Welcome to my 2nd state of the race report. I’m doing this report today instead of on the 1st merely because tomorrow is Saturday. My next report will likely come in two weeks now that we’re into convention season, on September 14th.
As before, I’ll evaluate the race using five different metrics:
- Current state of the race with TCtC states
- Current state of the race with leaners
- Obama EV total in states where he has 50% in the average
- Obama EV total in states where he has 47% in the average
- Electoral Vote total assuming a 2:1 undecided swing to Romney
State of the Race: Electoral Count including Too Close to Call
Obama: 221 (-50)
Romney: 191 (NC)
TCtC: 126 (+50)
This number reflects the general narrowing of the race, especially in the midwest. Obama has lost Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada to the TCtC category, accounting for the 50 electoral votes. Three of those four states are either Wisconsin, where Ryan is from, or are in the midwest region. Missouri has switched between “weak Romney” and “too close to call” a couple times but for now rests in “weak Romney” as it did a month ago.
Obama’s 221 electoral votes is the lowest “strong” and “weak” total he has had during the entire campaign. Romney’s 191 is more or less what he’s been in April. His entire electoral vote range thus far has been between 171 and 191.
State of the Race: Electoral Count including leaners
Obama: 332 (NC)
Romney: 206 (NC)
While some of the races in the states have gotten closer, none have actually seen a change in who leads in them, thus the electoral count including all leaners regardless of the size of the lead remains the same as it did a month ago.
State of the Race: Electoral Count assuming Obama needs 50% in the average
Romney: 358 (-11)
Obama: 180 (+11)
This metric is and will always be the most pessimistic for Obama. It essentially assumes that if Obama isn’t at 50% in a state, he will lose that state. Historical patterns show that this just isn’t very realistic, but it is a metric nonetheless. Despite some narrowing in some polls, Obama actually gains 11 electoral votes in states where he sits at 50% or better in the average.
State of the Race: Electoral Count assuming Obama needs 47% in the average and leads
Obama: 316 (+16)
Romney: 222 (-16)
This is, I think, a better although not perfect metric than the previous one. Here, Obama still leads, and actually has a slightly better margin than he did a month ago. This suggests a few things: the margin may be narrowing and there may be less undecideds, but some of those undecides are going into the Obama column. Noteably, one of the states not counted for Obama here is Minnesota, where his average support is 46.5%, though his lead over Romney is 6.6% in the state. Iowa is currently the only other state where Obama holds a lead but isn’t at 47% or better in the average.
State of the Race: Electoral Count assuming undecideds break 2-to-1 toward Romney
Obama: 284 (-26)
Romney: 254 (+26)
I still feel this scenario may be the most realistic, though we’ll see about that on election day. Out of the 5 metrics, this is the only one other than the first one where he performs worse than a month ago. He falls from 310 EVs to 284 EVs if one allocates 2/3 of undecided votes to Romney, though Obama would still win under this scenario.
Under this scenario, Obama wins Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, and Michigan (Michigan by only 0.2%) and loses Florida (by 0.2%), Virginia, Iowa, and North Carolina.
Of course, this assumes that every last person who doesn’t respond as supporting for Obama or Romney will 1) vote and 2) vote for one of those two candidates. Of course, some of these people may stay home, and some of those people may vote 3rd party. Perhaps most significant of these may be votes that Virgil Goode could possibly draw away from Romney in Virginia. In this scenario, Romney wins Virginia by only 0.6%. Goode could easily draw that away from Romney in Virginia.