It’s still Obama’s to lose

29 Oct

A while back we looked at how things might go on election day for President Obama and Mitt Romney.

At that time, it looked as if Obama was a shoo-in for re-election.

The debates are out-of-the-way and we are in the last 10 days – and the picture is now a bit different.

Let’s revisit our crystal ball for election eve.

This presidential race is a dead heat, and Mitt Romney could still very well become our next president.

But right at this moment, the state polling averages support the view that Obama is currently on track to victory.

The state polls do not support the Romney campaign’s view of the election.

Most agree that Mitt Romney’s post debate momentum has stalled, leaving Obama with a lead in the electoral college.

There’s no doubt the first presidential debate was a disaster for Obama.

It allowed Romney to get back those voters he lost in September following the uninspired convention and the “I don’t care about the 47 percent” comments that were leaked.

We’ve had two debates since where Obama showed up prepared and energized.

There wasn’t much movement afterwards and the argument can be made the race has settled in.

Obama retains a small but consistent lead in the battleground states both individually and in total.

Unless there is a so-called “October surprise”, there isn’t much that will change things.

The Romney campaign, meanwhile, argues that the race is tied in Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and New Hampshire, that he is within a couple of points in Nevada, and is leading in Florida and Virginia.

It all comes down to whether one believes the state polling averages or not.

If you do, they show more support to the Obama.

As of this past weekend, the averages of three reputable polls show Obama with leads of at least two points in Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Iowa.

Some of the averages show slightly larger leads in Wisconsin, Nevada and Iowa.

Meanwhile, two other polls show the race within one point in Virginia, and in Florida.

One poll has Romney ahead by 1.8 points in Florida.

Looking at the averages, the race is tighter in Virginia and Florida than it is in Ohio.

The picture these averages give us is that Obama has a small lead in four major battlegrounds — more than enough to put Obama past the needed 270 electoral votes to win – if he wins them.

The race is tighter in two battlegrounds where Romney leads.

Romney does have a sizable lead in North Carolina.

And in Colorado, two polls show Obama with a slight edge; one puts Romney up.
So let’s call it a tie.

New Hampshire is essentially tied in the aggregate of the averages, too.

Now to tie it all together:

For the sake of argument, give the tied states to Romney.

Here’s the basic state of things: If you give Romney all the states where he is leading or tied in the averages — Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, New Hampshire — he is still short of 270 electoral votes.

Meanwhile, if you give Obama just the states where he leads in the averages, he wins reelection.

What about the national polls?

Two major polls put Romney’s national lead at one point.

One other puts Obama slightly up.

That’s consistent with a national dead heat.

But even if you concede that Romney does hold a small national edge, the aggregates of the polling suggest — for now, at least — that this advantage is not enough to prevent Obama from holding enough of a lead in the electoral college to put him past 270.

This does not mean Romney won’t win.

And it does not mean Romney won’t take the lead between now and Election Day in these battleground averages.

That’s our take on where it stands today.

Anything can change in the next week.

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