romney: how has that worked out? #debate 01:18:06
  • Direct back and forth! Woo! 01:18:52
  • Obama should look at Romney while answering, not at the crowd. 01:19:16
  • Now this is a debate! More yelling please! 01:19:58
  • RT @TheFix: “It is true.” “No, it’s not.” And, yes, presidential politics is not dissimilar to conversations I have with my 3 year old. … 01:22:04
  • Candy: “Actually, It doesn’t work like that”. Ha! 01:23:10
  • I actually wish Crowley wouldn’t take control and “move on”. The back and forth is much more interesting. 01:24:23
  • I’m all for completely free form. Just let the two of them talk for two hours and manage the back & forth themselves. No mod. No audience. 01:25:18
  • Romney quotes Biden on middle class buried. 01:26:59
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Disagree. You need someone to keep them on topic. 01:27:19
  • RT @PrestonCNN: RT @ErinBurnett: Focus group HATES the fighting over who will talk, and lowest scores are when candidates go negative. # … 01:27:54
  • RT @brendanloy: “He’s kicking Romney’s ass right now.” -@sullydish, 10 minutes ago. #ReadingSullysLiveBlogSoYouDontHaveTo 01:29:04
  • RT @daveweigel: Angry that “Obama off the ropes” is already a cliched debate take, but it’s clearly what’s happening now 01:30:10
  • RT @LarrySabato: Another Bill Clinton reference. Obama is building a bridge to the 20th century. 01:30:18
  • The “Pay 60%” is interesting word game. That is % of total intake, not rate paid, but people assume rate paid. 01:31:23
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: Why does #MittRomney say “Middle Income” rather than “Middle Class”? 01:31:42
  • Obama practicing Biden faces now. 01:32:17
  • Adding up the trillions. Soon we’ll be talking real money. 01:33:18
  • Big Bird! 01:33:54
  • Romney not interrupting, but smiling. Has a plan for his response? 01:34:48
  • Romney frustrated with Candy. 01:35:40
  • Deficit not doubled. That was fact checked last time. Will Obama call him on it? 01:36:41
  • RT @RHOAmbler: @abulsme he is frustrated with women in general. 01:38:25
  • RT @sullydish: I love that formula of saying Romney wouldn’t accept the same sketchy sales pitch he is now selling to Americans. http:// … 01:38:50
  • RT @markos: Honestly, I expected Romney’s team to smooth out the “dick” in his personality. Instead, he’s being extra rude to Candy. 01:39:33
  • RT @owillis: shorter romney on women’s issues: i hired a woman once. 01:40:28
  • RT @dangillmor: Why is Romney unable to say “Massachusetts”? He always says “my state”. Oh, right…. 01:40:48
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: #Romney supports Affirmative Action? 01:40:55
  • .@ThoughtnDesign Yup, that sounds like Affirmative Action to me. :-) in reply to ThoughtnDesign 01:41:19
  • RT @MileHighBecky: Shorter Romney: I’m a nice guy who hires ladies, but I don’t give a fuck if everyone else doesn’t. 01:41:30
  • RT @PeteDominick: Romneys answer on women is like “my best friend is a black guy.” 01:41:50
  • RT @kausmickey: Binders full of women! There’s a clinton joke in here somewhere 01:43:51
  • RT @rebliv: Women belong in the binders. 01:44:09
  • Alex sitting on me now. Whole family watching. 01:45:35
  • Arguing about who gets to talk again. 01:46:08
  • RT @DKThomp: “I appreciate that question. Let me begin by not answering it.” 01:46:35
  • How many times is he going to go over the five point plan? 01:47:20
  • Amy getting frustrated with Romney being repetitive. 01:48:12
  • Alex paying attention too. As long as he has french fries. 01:48:46
  • Obama actually rebutting things Romney says this time. So much better when both candidates are participating. 01:50:06
  • RT @daveweigel: For some reason (OHIO) Obama wants to use the Bush question (OHIO) to pivot to China-bashing (OHIO). 01:50:51
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @BarackObama Goes in for the kill! The guy’s on tonight! 01:51:18
  • “Why should I vote for you” answered concisely. 01:52:32
  • RT @GarrettNBCNews: That question, shorter: President Obama, please give your stump speech in 2 minutes. 01:53:51
  • RT @rudepundit: Apparently, the pod person who took Obama’s place last debate has been sent back to the freezer. 01:54:04
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: #MittRomney’s sweating. 01:55:10
  • People saying how strong Obama is, but that is by comparison to last time. Looking at this time alone, pretty evenly matched. 01:55:59
