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Author Topic: States to watch
G3
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IMHO, you gotta watch Florida, Virginia and Ohio. Romney takes those and he's the next president. Without all 3 breaking for Romney, I think Obama takes this thing.

The RCP average has Romney up 1.8 in Florida - a state that has gone GOP in 2 of the last 3 elections. This is looking like a Romney win right now.

RCP average in Virginia is a tie. This is also a state that went GOP in 2 of the last 3 elections and the trending is going very hard to Romney over the last few polls. He very well may take this one.

That leaves Ohio as the true tossup when you look at polling - maybe even a Obama win if you take the polls at face value. But here's why you should not. What were the election results in 2010 in Ohio? Anybody know? Let's let the NYT spell it out:
quote:
The defeat of Gov. Ted Strickland by John Kasich, a Republican, was one of the most painful outcomes of the election for Democrats and President Obama, who campaigned repeatedly in Ohio, as did Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former President Bill Clinton.

The ouster of 5 of the 10 Democrats serving in Ohio’s 18-member Congressional delegation also caused Democrats plenty of heartburn.

But a string of other local Republican victories in the state could hurt Democrats for years to come.

Republicans defeated Democrats in all major races for statewide office ...

It was a GOP landslide in 2010 and there's no reason to believe that's changed - in fact, there's every reason to believe it's stayed the same or gotten better.

Now, what's the polling? A Oct 22 CBS News/Quinnipiac poll gives Barry a 5 point lead (down from 10 points in September - there's that momentum shift). How did they get the 5 point lead? By doing the sample 35D/34I/26R. Yes, give Barry a 9 point advantage in a state that went in a landslide to Republicans 2 years ago ... sure. And even then, he only ekes out a barely outside the MOE 5 point lead.

Ohio is in play.

My dark horse state: Pennsylvania. This is currently in the toss up category on the RCP average although Barry does have the edge (blue state the last 3 elections). However, you can't threaten coal mining and make friends there.

FL, VA, OH. Anybody else got a state they're watching?

[ October 25, 2012, 12:19 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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JoshuaD
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I think your analysis is way off. Florida and Virginia are almost certainly going to Mr. Romney.

Ohio is likey going to Mr. Obama, but it could swing the other way.

The election is likely going to be decided by the other, smaller states: Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

Here's my analysis from earlier today that I posted to Fb:

quote:
270 electoral votes wins the election.

Mr. Obama has 237 locked up.
Mr. Romney has 235 locked up.

The remaining "swing" states are:
Ohio (18)
Virginia (13)
Wisconsin (10) [Mr. Ryan's home state]
Colorado (9)
Iowa (6)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)

Virginia (13) will most likely go to Mr. Romney. The polls have been solidly in his favor there by a few % points, and historically it has been a Republican state (with the exception of 2008).

Ohio (18), Iowa (6), and Wisconsin (10), collectively being referred to as "The Midwest Firewall" all favor Mr. Obama, but the margins are very close. Some polls show solid (but small) leads for Mr. Obama in these states, and some polls show a dead even race. Most of the "collective" polls (i.e. systems that look at a bunch of polls and average them together intelligently) have a slight favor towards Obama in these states.

Colorado (9) is sometimes lumped in as part of the firewall, but it has more confused polling. Most of the collective polling systems seem to suggest small margins favoring Mr. Obama, but some polls are showing a significant edge for Mr. Romney.

Nevada (6) seems to have a small but solid edge in Mr. Obama's favor.

New Hampshire (4) is a close state, but most polls suggest that it favors Mr. Obama.

The most likely routes to victory for Mr. Romney are:
Virginia + Wisconsin + Colorado
Virginia + Colorado + Iowa + Nevada + New Hampshire
Ohio + Virginia

Mr. Obama's most likely route to victory is to secure his "midwest firewall":
Ohio + Wisconsin + Colorado

Or by losing one piece of the firewall, but picking up enough ground elsewhere to offset:
Ohio + Wisconsin + {Iowa, Nevada, or New Hapmshire}
Ohio + Colorado {Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire}

A 269-269 split can occur if Mr. Romney wins Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, and Mr. Obama wins the rest. This results in some crazy stuff. By the 12th amendment, the house of representatives chooses the President (with each state getting one vote, as opposed to each representative getting a vote), and the almost certain result would be Mr. Romney. However, the Senate chooses the VP, and it's very likely that they would choose Mr. Biden.



[ October 25, 2012, 12:34 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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Wayward Son
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My go-to place for election forecasts is FiveThirtyEight.com, and Nate had an interesting article a couple of days ago: "Ohio Has 50-50 Chance of Deciding The Election."

quote:
But this year, all the clichés about Ohio are true. In our most recent simulations, Ohio has provided the decisive vote in the Electoral College about 50 percent of the time.
Whoever Ohio picks will win it (IMHO).

