Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who Will Win?

UPDATE VIII:  "In recent days, the vibe emanating from Mitt Romney’s campaign has grown downright giddy. Despite a lack of any evident positive momentum over the last week — indeed, in the face of a slight decline from its post-Denver high — the Romney camp is suddenly bursting with talk that it will not only win but win handily. (“We’re going to win,” said one of the former Massachusetts governor’s closest advisers. “Seriously, 305 electoral votes.”)

This is a bluff. Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy."  Read New York Magazine, Romney Says He’s Winning — It’s a Bluff. 

Also, read The Atlantic, Despite a Strong Debate Campaign, Romney's Path to 270 Remains Steep,  which notes "[n]ational polls show a tight race, but the campaign has stabilized and the map still favors Obama. . .

If Obama carries Ohio and Wisconsin, where he is ahead in most polling, he gets the 270 with one electoral vote to spare, so Romney could sweep Colorado, Florida, Iowa, and New Hampshire and still come up short. No matter how you cut it, Ohio is the pivotal state, and it isn't just the history of having gone with every winner from 1964 on and with no Republican ever capturing the White House without it.

To be sure, this race is so close that it clearly can go either way, but the Obama electoral path looks less steep than the one Romney must traverse, and the final debate seems unlikely to have altered that fact."

UPDATE VII:  If forecasts are correct there are now only seven of an original nine battleground states left to be decided: "Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire, Florida and Wisconsin."  Read Politico, 2012: The battle for 7 states

From below you'll note that the swing state most likely to flip to Romney was North Carolina, and it is expected to.  However, it appears that Nevada will not. And according to that earlier estimate, if Romney can't win Ohio, Wisconsin, or New Hampshire he won't get at least 270 electoral votes.

UPDATE VI:  For up-to-the-date polling on the election and who is favored to win, see Real Clear Politics, General Election: Romney vs. Obama, which includes links to Electoral College predictions.

UPDATE V:  "Four stories are at the heart of any campaign. If you understand them, you know who controls the message — and with it, perhaps the election. These stories make up what campaign strategists call the 'message grid,' which has four quadrants. The first two comprise the positive stories the candidates are telling about themselves; the other two feature the negative stories each candidate is telling about the other.

In some elections, one quadrant of the grid dominates the conversation — for example, when the economy or a candidate is particularly strong or weak. Campaigns jostle for position on the grid, trying to emphasize the stories they prefer and to alter elements of the stories their opponents are effectively telling. In 2008, the stars were aligned for a new and exciting candidate to tell a story about hope and change after eight years of fear and loathing, skillfully turning his 'different-ness' into an asset.

But 2012 is not 2008. This year, the stories President Obama and Mitt Romney can tell about themselves are just not that compelling. In contrast, the stories they have to tell about each other are far more powerful."

Read the Washington Post, The candidates’ message: I might be so-so, but the other guy is terrible.

UPDATE IV:  Read the Washington Post, Forecasting the election: Most models say Obama will win. But not all.

UPDATE III:  "[T]he campaigns themselves don’t much care about national polls. They’re focused on 8-12 battleground states. That’s pretty much all they care about. And they have a lot of information on what’s going on in those states. . .

[The] list the swing states from most likely to flip to Romney to least likely to flip to Romney:

    1. North Carolina
    2. Iowa
    3. Florida
    4. Colorado
    5. Virginia
    6. Nevada
    7. Ohio
    8. Wisconsin
    9. New Hampshire

Their conclusion:

'What’s striking about this list is if you give Romney the Top 4 (NC, IA, FL, and CO) that only gets him to 250 electoral votes. And if you give him the next two on the list (VA and NV), he’s still one short of 270 (bringing us to that 269-269 tie). That means he has to put one of Ohio, Wisconsin, or New Hampshire into the mix to get past 270. Bottom line: Romney’s map to 270 is more than doable, but it’s also a high-wire act.'

Read the Washington Post, Romney’s tough road to 270.  

UPDATE II: National polls show Obama leading Obamney by an average of 1.3%.  But a more complicated analysis estimates Obama's lead at about 3.5%.  Why?

Because, the "United States of America is a constitutional republic made up of 50 states and the District of Columbia."

Read The New York Times, State and National Polls Tell Different Tales About State of Campaign.

UPDATE: The latest prediction, from the Washington Post:

"The first look at the 2012 FiveThirtyEight presidential forecast has Barack Obama as a very slight favorite to win re-election. But his advantage equates to only a two-point lead in the national popular vote, and the edge could easily swing to Mitt Romney on the basis of further bad economic news.

Mr. Obama remains slightly ahead of Mr. Romney in most national polls, and he has had a somewhat clearer advantage in polling conducted at the state level. Mr. Obama would be about 80 percent likely to win an election held today, according to the model.

However, the outlook for the Nov. 6 election is much less certain, with Mr. Obama having winning odds of just over 60 percent. The forecast currently calls for Mr. Obama to win roughly 290 electoral votes, but outcomes ranging everywhere from about 160 to 390 electoral votes are plausible, given the long lead time until the election and the amount of news that could occur between now and then. Both polls and economic indicators are a pretty rough guide five months before an election."

For an in-depth analysis of the 2012 general election, read The New York Times, Election Forecast: Obama Begins With Tenuous Advantage.

And for a "killer calculus of the president’s re-election chances," read these prior posts, Obama in 2012 and Obama in 2012?, Another Forecast Model.