Thursday, September 06, 2012

not close

i realize i can't assume that nate silver's election model will turn out to be right, but if you do trust his model, obama seems to be creaming romney. check out these charts i grabbed from his site:

obama has been consistently ahead since the model launched in june. in the past few weeks the spread has been widening. every time i look at it i think "can that really be right?" and yet other state-by-state survey of the projected electoral vote also seem to have obama ahead by a substantial margin, at least the models that require each electoral vote to be assigned to a candidate.for example, currently has the president leading 332-206.

other models that allow for a "toss up" category also all have the president as clearly ahead, though not with the requisite 270 E.V.s he needs to win. real clear politics has the president ahead 221-191, with 126 E.V.s a "toss up." freedom's lighthouse has the same projection as RCP. CNN projects obama ahead 237-191, with 110 "unallocated." the huffington post's projection stands at 247-191 with 100 a "toss up." PBS newshour is at 247-206 with 67 a "tossup" (one word on that site). karl rove's map has obama ahead 225-191  with 122 a "toss up." the washington post has obama ahead 237-206 with 95 E.V.s a "toss-up" (the WaPo hyphenates). joe trippi's map (click on his name at this fox news site) is at 252-191 for obama with 95 E.V.s a "toss up."

the bottom line is that while there are enough too close to call states to give romney a path to victory, he is not currently ahead in any state-by-state analysis. and among the models that attempt to project which way those toss up states will go, romney is losing quite badly. don't let the closeness of national polls fool you. the american presidency is not decided by a popular vote, it's decided by electoral votes. and that count has a clear favorite.

ADDING: i got an email directing my attention to this study by nerd wallet. the study concludes that romney has only a 25.2% chance of winning the election based on the polls of the individual states that he needs to win. that's actually slightly more optimistic for romney than silver's projection, which currently gives mittens only a 23.7% chance at winning.