  • RT @geoffreyvs: CNN dialers are more-or-less flat. #debate 01:56:42
  • RT @mattyglesias: Is Romney going to give us Reagan-style expansionary monetary policy? That’s what gave us the strong recovery. 01:58:07
  • Romney is for a pathway for dream act kids? 02:00:39
  • RT @AshleyJudd: Is anyone else doing the liar dance? Romney provide path to citizenship for immigrants? Has he ever heard of the DREAM Act? 02:01:50
  • RT @justinwolfers: According to Intrade, Obama’s win in this debate is bigger than his loss in the first. 02:04:09
  • RT @AriMelber: Obama’s theory is apparently that Moderate Mitt won the first debate and Extremist Mitt should lose the second debate. 02:04:23
  • Licking his wounds from being beaten by John McCain. Good visual for Mitt. 02:05:49
  • Chaos erupts! 02:07:13
  • RT @MileHighBecky: Have you looked at your pension? Romney seems like such an ass here. 02:07:29
  • RT @billmaher: whoa, Candy just had to tell Romney to SIT THE FUCK DOWN! I’d say he had too much caffeine, but we know that can’t be it 02:08:07
  • Obama “I’m here!” Yes, yes you are. This time. 02:08:46
  • Obama ducking the direct question on Libya? Needs to answer straight up. 02:09:31
  • Now actually answering. Sorta. Didn’t actually say who made the call the guy asked about. 02:10:26
  • Obama lecturing Romney now. Romney just sitting and listening. Not protesting. 02:11:04
  • “I am ultimately responsible.” Buck stops here. Right answer. 02:11:50
  • If Romney was elected, he would also go to reelection fundraisers while significant events happened. Just part of how it works. 02:13:46
  • Softball from Candy. Gives Obama another chance to say “Buck stops here.” 02:14:44
  • Crowley backs up Obama’s version of events. Takes a stand on the factual question. Wow. 02:17:14
  • RT @smotus: “@kellydeal: NOBODY PUTS HILLARY CLINTON IN A BINDER” 02:17:21
  • RT @JenGranholm: Candy Crowley calling Romney out on his lies. Thank you! #Current2012 #HofstraDebate 02:17:29
  • RT @bdomenech: Again, Romney is at his weakest on foreign policy. Just not strong, not ready. Which is why Obama’s strongest debate will … 02:17:40
  • RT @RQDammit: “can u say dat a little louder Candy?!?!?” now Mitt’s back peddling! 02:17:46
  • Last debate is Foreign Policy. Obama will wipe the floor with Mitt on that one. 02:19:27
  • I think Romney’s days of having a race where he is only a little behind are done. Just have to wait for the polls to catch up. 02:19:51
  • Assault weapon ban is distraction. Relatively small number killed by those. 02:21:16
  • RT @CitizenCohn: BTW, I agree with Romney – good schools, parenting will cut down on violence. But his cuts to safety net will make that … 02:22:31
  • Missed most of that last question. Alex yelling. Amy mocking Romney. 02:23:06
  • For it before he was against it! Go Kerry! 02:24:10
  • RT @KattyKayBBC: Irritating, isn’t it? RT “@kathleenparker: I find it troubling that factual errors are so quickly labeled lies.” 02:24:25
  • RT @feministing: Guns don’t kill people. Single mothers kill people. 02:25:02
  • RT @sullydish: It’s hard to convey genuine offense w/o seeming aggressive. But Obama made Mitt look cheap & political over a tragedy … 02:25:21
  • RT @kevinrose: Was about to buy an AK, decided to get married instead.. 02:25:55
  • RT @HotlineReid: AK-47 PERCENT!!! (@RalstonReports‘ idea, not mine) 02:26:02
  • What is the black dot on Romney’s flag pin? 02:27:06
  • RT @JeffreyGoldberg: Worst part of this debate: Both men trying to stomp a woman moderator. Candy Crowley has a right to be offended. 02:28:50
  • Alex just poured a drink in my seat. 02:29:49
  • Missed a bunch while wet. 02:30:59
  • RT @AriMelber: Is this question about the SNL iPhone skit? 02:32:40
  • RT @dandrezner: Hmmm… RT @politicalwire: That exchange on Libya was Romney’s Gerald Ford moment. He was lost and not presidential at all. 02:34:11
  • “I think this is a hard question.” then lobs a softball. 02:34:53
  • 100%! 02:35:20
  • RT @wilw: That question was so stupid and worthless, Barry, it’s wasting ALL OF AMERICA’S TIME. 02:35:36
  • Romney: “My passion comes from my belied in god.” Amy “DEAR GOD WHY DID HE DO THAT?” 02:36:03
  • Uh, belief. 02:36:21
  • Missed a bit due to another Alex attack. 02:38:11
  • And we are done! 02:39:22
  • Bottom line, Obama showed up today. They both did well. Obama’s bleeding stops. Romney starts to diminish again. 02:41:02
