Friday, September 7, 2012

2012 Presidential Election Map: September Edition

The sprint to Election Day is underway, and only a handful of states remain truly competitive. Both the Romney campaign and Crossroads GPS are at least temporarily pulling out of Pennsylvania and Michigan, two large but expensive states where Republicans were always slightly behind. That leaves Mitt Romney with a narrow but viable path to victory. He must sweep Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina, and then win either Wisconsin or, more likely, Iowa.

Fivethirtyeight's state-by-state forecasts show Obama as the favorite in four of the five inner swing states (Silver's model also suggests Colorado is as competitive as Ohio and Iowa, even though Obama's lead in that state has been more persistent). In fact, if you naively multiply Romney's win probabilities in these states, he has a vanishingly small 0.7% chance of winning the Electoral College. Now, obviously, win probabilities in each state are not purely independent. If Mitt Romney wins Wisconsin, that's a strong signal that he will also win Iowa. But it does demonstrate that that Obama is firmly in the drivers seat as we head into the final eight weeks of the election.
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