FiveThirtyEight also has a nice state-by-state breakdown, under "State-by-State" projections on the sidebar.

Currently, he has Colorado as a tossup (52% chance for Obama), Florida to Romney (68% chance), Iowa and Nevada to Obama (66% and 76% chance, respectively), and Ohio to Obama (73% chance). Virginia is a tossup (53% chance for Obama), while Wisconsin is Obama's (82% chance).

Of course, these odds can change with each new poll that comes out.

[ October 25, 2012, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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TCB
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G3 said:
quote:
[Ohio] was a GOP landslide in 2010 and there's no reason to believe that's changed - in fact, there's every reason to believe it's stayed the same or gotten better.
Well, there was the resounding defeat of Issue 2 (an anti-union measure championed by the GOP) in 2011. It was a big deal in Ohio last year, indicating that the pendulum has swung back to the left somewhat substantially - maybe not enough that Romney can't win, but enough that, if he does, it will be close.
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JoshCrow
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Oh man, I think the prospect of an electoral college tie resulting in a Romney/Biden administration is almost too funny to pass up. It would also leave Ryan out of things, which makes me happy since I tend to see Romney more favorably than his running mate.

[ October 25, 2012, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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TomDavidson
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To be honest, if Biden were Romney's running mate, I would not be voting for Obama. I am only voting this year specifically to keep Ryan out of the White House.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Of course, these odds can change with each new poll that comes out.

That's why I look at RCP average a lot, it tends to smooth the polling results out and give you a a more reliable trend (reliable polling may be an oxymoron though).
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Wayward Son
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Then from the RCP average for Ohio you'll see that Obama is still the leader in that race, even if you discount the CBS News/Quinnipiac poll. But only by a hair.

So, yeah, Ohio's still in play. And probably Romney's most important state.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Then from the RCP average for Ohio you'll see that Obama is still the leader in that race, even if you discount the CBS News/Quinnipiac poll. But only by a hair.

So, yeah, Ohio's still in play. And probably Romney's most important state.

Precisely why I gave that one extra attention. Barry's up, but just barely - within the MOE of all the polls - and only by giving him what seems to be a unsupportable advantage of nearly double digit leads in the sampling given recent history there.

I think it's much more in play than even the RCP average indicates.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
To be honest, if Biden were Romney's running mate, I would not be voting for Obama. I am only voting this year specifically to keep Ryan out of the White House.

Could you give me a short summary of why you feel so strongly about Mr. Ryan? I know you and I disagree about the role of government, but I don't understand the strong vitriol you feel. I understood it with Sarah Palin. With Mr. Ryan I don't.
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hobsen
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JoshuaD's analysis seems on target, and G3's remark, "(Ohio) was a GOP landslide in 2010 and there's no reason to believe that's changed" is simply untrue. Republican voters tend to be older - many retirees - and they are much more likely to vote in every election. In this case Ohio voters have been flooded with information about the crucial role likely to be played by their state, and turnout can be expected to be very high. Moreover Democrats have expected for months that Ohio would be critical, and I expect they will send a horde of campaign workers to the state to get out their vote.
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TomDavidson
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Joshua: I live about 15 minutes north of Paul Ryan's district, and I've seen what he's done to it. He's been a major player in the gutting of my state, and there are only a couple figures in Wisconsin politics that have been more harmful to the prosperity and community of the region.
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G3
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Saying it's untrue is simply untrue.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Joshua: I live about 15 minutes north of Paul Ryan's district, and I've seen what he's done to it. He's been a major player in the gutting of my state, and there are only a couple figures in Wisconsin politics that have been more harmful to the prosperity and community of the region.

Yeah, practically a 3rd world nation ain't it? [Roll Eyes]
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Joshua: I live about 15 minutes north of Paul Ryan's district, and I've seen what he's done to it. He's been a major player in the gutting of my state, and there are only a couple figures in Wisconsin politics that have been more harmful to the prosperity and community of the region.

What did he do exactly? I'm not at all familiar with Wisconsin politics.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
Saying it's untrue is simply untrue.

Got any reasons why we should believe you over hobson?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Yeah, practically a 3rd world nation ain't it?
It's pretty hard right now. I'm in a good position, myself, but a lot of my friends and neighbors are out of work and the state's economy has nosedived relative to the rest of the country since Republicans took over the government a couple years back.

