Well it’s unfortunate that my life got too busy to continue my previous polling analysis thread, but I did want to pop in and give a breakdown of what I see right now from the numbers and what, at least I believe, should be taken from them. Obama is safe in the following states: ME, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NH (yes NH….Romney isn’t taking NH), NJ, DE, MD, PA (yes PA…let’s be realistic here), DC, MI (Republicans can only dream that MI will flip), IL, MN, NM, CA, OR, WA, AND HI. That’s a total of 241 Electoral Votes (EV) Romney on the other hand is safe in AK, AZ, UT, ID, MT, WY, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX, LA, AK, MO (Yes MO…Dems can dream but Obama won’t take MO), MS, AL GA, SC, TN, NC (yes NC…again we’re being realistic and NC is out of Obama’s reach), KY, IN, and WV. That’s a total of 206 EV. So let’s look at the states that are left and I will list them in the order that I am most confident to least confident about my predicted outcome. Keep in mind I am using the following as a basis for analysis a) Current polling data from RCP which is easily verifiable by anyone b) 2008 results indicate the best Obama will do in any given swing state a. In 2008 Obama was riding a wave of enthusiasm and the electorate was furious with Bush and the GOP because of the stock market crash which happened right before the election. Obama cannot rely on that level of enthusiasm/fury this time and so we will use 2008 as the high benchmark because if that’s what he got in a state when everything was rolling in his favor he sure won’t do better with a stagnant economy , high unemployment, etc. c) Undecided voters usually break for the challenger as the election nears d) Debates will likely favor Romney e) Obama is currently experiencing a “post-convention bounce”, which is significant because this year the DNC came after the RNC so Obama’s position is fresher in the minds of the electorate. So with those “established” let’s have a look. 1) Romney takes Florida (Obama 241 / Romney 235) The RCP average currently has Obama up by 1.3 points. Considering point e above that’s pretty pathetic. Obama took Florida in 2008 by a mere three points (51% / 48%) despite everything rolling in his favor. For Obama to really be challenging in Florida he needs to be up by at least 5%, maybe 7%. When the debates get underway and as Obama’s DNC bounce continues to dry up (as it has been) Romney will gain strongly and score a pretty easy win. 2) Romney takes Virginia (Romney 248 / Obama 241) In the last 10 elections Obama has been the only Democrat to take Virginia and he needed the perfect storm to do it. There is a legitimate argument that the demographics of Virginia have changed and it’s solidly a “purple state” now. In 2008 Virginia pulled out a 53% / 46% win but the current RCP average is Obama +0.3%. Go re-read the notes on Florida. 3) Obama takes Nevada (Romney 248 / Obama 247) Obama scored a 13 point win in 2008. The most recent data in Nevada is way out of date. In late August it was Obama by 3.3%. Right now my guess is that it’s more like 6% - 7%. What will tell the tale is Reno. Vegas is primarily liberal and the rest of the state is Republican. Reno is kind of in the middle and that’s where the state will be won or lost. Now in elections since 2008 Reno has gone strongly Republican indicating that Romney has a chance to take the state back. I just don’t see it. It sure as hell won’t be the 13 point whopping Obama delivered in 2008, but I imagine Obama will manage to pull off a victory by maybe 2% - 3%. 4) Romney takes Iowa (Romney 254 / Obama 247) Iowa is a tough one that really flips back and forth. Obama scored a strong 10 point win in 2008 54% / 44% but the most recent polling has Obama +0.2%. Granted that data is pretty old so it’s reasonable to assume that since the DNC Obama has picked up points and it’s probably more like Obama +3% now. Still it’s not enough. With nearly 10% undecided or favoring a third candidate (according to the average) and keeping point c in mind all signs suggest that Romney will squeak out a narrow victory by a point or two. This is a tough one to call because the data is so old. 5) Romney takes Ohio (Romney 272 / Obama 247) The current RCP average has Obama +4.2. In my opinion it’s probably no more than Obama +3, maybe even 2%. There are two polls in the current average (PPP(D) and Marist) that totally suck and demonstrate massive Obama bias and that is skewing the numbers. Obama took Ohio 52% / 47% in 2008. Even if we accept 4.2% as the current number it’s probably not enough to seal the deal when you consider a 4 point advantage while experiencing a bounce of roughly 5% is not good news for team Obama. Add in Romney’s closing favorables in points c and d and it’s looking like Romney wins a squeaker. 6) Romney takes Colorado (Romney 281 / Obama 247) You can pretty much take my comments for Ohio and insert them here. The current RCP average is being skewed by two Democratic agencies (PPP and Project New America [a polling firm run by David Axelrod’s son]). SUSA has it at 1 point and they are a pretty solid firm to look at. Obama scored a 9 point win in 2008 but consider point b above. He was riding a tidal wave. Historically Colorado is a pretty safe red state and my guess is that it will return in 2012. 7) Obama takes Wisconsin (Romney 281 / Obama 257) Boy it’s close in Wisconsin. It’s reasonable to look at my previous analyses and say “well the RCP average only has Obama +1.4 and you have said previously that that spread in a post convention bounce is not enough”. You could argue that Wisconsin is experiencing a pretty strong GOP wave since 2010 and that Democratic victories in Presidential elections in 2004 and 2000 were razor thin. You could argue that Obama’s 14 point massacre of McCain in 2008 was a result of the tidal wave he was experiencing at the time. Yeah…that’s all true and that’s why I have this prediction as my least confident call. All signs are pointing to Romney flipping the state, but there’s just something in my gut that is telling me to be very careful about making that call right now. Perhaps as the election gets closer I will be more confident in making that prediction, but right now I am sticking with history and predicting another razor thin Obama victory in Wisconsin. So at the end of the day what it really comes down to is Ohio….nothing new there really. That’s pretty much how it usually goes and this year is shaping up to be no different. Now it is worth nothing that if Obama holds on in Ohio and Romney takes Nevada we have a 269 / 269 tie and a tie favors Romney since the House breaks the tie and the House is controlled by the GOP. So a tie essentially means a Romney victory. And of course Romney could lose Ohio and still win by taking WI and NV but I think that would be a pretty bold prediction. Anyhow…there it is. The point of course is that right now we’re seeing a lot of Democrats that are incredibly excited about the current data but they are not putting it into context of what is happening to create Obama’s current leads and they are ignoring that between now and election day Romney’s favorables dramatically outweigh Obama’s. Romney should close at least 5% maybe even 7% between now and then in some states. If I were a liberal that’s not a situation I would be very thrilled about.