Welcome to the last of these Electoral Math columns, at least for the next three and a half years. Today, we're just going to throw caution to the wind, and go ahead and predict the outcome of tomorrow night's returns. Before we get to that, though, a quick rundown of my previous record in the election prediction business, and then (for completeness' sake) the final electoral math graphs for 2012.
Archive of Articles in the "2012 Electoral Math" Category
Are you worried that Frankenstorm will restrict your access to up-to-date polling numbers? Do you know more about the state of the race in places you’ve never been to, but haven’t decided what to do for Hallowe’en yet? Then you have come to the right place! With one week to go before Election Day dawns, the race for president is about as tight as it can get, so let's get right to it.
As you can see, the race has tightened considerably since the first debate. There were more states tied during this last week than we've seen in a while, which shows up in white on the above chart. Virginia, Colorado, and New Hampshire were all tied at one point during the period, although at the end Virginia was the only one left even.
Welcome back to our now-weekly Electoral Math column series. In the introduction to last week's column, I warned that the full effects of the first televised presidential debate had yet to fully appear. This week, the effects showed up in a big way -- which (as you can probably guess) was mostly good news for Mitt Romney and bad news for Barack Obama, as some of his numbers fell off a rather large cliff.
Among Barack Obama supporters, panic seems to be setting in after his first debate performance was roundly panned. National polls have pulled back into a neck-and-neck contest. This is all fun for the pundits, who (pre-debate) were on the verge of declaring the race all but over (and, hence, boring), but we hasten to remind everyone that this is not how we elect presidents. The national popular vote is meaningless -- just ask Al Gore. Presidential elections are won and lost state by state, which is how this column series examines things.
While the overall split between the candidates hasn't changed a whole lot since last time, the dynamics of the race underlying the overall numbers has indeed shifted for both candidates. The news was slightly better for each candidate in some regards, and slightly worse in others. All around, Barack Obama is holding onto and improving on his post-convention bounce, and Mitt Romney continues to struggle to make any ground, while slightly strengthening his base.
As we approach the "convention season" in the race for the presidency, it behooves us to take another look at how the electoral math currently stands. Mitt Romney chose to announce his running mate rather early, which is just beginning to be reflected in the polling. But, starting next week, each party will likely get a noticeable "convention bump" in the polls. Because the two conventions are happening right after one another, this should stir the big data pot well into September. Which is why now is a good time to look at the state of the race, to establish a baseline to measure all this expected frenzied movement.
Since the last time we took such a snapshot, roughly three weeks ago, both candidates have shown some firming up of their positions, but the good news for both candidates is mixed with some softening as well.
As you can see, Obama started with an edge and has, for the most part, steadily maintained this edge. Currently, Obama has 56.3 percent of the Electoral Votes (henceforth "EV"), and Romney has 43.7 percent, with no ties at all. Obama has stayed roughly between 50 and 60 percent, with one dip slightly below the midpoint, since we started keeping data. Romney has stayed mostly in the 40 to 45 percent range, although he has dipped below this as well.
It's time once again to begin seriously taking a look at the electoral math for the upcoming election. I know, I know, everyone else is court-watching this week, but instead I decided to spend some time poll-watching, for those of you who may be getting tired of endless Supreme Court speculation and analysis.