-------

Joshua: broadly, Ryan's a proponent of outsourcing and capitalizing as many functions as possible, and has regularly pushed for moving shared social costs to local governments down from the state level (and moving costs from the federal government down to the state.) While this is entirely consistent with his ideology -- he's a True Believer, unlike Romney, except insofar as he was (perfectly understandably) willing to scrabble for pork for his district like everybody else -- it's meant that Wisconsin's response to the nationwide recession has been, in practice, to cut back on services while paying more for them. Because Republicans control the government, though, they've been able to stage the disclosure of the reports revealing this cost so that they're buried in the news cycle, meaning that he's been able (along with Scott Walker and the Fitzgeralds) to crow about Wisconsin's incredible "successes" to people who aren't paying attention or actually examining metrics for success. He's also obnoxiously Catholic, an inveterate braggart and self-aggrandizing liar, and generally a fist-pumping, popped-collar douchebag who has figured out that as long as he's willing to cite crap, no one will actually examine his citations.

[ October 25, 2012, 08:17 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Viking_Longship
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If you look at the RCP map with no toss ups Romney has to take Fl, OH and Va to win. Obama has to have one of them to win.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
He's also obnoxiously Catholic
Which I find hard to square with his admiration with Ayn Rand.
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TomDavidson
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I didn't say he was consistently or sensibly Catholic. [Smile]
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
Saying it's untrue is simply untrue.

Got any reasons why we should believe you over hobson?
Well Dr. Hfuhruhurr, I suggest you start at the top of the thread.
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JoshuaD
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Tom: thanks foe your thpughts . ::-)

Viking: Mr. Romney is certainly winning Florida and is very likely winning VA. Ohio has a good chance of going to the president, however. That's why I'm focusing on those other Midwest states.

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Viking_Longship
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RCP if you choose "no toss ups" indeed shows Romney winning in Fla and Va, but Obama winning Ohio and the midwest. I suspect G3 is calling this right.
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G3
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It's possible we could see a popular vote win for Mitt but a electoral vote win for Barry. Very exciting....
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G3
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Joshua called Wisconsin as in play, and he's right, Rasmussen has it at 48% each among the LV, plus:
quote:
Ninety-six percent (96%) of Badger State voters say they are sure to vote in this election. Romney leads 51% to 47% among these voters.

Among the 90% who say they’ve already made up their minds whom they will vote for, it’s Romney 51%, Obama 48%.

Even it Mitt takes Wisconsin, I think he still needs Ohio unless the other small state Joshua mentioned all break for Mitt - seems hard to do but it could happen.

[ October 26, 2012, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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hobsen
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A week ago Real Clear Politics estimated Romney had more states locked up in his favor than Obama did, but that Obama had a slight lead in the toss up states. Today they are suggesting Obama has 201 certain electoral college votes to Romney's 191, but that without tossups the polls suggest Obama would win by 281 to 257. RCP takes a very crude approach by just averaging polls published without any screening for quality, but there are so many polls being published now that this may work. And it does suggest Romney may win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College, as happens from time to time. Even with all the passions aroused, the polls suggest voters have no clear favorite in this election, and if the eventual winner claims a mandate he will be vastly overstating his success.

What is more certain is that Republicans will have a big advantage in the House and Democrats in the Senate. That should produce gridlock in any case, but if Romney unseats a sitting President infuriated Democrats will block everything he proposes and try to throw him out in 2016. And if he accomplishes nothing, they should have an excellent chance of that. At a time it is not clear Congress could do anything about U.S. problems even with good cooperation, a Romney win should mean nothing at all can be done.

In my dispute with G3, I was making too literal an interpretation of his words. After all, if just one voter has died since 2010, that is literally a reason the 2012 election might turn out differently - and he said there were no reasons. But my real objection is that I think it makes some sense to compare the 2012 election with 2008, and advance reasons 2012 might turn out differently, but that comparing 2012 to 2010 is like comparing apples to oranges. Statistical analysis suggests a very slight negative correlation between successive elections, meaning the party which won one is slightly more likely to lose the next - but it is so slight outcomes are essentially a coin toss even if that negative correlation is real.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
It's possible we could see a popular vote win for Mitt but a electoral vote win for Barry. Very exciting....

There's even a potential electoral tie this year.
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Greg Davidson
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Ties go to the likely Republican majority in the House to elect the President; but at least a Democratic majority in the Senate would enable a Democrat as Vice President.
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edgmatt
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JoshuaD covered that part already...

quote:
A 269-269 split can occur if Mr. Romney wins Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, and Mr. Obama wins the rest. This results in some crazy stuff. By the 12th amendment, the house of representatives chooses the President (with each state getting one vote, as opposed to each representative getting a vote), and the almost certain result would be Mr. Romney. However, the Senate chooses the VP, and it's very likely that they would choose Mr. Biden.

