Head to head in polls it looks close but as I have said all along the path for Mitt Romney to win is obscure. While Obama has several paths to victory I still can’t see Romney’s path.
Some commentators are clinging to a forlorn hope that there will be a “Reagan Pivot“. Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan and his attempts to channel the Gipper have appeared as shallow as his sincerity.
RealClearpolitics has a No Toss Ups Map…which is where they make the call based ont heir extensive research and that map shows just how hard it is for Romney to win…he simply does not have enough in the Electoral College..and never has.
When you start looking at some of the key states you find that Romney’s maths don’t add up to any number near 270. Ohio is one of the key states that history says is key to win. RCP has that as a Obama state. Nate Silver agrees:
What I find confounding about this is that the argument we‚Äôre making is exceedingly simple. Here it is:
Obama‚Äôs ahead in Ohio.
A somewhat-more-complicated version:
Mr. Obama is leading in the polls of Ohio and other states that would suffice for him to win 270 electoral votes, and by a margin that has historically translated into victory a fairly high percentage of the time.
The argument that Mr. Obama isn‚Äôt the favorite is the one that requires more finesse. If you take the polls at face value, then the popular vote might be a tossup, but the Electoral College favors Mr. Obama.
The polls are clear on Ohio. It will fall for Obama.
Without Ohio the path for Romney is difficult. Without Wisconsin he is doomed, and though some are calling Wisconsin for Romney off the back of Gov. Scott Walker’s Republican victory there int he gubernatorial recall election. Those calls are like Labour claiming victory off the back of Len Brown’s victory in Auckland. It didn’t work for labour and it won’t work for Romney. Wisconsin is Obama’s too:
[O]n Friday the firm‚Äôs founder, Scott Rasmussen, said Wisconsin ‚Äúmay be the new Ohio.‚ÄĚ
It‚Äôs a good story line, which some of the media will run with, but I don‚Äôt quite believe it. In 2008, Obama carried Wisconsin by fourteen points. Since Labor Day, more than a dozen polls have been carried out there, and Romney has yet to lead in one of them. (Friday‚Äôs Rasmussen poll is the only survey to show a tie.) Still, Obama‚Äôs average lead in the five polls carried out during the past two weeks is only 2.2 per cent, which is narrow enough to make it interesting, especially with Ryan on hand to rally the G.O.P. voters, and Tommy Thompson, who served four terms as governor, running for the Senate.
Obama basically has a ‘firewall‘ in the Electoral College…one that Romney will find impossible to breach.
There were 12 polls published on Wednesday among Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. Mr. Obama held the lead in 11 of the 12 surveys; the exception was a survey by the University of Iowa, which had Mr. Obama down by about one point there, but also had a very small sample size (about 300 likely voters). On average, Mr. Obama led in the polls of these states by 3.9 percentage points.
None of this ought to have been surprising, exactly, if you have been attentive to the polls rather than the pundits. It was a pretty good day of surveys for Mr. Obama but not a great one: for the most part, the polls were coming in close to FiveThirtyEight forecasts in each state, give or take a modest outlier here and there.
Rather, the polls in these states confirmed what we already knew: that Mr. Obama remains the favorite in the Electoral College.
Mr. Obama is not a sure thing, by any means. It is a close race. His chances of holding onto his Electoral College lead and converting it into another term areequivalent to the chances of an N.F.L. team¬†winning when it leads by a field goal with three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, and sometimes they will.
But it turns out that an N.F.L. team that leads by a field goal with three minutes left to go winds up winning the game 79 percent of the time. Those were Mr. Obama‚Äôs chances in the FiveThirtyEight forecast as of Wednesday: 79 percent.
Not coincidentally, these are also about Mr. Obama‚Äôs chances of winning Ohio, according to the forecast.
The final nail in Romney’s coffin is the so-called “Mittmentum”…simply put, it doesn’t exist:
If Mr. Romney has the¬†momentum in the polls, then this should imply that his polls are continuing to get better: that they were a little better this week than last week, and a bit better last week than the week before. So these polls are further broken down into three different periods of about 10 days each, based on when the poll was conducted.
What type of polling average is this, by the way? About the simplest possible one: I‚Äôve just averaged together all the polls of likely voters in the FiveThirtyEight database, applying no other weighting or ‚Äúsecret sauce.‚ÄĚ
If you evaluate the polls in this way, there is not much evidence of ‚Äúmomentum‚ÄĚ toward Mr. Romney. Instead, the case that the polls have moved slightly toward Mr. Obama is stronger.
In 9 of the 11 battleground states, Mr. Obama‚Äôs polls have been better over the past 10 days than they were immediately after the Denver debate. The same is true for the national polls, whether or not tracking polls (which otherwise dominate the average) are included.
Now you can attack me all you like, but those are the simple bare-faced facts there for all to see, if only people would peek beyond their blinkers. I don’t like that Obama is winning, I can;t think of anything worse for America, but it is what it is.
The only thing now will be people shoring up their excuses…bias polls, Hurricane Sandy, pinko media…it all matters not..Obama has the firewall and until the GOP can work out a way to secure stronger states then it is going to be difficult.
As i have said before…one way or the other Leighton Smith and I are going to have a superb lunch on Friday, one of us will pay and the other will not.