Adding Obama’s Electoral Votes

Why We Worry / Prognostications Desk

Media reporting tends inexplicably to focus on national poll numbers, when the race will ultimately be decided by state-level votes in a half dozen or so battlegrounds. The national numbers are useful only for assessing a candidate’s general level of support, which might maybe possibly help predict how toss-up contests will end. In terms of this general support, President Obama has a lead of a few points and the sense is that he’s likelier to win – a sense strengthened in the last few weeks.

Considering the current state-by-state polls, Obama’s chances look even better. If we assume Obama will win every state where he’s up by at least 7%, he’s at 247 Electoral Votes. If we assume Obama will win every state where he’s up by at least 4%, he passes the 270 Electoral Vote threshold. How it adds up for Obama:

Solid / Very Likely: 201

Up by at least 7%: 247 (MI, PA, WI)

Up by at least 4%: 278 (OH, VA)

Leading: 332 (CO, FL, IA, NH, NV)

Based on these numbers, the contests in Ohio and Virginia look particularly crucial. If Obama extends his lead in these states, he will almost certainly win. How it adds up for Romney:

Solid / Very Likely: 150

Up by at least 7%: 191 (AZ, IN, MO, SC)

Up by at least 4%: 191

Leading: 206 (NC)



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