Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday numbers, 10/31, the final showdown:
The electoral college

Another day rolls by and the election gets closer. There was an anomaly that happened after I posted last night in the polls, but before I posted tonight it had vanished.

For a hot minute, Michigan was a battleground state.  Polling there has been scarce and a single poll from last night that had Obama leading but close timed out a bunch of polls that showed him with a big lead.  Today, more polls came in and the median now gives him a 93% Confidence of Victory instead of a 75% Confidence of Victory.

So much for the OMG! MICHIGAN!1!  kerfuffle.

Here are the five states that currently make a difference. Romney needs to sweep them for his easiest path to victory and Obama only needs one.  If the one Obama gets is Colorado, Romney has a few chances that aren't beyond the realm of possibility, but they are much tougher than the five listed. Red means Republican leaning, Purple means tossup at 50%-50%, Blue means Democratic leaning and a Gold Background means the state with the golden spike.  Win that state and all easier states and it's game over for either side.

North Carolina
Most recent poll: October 31
Number of polls within one week of most recent: 6
Obama leads: 2
Tie: 1
Romney leads: 3
Confidence of victory: 74.3% Romney
North Carolina looks slightly better for Romney than it did yesterday. In the five swing states, that's the extent of his good news.

Most recent poll: October 31
Number of polls within one week of most recent: 9
Obama leads: 3
Tie: 2
Romney leads: 4
Confidence of victory: 50% for both Romney and Obama

Most recent poll: October 29
Number of polls within one week of most recent: 11
Obama leads: 5
Tie: 1
Romney leads: 5
Confidence of victory: 50% for both Romney and Obama
Three new polls, but the median is now a tie, a small loss for Romney. His people say he's going to win Florida by double digits. There is no poll that agrees with him, but this wouldn't be the first time Romney spokespeople pull facts out of… thin air.

Most recent poll: October 29
Number of polls within one week of most recent:14
Obama leads: 10
Tie: 1
Romney leads: 1
Confidence of victory: 75.8% Obama
Obama leads in Ohio by slightly more today, but he also leads Colorado by slightly more, so the Golden Spike stays where it was yesterday.

Most recent poll: October 30
Number of polls within one week of most recent: 8
Obama leads: 6
Tie: 1
Romney leads: 0
Confidence of victory: 75.9% Obama
Note: This is currently the state with The Golden Spike. If Obama wins Colorado and every state that has a better Confidence of Victory for him, he wins. The same is true for Romney.

And then there is the scenario where Obama wins Colorado but loses the other four. This puts him at a tenuous 272-266 lead in the electoral college if all the states more likely than Colorado also go his way.  In that instance, New Hampshire (75.9%) OR Iowa (82.4%) OR Nevada (84.0%) can give Romney enough.

If all this speculation is making the Halloween candy you've been snacking on grumble in your tummy, let's look at today's numbers, remarkably similar to yesterday's numbers.

The median result stays at 301 for Obama and 237 for Romney.  This nothing like the beatdown Obama gave McCain, but it's much larger than the margin for Bush over Kerry.

The single most likely result is at 319-219, with another strong contender at 320-218.  the results come in pairs one EV apart because the current model has the electoral vote of Omaha as a toss-up.  That is based on very old polling and Nebraska has been trending for Romney, so I may shade that prediction slightly before election day. The best of all possible worlds is some polling company actually having another poll specific to Omaha, but I'm not holding my breath.

The Confidence Of Victory slides down ever so slightly to 91.9%, down from 92.6% yesterday. These tiny wobbles are exactly what Romney does NOT want to see at this juncture.  He needs something very big to happen in this last week that is clearly in his favor, something on the scale of the 47% tape or Obama's weak performance in the first debate. So far, Sandy appears to be in Obama's favor, as he gets to look presidential and have nice photo ops with a Republican that needs his help like Chris Christie, while Romney is forced to listen to questions about his desire to scrap FEMA. I say "listen to" because so far, he has shown no desire to answer them.

More numbers tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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