The Road To 270: An Unfiltered Look At The State Of The 2012 Presidential Race
With the Republican Convention over and the Democratic Convention set to begin, the body politic is facing an onslaught of self-important punditry about convention bounces, national polling data, and speculation based on electoral strategies that haven't been relevant for years.
Ignore all of it. It’s meaningless static. Bounces will level off. No one is elected by national popular votes. And as James Farley famously quipped “as Maine goes, so goes Vermont.”
What policies may be best for the country are matters of opinion and are well worth debating over the next ten weeks. However, the state of the race and the location of battleground contests are virtually a matter of science. It all comes down to what paths each candidate must take to win the required 270 Electoral Votes to capture the White House.
There are a number of polling aggregators and regression analysts who provide a clear, rational look at the state of the Obama/Romney race without a lot of hand-wringing about the people who frequented Macomb County bowling alleys a generation ago.
Every week, as part of what we are calling Deadline:11/06, we will review where the compiled polling data shows the race between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.
Keep in mind these numbers attempt to provide a snapshot of the electorate’s mood at a moment in time and aren't necessarily intended to predict the outcome in November. A lot can happen between now and Election Day. Maybe we’ll learn that Mitt Romney was born in a RENAMO terrorist camp in Mozambique or that Barack Obama personally burned down a steel mill for the insurance money and then sent all those jobs to North Korea. The point is, things can change. That's why politicians run campaigns.
But, as of writing, here is what the best polling analysts and aggregators say the presidential race currently looks like according to the compiled data from the 50 states.
FiveThirtyEight/Nate Silver: Silver’s “Now-cast” regression analysis gives Obama 293.3 Electoral Votes and Romney 244.7 EVs, if the election were held today. He gives Obama a 71.1% chance of winning the November election.
RealClearPolitics: Obama 221, Romney 191, 126 up for grabs in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
HuffPost Pollster: Obama 231, Romney 191, 116 up for grabs in Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
Electoral-Vote.com: 332 Obama (177 “Strongly Dem,” 48 “Likely Dem,” 107 “Barely Dem”) Romney 206 (142 “Strongly GOP,” 49 “Likely GOP,” 15 “Barely GOP”) According to the site: “strong means support of 10% or more; weak means 5% to 9%, and barely means less than 5%.”
CNN: Obama 237, Romney 191, 110 up for grabs in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
MSNBC: Obama 237, Romney 191, 110 up for grabs in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
Fox News/Karl Rove: Obama 225, Romney 191, 122 up for grabs in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.