*Unless of course he doesn’t.
The Obama campaign is in trouble. The president’s senior advisers know it, and the liberal media know it. Romney’s commanding performance in the first presidential debate, or maybe I should say Obama’s snoozer performance, sparked a surge for Romney that has yet to dissipate.
With things looking bad for President Obama, and with only one week left to go, we are going to see a wave of last-minute polls that show Obama pulling ahead in key swing states where Romney has been either ahead or gaining on Obama for weeks. Count on it. In fact, it has already started with a slew of CBS/NYTimes polls this week showing Obama ahead by +5 in Ohio and marginally ahead in Virginia and Florida.
In case you are troubled/discouraged by these polls over this final week, refer back to our September 26 blog when we explained how many polls are “skewed” toward the president via over-sampling of Democrats. Expect to see a LOT of that between now and next Tuesday.
With that in mind, let’s jump into today’s analysis of where things stand.
As you may have guessed by the title of today’s blog, Spencer and I have come to the conclusion that the possibility of an Obama victory on Election Day is now remote. Not impossible, mind you, anything can happen. But the basic fact is that Obama is polling at an average of only 47% in the RealClearPolitics national poll tracker. This is bad for the president.
As the incumbent, you do not want to be polling 47% one week prior to the election. To be comfortable, he needs to be polling about 51% because the undecided voters break toward the challenger, in this case Mitt Romney, at a rate of about 3-1.
Also, the incumbent needs to be leading in early voting in the critical battleground states. Polling data suggests that, at best, Obama is lagging the 2008 early voter number by a wide margin (22%!) and is, at worst, actually trailing in the early voting. Gallup says Obama is not only trailing among early voters, but trailing badly (52-45). This is really bad for Obama!
IF this is the case, combined with a 47% poll number one week out, the chances of an Obama victory are slim. I have to say I never thought we would be here.
Here is a look at the Electoral map if Romney wins narrowly:
The above map represents what we believe to be the minimum likely Romney outcome. This outcome would give Romney 275 electoral votes. He would carry the battlegrounds of VA, FL, CO and OH. Romney has been leading in FL, CO and VA for a while, and he just took the lead in the most recent Rasmussen OH poll 50-48 (although Obama remains ahead in other less-credible polls).
Here is a look at the Electoral map if Romney wins BIG:
The above map represents 321 electoral votes, the maximum electoral yield we believe Romney can pull if everything swings his direction. I know this may seem hard to believe for some (maybe most) of you, but given the combination of skewed polls and the number of people who voted for Obama last time, but not this time, Romney could win by more than you might think.
Obama was ahead with women by 15-20 points three months ago; now the “gender gap” has evaporated to a tie – this is huge for Romney. As noted above, undecided voters are breaking 3-1 for Romney. Obama is polling very low for an incumbent (47%), and early voting is leaning Republican. Layer a bad economy over these factors and you have a recipe for change. This is what the ‘change’ electoral map could look like.
BUT, this only amounts to what we think will happen based on the data at hand. You can never be sure how election night will turn out. Ever. Can Obama somehow squeak out a win? Anything is possible, but at this late stage it is not likely. Be sure to vote!
Most likely, this will be our last “Election Special” blog. If something unusual happens in the election, we might have something to post next Wednesday. Or if Obama wins decisively, we might feel obligated to eat some crow (or maybe not).
In any event, we hope you have enjoyed these Wednesday blogs.