When two University of Colorado Professors trumpeted a landslide win for Mitt Romney this August, many of the pundits from both sides of the isle dismissed it as fantasy. Well…as we get closer to Election Day, that “fantasy” is increasingly looking more like it may become reality.
Their projection is a 330-208 Electoral College victory for Governor Romney, which would be a net loss of 160 for President Obama from ‘08. Keep in mind there has been some shifting of Electors from blue states to red states, but that’s still quite a turnaround from his dominant win four years ago.
Looking at various Electoral College map projections, one could easily dismiss the two professors as an “outlier of outliers.” One should not be quick to dismiss what the professors have come up with, especially considering the Mitt-mentum that has been building since the first debate.
It’s important to keep in mind that when an incumbent cannot break 47/48% in the polls, he or she is in real danger of losing the election. One must also remember the inherent bias amongst most of the polls, oversampling of Democrats, or that they are being conducted by organizations with a clear track record of being wrong. This also plays a factor in a mini-bump for Mitt.
In my mind, there are thirteen states that will decide this election: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Going into the race, President Obama has a 194-181 advantage in true locked up states. With that we’re going to put the remaining states into three Categories: Safer Romney, Safer Obama, and True Tossups.
Safer Romney: Missouri, North Carolina, and yes, Florida (54 ECV) John McCain won Missouri four years ago and Governor Romney looks to have the state safely in his column. North Carolina will be a switch from Obama to Romney, a loss of 15 ECV. Florida, by some accounts, is still a tossup. However, follow the logic I’ll be using throughout this: Romney has a 49.3% to 46.8% edge in recent polling. President Obama is already in trouble because he has less than 47% of the vote. If you give Governor Romney 75% of the undecided, that puts him at 51.175%. That would be a safe Romney win.
Safer Obama: Connecticut, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (53 ECV) Barack Obama won each of these states in ’08 and the fact that all of them aren’t squarely in the president’s column has to be a worry to Team Obama in Chicago. Wisconsin and Connecticut both show the president with over fifty percent. Pennsylvania is just a fraction less. However, Pennsylvania has seen the momentum shifting in Romney’s direction. Michigan is Romney’s true home state and has a huge undecided base of voters. If the undecided break hard for Romney, he can carry Michigan. It is an “if,” but it’s better than a door that’s been shut.
True Tossup States (56 ECV):
Iowa sits at 48.5/47.0/4.5 (Obama/Romney/Und), Ohio is at 48.3/46.1/5.6, Nevada is at 48/46.3/5.7, Colorado is at 47.3/48/4.6, and both Virginia & New Hampshire are at 47/48.3/4.7. When you throw in the undecided breaking 75%, Romney comes out ahead each time: Iowa 50.375, Ohio 50.3, Nevada 50.575, Colorado 51.450, and Virginia & New Hampshire at 51.825. Each state is showing the momentum moving towards Romney and away from Obama. It’s telling that the president is failing to get above that important 47/48%. It could be that Romney runs the table of these toss-up states ending up giving him an Electoral College win at 291-247, and thus the presidency.
For those who subscribe to the theory that Romney must win Ohio to win the presidency, there is good news on that front too. Should Ohio fall, Romney still wins 273-265. And for those out there, like the CU professors (and Dick Morris) who dream of a landslide – it’s not outside the realm of the possibility either. If Romney picks up both Michigan & Wisconsin, it would result in 317 ECV. Should Pennsylvania fall? Well that 330 prediction wouldn’t be that far off, would it?
Of course all of this could change after the debates (and the possible October surprise). Three weeks is an eternity in politics so tighten your seat belts, this is going to be a bumpy ride.