I’m addicted to the website Real Clear Politics, like most political junkies, and these past few weeks I’ve increased my dose several times over. The last time I was this engaged in a presidential campaign was back in 2004, when, a couple of days before V-day the swing states, as if magically, lined up for Democratic candidate John Kerry. So I went with a Kerry prediction, which made me look like a total goat – in fact, a few loving readers, God bless their hearts, emailed me goat images for my personal amusement (and theirs).
I’m not doing that again. But I’ve been staring at the RCP maps for a whole lot of time and it looks like Obama has not been able to shake off the Romney hold, has not managed to break away from the tie. Today, 11/05/2012, Obama has 47.9% of the national vote, compared with Romney’s 47.4%. Yesterday – exactly the same numbers. Saturday, 11/03/2012, Obama 47.4%, Romney 47.2%. Romney’s numbers are tenacious, they’re not going to change come election day, in terms of the national vote. So, it comes down to the swing states’ vote.
Here’s the way the vote looks today in the states:
Clearly, neither candidate has been able to get even close to the needed 270 electoral votes. They’ve been stuck with these numbers since the debates, and the numbers show that the country, both on a national and on a state-by-state level, thinks both candidates are equally qualified for the job. That, by itself, is a big advantage for Romney. But it doesn’t seem to be enough to get him through the finish line. In fact, judging by the 2004 election, the close vote goes to the incumbent.
This is the map of the Tuesday, 11/6/2012 vote, if every swing state where Obama is leading goes to him, and every Romney-leaning state goes to Romney.
Obama wins handily. It’ll be far from a landslide, but a win is a win is win, and President Barack Obama will have received a mandate from the nation to carry out his agenda for four more years.
What options are open to Romney?
There’s one blue state in which the Obama lead is around half a percentage point, which means he has no lead at all. That’s Colorado. On the unhappy map above it shows blue, but, in reality, it could just as well be showing red. Romney can take Colorado, it’s a realistic expectation.
Colorado delivers 9 electoral votes. If Romney wins, his tally goes up to 257, Obama’s goes down to 281. That’s not enough, obviously.
Which brings us back to the ancient truism about Republican candidates after WW2 having to win Ohio. Take a look at the map – Ohio brings 18 seats. With all other states staying as they are, a red Ohio takes Romney/Ryan to the White House.
What are Romeny’s chances of winning Ohio? Surprisingly good. The RCP average gives Ohio to Obama right now at 2.9% advantage over Romney (49.4% – 46.5%). That’s just outside the margin of error, which means, with a lot of help from the weather, a get-out-the-vote infrastructure, the governor (Republican) and the secretary of state (Republican), and many local events – Ohio could just as easily go red as it could go blue.
Come back to the Jewish Press website election night, we’re planning to open a live chat forum for pundits and readers, yapping about the one thing about which we can no longer do anything…
By the way, the Redskins have lost their most recent game, which is one of the signs that the incumbent in Washington loses. See? We’re very scientific over here, at the Jewish Press online.