Nate Silver’s Projections

Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight is giving President Obama a 70.8% chance of winning.

And I predict that this tax thing is going to make things worse for Mitt.

It’s an interesting stand-off:  Obama has a dreadful economy, the GOP has a dreadful candidate.  The GOP has done everything they can to keep the economy from recovering.  But they have no one to blame but themselves for Mitt.

Is Wisconsin Really a Battleground?

After the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker failed, there were noises that the state was now competitive for the GOP in the presidential race.  President Obama carried Wisconsin in 2008 by 14%.  He consistently leads in polls there by 6-8%.

The GOP hasn’t put their money where their mouths are because so far they’re not running ads in Wisconsin.

As Journal Sentinel reporter Craig Gilbert notes,* Wisconsin is being treated as a second-tier state for the GOP, below places like Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and New Hampshire.

I think Obama will carry Wisconsin again, although not by 14%.  But it’s still the same number of electoral votes.  The electoral college map just doesn’t favor Mittens.

* “Wisconsin:  a very quiet presidential battleground.”

Obama’s Map

That Heilemann article in New York Magazine also points out how propitious the electoral college map is for President Obama:

“The safe presumption…is that Obama holds the nineteen states plus the District of Columbia that John Kerry won in 2004 — which, recall, did not include Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, or Virginia, all of which Obama carried in 2008, giving the president a base of 246 electoral votes.  There’s the western path:  Obama holds Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iowa for a total of 272.  There’s the midwestern path:  Obama holds Ohio and Iowa (270).   There’s the southern path:  Obama holds North Carolina and Virginia (274).  And there’s the Florida path, in which Obama simply again takes the Sunshine State (275).

“In truth, the most promising of all the routes to 270 is the western one, because of the dominant lead Obama possesses over Romney with Hispanics.  Indeed, if you factor in New Mexico, which the president nabbed in 2008 and is considered safe this time, and Virginia, which has a sizable Latino population, a relatively strong economy, and polls consistently showing Obama ahead, he can hit 270 without winning Iowa, Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, or North Carolina.”  Emphasis added.

Obama Hurts Himself in Swing States

Politico* is saying that President Obama’s support of gay marriage will hurt him in seven important states:  North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, and Ohio.

I would add Virginia and Pennsylvania.

A change in a small number of votes in each swing state could translate into a big change in total electoral votes.

*  “Obama’s seven states of gay marriage grief,” Charles Mahtesian.

The Only Numbers That Matter

I thought we’d check in on the Electoral College.  Real Clear Politics is showing President Obama with 227 votes and Mitt with 170.

That leaves 141 toss-up votes in 11 states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  If you live in one of those states, you’ll be having a presidential campaign.  The rest of us will just watch.


Would Santorum Lose Popular Vote, But Win the Electoral College?

Nate Silver has an interesting article at the NYT (“Here Comes Class Warfare”) where he argues that while Romney would do better than Santorum in the popular vote against Obama, Santorum might lose the popular vote, but win the electoral college.  Silver focuses on Santorum carrying Ohio, Michigan and maybe Pennsylvania.

In making these calculations, I think Silver puts too much emphasis on class (he’s focused on working-class whites and Obama’s past struggles with them) and not enough on gender.

I think Santorum would turn off women at all income levels so much that he couldn’t possibly win.