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DEPT. OF HANDWRINGING

Can Romney Win? A Tale of Three Maps

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.
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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.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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10 Responses to “Can Romney Win? A Tale of Three Maps”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    86% chance of Obama winning according to Nate Silver, largely because of an 87% chance of Obama carrying Ohio.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

    "the governor (Republican) and the secretary of state (Republican)".

    Given that Gov. Kasich is currently at 36% favorability, he is a liability for Romney, not a plus. His anti-union crusading has turned a lot of social conservatives into Democratic voters this year. In addition, a lot of Ohioans have already voted — 29% of the total 2008 turnout. I hope you aren't suggesting that they might steal the election for Romney.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Obama is also ahead (barely) in the last three public polls in Virginia.

  3. Yori Yanover says:

    You're enjoying yourself, aren't you, Charlie Hall…

  4. Gil Gilman says:

    Politics is not in my comfort zone, but want to add that Minnesota has a slight chance of going Red for the first time in post-modern history. That is only a 10 count. A recent poll showed Romney ahead by 1%.

    Also, Yori, you are so upbeat. Around these parts, people suspect both candidates of being equally unqualified for the position, and wonder why there have been no qualified candidates for a good long number of years.

    Bill Clinton is acting like Obama's shadow, as if to say that he is the only democrat with enough clout to pump up the Obama tires. If Romney should win the election, his coat tails will be non existent. What this amounts to is that the public will only be eating extremely digestible meals before voting.

  5. Gil Gilman says:

    Politics is not in my comfort zone, but want to add that Minnesota has a slight chance of going Red for the first time in post-modern history. That is only a 10 count. A recent poll showed Romney ahead by 1%.

    Also, Yori, you are so upbeat. Around these parts, people suspect both candidates of being equally unqualified for the position, and wonder why there have been no qualified candidates for a good long number of years.

    Bill Clinton is acting like Obama's shadow, as if to say that he is the only democrat with enough air to pump up the Obama tires. If Romney should win the election, his coat tails will be non existent. What this amounts to is that the public will only be eating extremely digestible meals before voting.

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