Early projection: A Romney-Obama match-up goes to …
As I write, we’re still 30-plus hours from getting initial results from Florida’s primary. In the meantime, here is the first state-by-state analysis of electoral votes in November’s election, based on actual polling numbers, that I have seen. It anticipates a Romney-Obama match-up — no other Republicans are analyzed — in which the president is very, very narrowly re-elected: 272 electoral votes to 266.
(FYI: The source, a blogger named Scott Elliott, has been close enough in the last two presidential elections to be worth following this year. In 2004 and again in 2008, he ended up predicting 48 of 50 states correctly.)
A couple of points to note:
- The conventional wisdom is that a Democrat, and particularly Obama this year, begins the race with most of the necessary 270 EVs sewn up. According to this initial projection, Romney actually holds a 170-149 advantage in those states in which he or Obama leads the other by double-digits. Obama pulls ahead only slightly, 217-206, when the margin is as few as 5 percentage points.
- In this projection, Romney flips only five states won by Obama in 2008: Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. That would leave him still four states short of what George W. Bush won in 2004 — suggesting there’s still some upside for him.
- Flipping any of the states from Obama’s list of “weak” or “moderate” leads would hand the election to Romney.
- Romney is projected to lose the election despite narrowly winning the popular vote.
- The frailty of Romney’s numbers is underscored by the website’s projections for Senate races. With Democrats faced with defending 21 of the 33 seats (23 if you include seats held by Democrat-leaning independents), the GOP is pegged for a net pick-up of just three seats — into a virtual 50-50 tie (including one Democrat-leaning independent). The party with the presidency would, via the vice president, control the Senate.
- The GOP is projected to gain three seats in states that lean toward Romney, while failing to pick up five other seats in such states. If Republicans were to post a 3-5 record in those races, it could not possibly be considered a sign of strong coattails for their presidential nominee.
So, a few questions for y’all: Is the presidential race really going to be this close?
Even if Romney were to beat Obama, would a tie in the Senate put a damper on the election?
Do you expect Romney’s numbers to get better or worse if and when he becomes the presumptive nominee?
And, because the GOP nomination is still very much in doubt: Does this prediction make you feel better or worse about Romney’s electability?
– By Kyle Wingfield
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