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Romney’s chance to win still only 28%

Posted by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 3:59 AM
  • 12 Replies

Nate Silver, guru of polling over at the NYT, reminds us to keep all of Mitt Romney’s recent polling momentum, post the grand debate, in perspective.

Romney Has a 28% Chance at Victory

Yes, Romney did well during the debate. And yes, it gave him a bump in the polls. So instead of a 13.9% chance of winning before that first debate, Romney now has a 28% chance of winning. That’s a good deal of orward momentum – Nate estimates it as a post-debate bounce of 2.5% – but the bounce may be fading now, and it wasn’t nearly enough to catch up to the President’s lead. A 28% chance of winning is still pretty lousy.

Nate feels that Obama still holds a slight lead nationwide:

First, is it really likely that Mr. Romney leads the race by 4 points right now? The consensus of the evidence, particularly the national tracking polls, would suggest otherwise. Instead, the forecast model’s conclusion is that the whole of the data is still consistent with a very narrow lead for Mr. Obama, albeit one that is considerably diminished since Denver.

The last thing to consider is that the fundamentals of the race aren’t consistent with a 4-point lead for Mr. Romney. Instead, the most recent economic numbers, and Mr. Obama’s approval ratings, would seem to point to an election in which he is the slight favorite. We don’t use approval ratings in our forecast, but we do use the economic data, and both the monthly payrolls report and the broader FiveThirtyEight economic index would point toward an election in which Mr. Obama is favored in the popular vote by around 2.5 percentage points.

How can the candidates be so close in the polls, yet so far apart in terms of their percent chance of winning? Because national polls don’t tell you much about how each candidate is faring in the various states. And, as we all learned far too well in 2000, you can win the national vote and lose the election by losing in the electoral college, i.e., losing in the states.

In Key Swing States, Obama Doing Better Than Romney

Let’s look at the key states that remain in play, via AP:

A month before Election Day, that means both candidates are concentrating their precious time and money in the handful of states that still seem to be competitive: Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.

Now, state by state, Per Nate – you can see that while things are close, only 1 of the 9 is going Romney’s way, while possibly 5 are going Obama’s:

North Carolina: Likely Romney

Colorado: Toss-up

Florida: Toss-up

Virginia: Toss-up

Iowa: Lean Obama

Ohio: Lean Obama

New Hampshire: Likely Obama

Nevada: Likely Obama

Wisconsin: Likely Obama

And here’s Politico’s take on the state of play in the swing states, and the total electoral vote count estimate:

Early Voting Puts Romney At A Disadvantage

Now, if Romney continues to do better in the national polls, you may seem the same effect percolate down to the key swing states. The question is “is it enough,” and “is it in time.” The first is obvious, the second deals with early voting. More from the National Conference of State Legislatures:

Two-thirds of the states–32, plus the District of Columbia–offer some sort of early voting. Early voting allows voters to visit an election official’s office or, in some states, other satellite voting locations, and cast a vote in person without offering an excuse for why the voter is unable to vote on election day. Satellite voting locations vary by state, and may include other county and state offices (besides the election official’s office), grocery stores, shopping malls, schools, libraries, and other locations.

The time period for early voting varies from state to state:

The date on which early voting begins may be as early as 45 days before the election, or as late as the Friday before the election. The average starting time for early voting across all 32 states is 22 days before the election.

Early voting typically ends just a few days before Election Day: on the Thursday before the election in three states, the Friday before in nine states, the Saturday before in five states, and the Monday before Election Day in 11 states.

Early voting periods range in length from four days to 45 days; the average across all 32 states is 19 days.

At least 12 of the 32 early voting states require that early vote centers be open on at least one Saturday or Sunday during the early voting period. Others give county or local officials the authority to determine the hours for early voting.

So a lot of people are voting BEFORE election day. How many? Try a third of the electorate:

“I am forecasting in this election cycle that about 35 percent of the vote will be cast before Election Day,” George Mason University professor Michael McDonald, who researches early voting behavior, told TPM. “We know 78 percent of all votes in Colorado were cast prior to Election Day in 2008, and it probably will be around 85 percent in 2012. The election will essentially be won or lost before Election Day unless it’s a tight, narrow, razor-thin margin.”

Romney and Obama need to convince those voters long before November 6. NPR has more – let’s look at a few of the swing states. I’ve organized them by when early voting begins/began:

VA: Absentee voting and early in-person voting began Sept. 22.

IA: Early voting began Sept. 27.

OH: Early voting began Oct. 2.

NC: Absentee voting began Sept. 6, while early in-person voting begins Oct. 18.

NV: Absentee voting begins Oct. 17, while early in-person voting begins Oct. 20.

WI: Absentee voting began Sept. 20, while early in-person voting begins Oct. 22.

CO: Absentee voting begins Oct. 15, while early in-person voting begins Oct. 22.

FL: Absentee voting began Oct. 2, while early in-person voting begins Oct. 27.

NH: Absentee voting began Sept. 22.

So, in three of the swing states – VA, IA and OH – early voting has already begun. That means that either candidate’s momentum in the coming weeks could become increasingly less relevant as votes are already cast.

What a fun system we have.

by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 3:59 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Nikki on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM


by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Interesting read. TFS!

by Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM
1 mom liked this

What a fun system we have.

LOL, yeah really.  Thanks for sharing, that was interesting.

by Linnette on Oct. 10, 2012 at 7:15 PM
Thanks for sharing!
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by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 6:54 AM
Hmmm... Interesting...
Thanks for sharing.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Silver Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM

 maybe early voting is being done by Dem but here the Rep have done a good bunch of mailing reminders for early voting--personally I am for only voting on election day--I want every last scrap of information available prior to voting and the debates are all in Oct. Have you read all the amendments? I am voting NO on every one--even though a couple would directly help me. Several of those exemptions are going to benefit a few tax payers but mostly benefit real estate and anytime someone gets an extra exemption someone else pays their share. The one titled religious freedom means that our tax dollars can support someones school tied to a religion--you may think oh my school will benefit--but by the time its spread over every one that would be entitled --think wiccans, hindus, muslims, catholics, jews and how many protestant religions and all the odd ones that are out there, just what do you think we will have--public schools are already in decline and those wanting religious instruction as part of the curriculum pay for the privilege--there was a reason our founding fathers wanted religion and government separate  

by Colleen on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM

You never know.The votes arent all in until nov.

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Yes it is and You're welcome

Quoting MamaBear2cubs:


by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM

You're absolutely right. GOTV

Quoting momofsixangels:

You never know.The votes arent all in until nov.

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM
That's true!
It ain't over till its over

Quoting momofsixangels:

You never know.The votes arent all in until nov.

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