  • Since Obama is ahead right now, that means advantage Obama. I think Obama’s lead in the EC starts to increase again now. 02:41:57
  • They are both signing autographs. Wonder if they will sign things for each other. Not. 02:42:52
  • RT @joanwalsh: Ann Romney doesn’t look happy at all… 02:45:01
  • RT @JonahNRO: CNN undecided lines loved Obama’s answer until he brought up 47%. Then they all went down. 02:45:34
  • RT @ezraklein: Romney won the first debate by a larger margin than I expected. Obama won the second debate by a larger margin than I exp … 02:45:41
  • RT @brendanloy: MSNBC is pretty excited. 02:45:46
  • RT @AdamSerwer: Fox is calling it a draw. I think we know what that means. 02:46:07
  • RT @brendanloy: Obama really lucked out by getting final closing statement. He was clearly emboldened by lack of possibility for rebutta … 02:47:14
  • RT @aburnspolitico: obama ad guy RT @originalgriz Obama didn’t just defeat Romney. He diminished him. 02:48:33
  • Spin Room! 02:49:21
  • Axelrod has the same iPhone case I do! 02:50:53
  • RT @jamescdownie: A clear victory for Obama, though how much he’ll get back from first #debate loss remains unclear. 02:52:10
  • RT @sullydish: Obama dominated Romney tonight in every single way: in substance, manner, style, and personal appeal. http://t.co/jLboxf202:52:17
  • Watching post-game on MSNBC for another 6 minutes, then I think I’ll switch to non-debate things for the rest of the night. :-) 02:54:30
  • RT @sullydish: I’m excitable – but politics is about emotion as well as reason. My view is Obama halted Mitt’s momentum in its tracks: h … 02:54:55
  • RT @MysteryPollster: CBS News KN poll of 500 uncommitted voters. Who won? Obama 37, Romney 30, Tie 33 02:55:11
  • RT @rebliv: I met my husband in a binder. That’s why our son hasn’t shot up an Arby’s. 02:57:12
  • OK. Done live tweeting. See y’all next time. :-) 03:01:14
  • RT @TheFix: Would love if Obama or Romney said “Well, that is a dumb question…but I’ll give it a shot.” #debates 04:29:33
  • RT @brendanloy: Increasing conservatweep whining about moderator & audience implies secret consensus Obama is winning here. Winners … 04:30:05
  • Reading – Debate Reax – 16 October 2012 (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/ZAuC0KjX 04:46:54
  • RT @natsecHeather: Time to re-up that Romney opposed China trade sanctions in “no Apologies”– criticized Obama for it. 04:48:18
  • Reading – Mirror of “Mind The Binder” (David S. Bernstein) via @wilw http://t.co/lvUNZCfU 04:51:46
  • Reading – Amanda Todd’s Alleged Bully Named By Anonymous After Teen’s Tragic Suicide (Cavan Sieczkowski) http://t.co/6Um6NqmR 05:05:02
  • RT @DemocraShe: #Romney said a child raised by a single parent had a poor chance of life success. Ironically, he was sharing the stage w … 09:54:50
  • EC Update for Wed Oct 17 done. Polls added in 23 states!! CO GA MI change categories. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE 09:59:38
  • RT @7im: Imagining if Romney’d said ‘we had binders full of blacks’ – or Latinos or Asians or whatever #noOKdude 10:03:21
  • [Abulpost] Electoral College: Romney’s Balloon Deflating: Three states move between my categories today… http://t.co/w2WY8hiY 11:37:33
  • RT @politicalmath: Me: “I thought they both did alright” Normal people: “Dammit I hate all of you. Stay away from me.” 15:40:05
  • Reading – Why the Snooze Button Is Ruining Your Sleep (Jamie Condliffe) http://t.co/xXKKovPA 15:45:21
  • RT @anamariecox: Trippi: “Romney does a lot better when the other guy doesn’t show up.” 15:50:22
  • Reading – Will Obama’s Victory Matter? (Andrew Sullivan) http://t.co/7oUoAvME 15:53:01
  • RT @SarcasticRover: Just realized the presidential debate was tonight! TotallyI missed it! I assume science came up a lot and everyone l … 15:58:39
  • My iMac is not booting at all this morning. I can’t even get it to do the thing where you can pick an external boot drive. NOT HAPPY! 16:45:21
  • Will have to wait for after work to troubleshoot further. 16:45:45
  • Backups were having trouble before total failure, so most recent successful full drive backup about six days old. 16:49:06
  • Most recent remote user file backup to backblaze less than 24 hours old though. So whatever is wrong, data loss should be minimal. I hope. 16:50:36
  • Reading – xkcd: Electoral Precedent (Randall Monroe) http://t.co/v13D5oLB 22:29:11