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Greg Davidson
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I knew I read it somewhere [Smile]
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AI Wessex
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If the electoral college ends up in a tie and the House and Senate elect Romney and Biden, I would expect to see the official position of Executive Food Taster come into being.
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edgmatt
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[LOL]
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Ties go to the likely Republican majority in the House to elect the President; but at least a Democratic majority in the Senate would enable a Democrat as Vice President.

This would be fun to watch. Biden would probably be barred from entering the Whitehouse, attending any official events or speaking on behalf of the administration. He'd finally be reduced to the insignificant court jester he truly is.
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JoshuaD
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G3: stop it.
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G3
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JoshuaD: No, you stop it.

[ October 29, 2012, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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G3
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Since I'm saying Ohio is the final key, I'll track it a bit:

quote:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters shows Romney with 50% support to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes some other candidate, while another one percent (1%) remains undecided.
The MOE is 4% so it's a toss up but last week Rasmussen had it 48-48 so the trend, such as it is, is developing there.

Interesting:
quote:
National security has been an area where the president has typically had an advantage over Romney this year. But, the Republican challenger now has a 52% to 42% advantage on the issue.

<snip>

... just 46% of the state’s voters now approve of the job he is doing. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove. This includes Strong Approval from 29% and Strong Disapproval from 44%, giving the president a slightly worse job approval rating in Ohio than he earns nationally.

Forty-seven percent (47%) have a favorable opinion of the president and 52% have an unfavorable view. Those figures include 32% with a Very Favorable opinion and 42% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.

Romney is viewed favorably by 53% and unfavorably by 45%, including 40% with a Very Favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor and 32% with a Very Unfavorable one.

Benghazi may be affecting things ...

Ohio may be leaning Mitt.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
JoshuaD covered that part already...

quote:
A 269-269 split can occur if Mr. Romney wins Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, and Mr. Obama wins the rest. This results in some crazy stuff. By the 12th amendment, the house of representatives chooses the President (with each state getting one vote, as opposed to each representative getting a vote), and the almost certain result would be Mr. Romney. However, the Senate chooses the VP, and it's very likely that they would choose Mr. Biden.

And the Vice President part was news to me. Or at least, something I had long forgotten.
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G3
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More from Ohio; Gallup's Party ID poll turned up Democrats 35%, Independents 29%, Republicans 36%. R+1 in Ohio. Wuuut? I find that hard to believe.

From Politico:
quote:
"In sum, this data indicates this election remains very close on the surface, but the political environment and the composition of the likely electorate favor Governor Romney. These factors come into play with our “vote election model” – which takes into account variables like vote intensity, voters who say they are definite in their vote, and demographics like age and education. In that snapshot of today’s vote model, Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by five-points – 52% to 47%. While that gap can certainly be closed by the ground game of the Democrats, reports from the field would indicate that not to be the case, and Mitt Romney may well be heading to a decisive victory."
That “vote election model” of theirs sounds kind of arbitrary but I guess they got some idea that it's reasonable - but note the hedge at the end. That being said:

quote:
In the ten most recent national polls included in RCP’s average, one number was remarkably consistent – Barack Obama’s number is pegged at 47%. Asked what that told John McIntyre [principal contributor to Real Clear Politics], he replied, “[Obama's] likely to lose.” 2) Hugh questioned J-Mac what he made of Ohio numbers that don’t necessarily square with the rest of the national numbers, and John had this to say:
quote:
Well look, you know, our Real Clear Politics average had it at about five, five and a half before the first debate. It’s now at two. And these state averages lag the national average. So I suspect that if the national average just stays where it is, to continue to tighten. And then you get a dynamic so it’s like the President’s at 48% in Ohio. But if he’s at 48% on the ballot test, and he’s only up a point in the average? That almost, the edge almost leans to Romney at that matter, because the undecideds are probably going to break, you know, they’re not, it’s very unlikely they’re going to break for the President. So I think with the fact that the state polls lag the national polls, so I think Ohio’s actually closer than two points right now. And you give, you know, the President’s not at 50%. He’s at 48%. I would give, right now, the slight edge to Romney in Ohio.

If it really is R+1 in Ohio, if all this really is accurate, it could be all over for Barry in Ohio.

My dark horse state, Pennsylvania has developments: Mitt just launched a $2.1 million dollar ad buy in Pennsylvania. He ain't dropping that kind of scratch if he thinks it's a sure loser; his internal polls must tell him there something there worth spending for.

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TCB
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If Romney wins PA then he's already won every other swing state, plus a few other "leans Democrat" states. The end result would be 2008 in reverse. I doubt any Romney insiders have even dared to dream that big. [Smile]

I think it's more likely they're sitting on so much cash right now that they're not sure what to do with it all, and figured spending money in PA would generate favorable headlines that could help them in more competitive states.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
He ain't dropping that kind of scratch...
Last year, Mitt Romney earned $2.1 million per month.
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