Is This Anything?

A “test map” for NBC’s election results tomorrow night somehow got released.

It shows the Prez winning with 280, and Mitt with 257.  Don’t know about that missing electoral vote.  The separate vote available in one of Maine’s districts?

The map gives Obama Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Iowa.  Mitt gets Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado.

So if you’re doing a test map, do you just throw up any old results, or do you use what you think is most likely to happen?

Tie Goes To Obama

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight on what the national polls portend for the Electoral College:

On Sunday, Mr. Obama led by an average of about one percentage point among seven national surveys. That is not much of an edge, but better than had generally been the case for him just after the Denver debate.

What Mr. Romney will want to see are national polls showing him a point or so ahead in the race, as was the case just after Denver.

If the national polls show a tie on average, then Mr. Romney will be more of an underdog than you might think, since that is when Mr. Obama’s Electoral College advantages will tend to give him their greatest benefit. In the FiveThirtyEight simulation on Saturday, Mr. Obama won the Electoral College about 80 percent of the time when the national popular vote was tied.

Mitt Flunking Out of Electoral College

From “Mitt Romney needs poll vault to win,” Alexander Burns and Emily Schultheis, Politico:

Even if Romney were to win Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire — all states Obama won in 2008 — the Republican would still be three electoral votes short of victory.

And right now, Romney is not leading in many of those states, leaving him well short of the threshold he needs to clear and under urgent pressure to reshuffle the race’s dynamics.

“The bottom line is, you’d rather be in Obama’s shoes than Romney’s. He has a lead in the battleground states and he probably has to carry fewer of them,” said Marist College pollster Lee Miringoff, who conducts swing-state polls for NBC and the Wall Street Journal.

The problem for Romney, Miringoff said, is that Romney has to be “drawing an inside straight” in the state-by-state numbers in order to cross the 270-vote threshold.

Silver Bullish on Obama

Nate Silver from the FiveThirtyEight blog at the NYT is very bullish on President Obama in this moment between conventions.  He gives him 308 electoral votes right now, compared to 230 for Mitt.  That’s a swing of ten votes to Obama and away from Mitt since Silver’s August 26 analysis.

Silver gives Obama a 74.5% chance of winning, compared to 25.5% for Mitt, a 5% swing since August 26.

In 2008, Silver called every state correctly except for Indiana.

Won’t you enjoy your Labor Day a little more now?

Uh Oh

From “Professors’ study predicts Romney win,” Alex Byers, Politico:

“Mitt Romney will win the popular vote and take the White House with more than 300 electoral votes, according to an election model that correctly determines the winner when applied to the last eight presidential elections.

“The model, based on state-level economic data, predicts that President Barack Obama will lose nearly all key states that many observers view as toss-ups: North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. He’d also drop Pennsylvania and Minnesota, where polls indicate Obama is ahead, the study says.

“The analysis, authored by Colorado political science professors Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry, looks at unemployment rates and per capita income from the last 22 years and builds a model that would have accurately predicted each election. It also looks at other indicators, like which party currently holds the White House.”

Ok, but Mitt wasn’t the nominee in any of those last eight presidential elections.

Wonk Fight — Nate Silver on Paul Ryan

From “Why I’m Not Buying the Romney Rally,” Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, NYT:

“What if we did include a vice-presidential bounce adjustment?

“If so, it would probably be calculated as follows:  since the average vice-presidential announcement has produced a four-point bounce in the polls, subtract four points from any poll conducted in between the naming of the running mate and the party convention.  In other words, we’d subtract four points from Mr. Romney’s numbers since he named Mr. Ryan on Saturday.

“If I do that and run the model again, it has a rather pessimistic forecast for Mr. Romney — giving him just a 24 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, rather than 31.3 percent as in the official version.

“The intuition behind this is simply that, under this theory, it’s a bad sign for Mr. Romney that Mr. Ryan has produced a below-average bounce so far.  Among the polls that allow for a direct comparison, Mr. Romney has gained an average of about one percentage point since his selection of Mr. Ryan.”  Emphasis added.

If You Want to Enjoy Your Weekend

Check out “Michael Tomasky on the (Possible) Coming Obama Landslide,” Daily Beast:

“There’s a secret lurking behind everything you’re reading about the upcoming election, a secret that all political insiders know — or should — but few are talking about, most likely because it takes the drama out of the whole business.  The secret is the electoral college, and the fact is that the more you look at it, the more you come to conclude that Mitt Romney has to draw an inside straight like you’ve never ever seen in a movie to win this thing.  This is especially true now that it seems as if Pennsylvania isn’t really up for grabs.  Romney’s paths to 270 are few.

“In other words, Obama can lose the big Eastern four — Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida:  all of em! — and still be reelected.

“And barring some huge cataclysm, he’s not losing all four of those state.  If he wins even one — say Virginia, the smallest of the four — then Romney has to win Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire; all possible, certainly, but all states where he has been behind, narrowly but consistently, for weeks or months.

“The list of states where Obama holds that narrow but consistent lead is long:  Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire.  Michigan and Wisconsin are no longer really narrow.  Florida is more or less a dead heat.  The bottom line is that of the dozen or so key swing states, Romney leads only in one:  North Carolina.

“Now most political journalists would chuckle derisively at the idea that Obama is going to carry home 330 EV’s.  Deride away.

“Liberals are too nervous to think it, reporters too intent on a ‘down to the wire’ narrative, and conservatives too furious and disbelieving, but it’s shaping up to be true:  An extremely close election that on election night itself stands a surprisingly good chance of being not that close at all.”

I feel good about the electoral map too.  But if something were to happen, the states where Obama has that narrow but consistent lead could fall to Mitt like dominoes.  Whatever made one swing suddenly and decisively to Mitt could do the same in all of them.

There’s way too much time for anyone to feel comfortable or complacent.