Romney Has No Pathway To Victory
October 18, 2012 8 Comments
We still don’t know yet if Tuesday’s debate will move the polls at all. My guess is that the polls don’t move much at all in either direction. According to Real Clear Politics, Romney is up 0.4% right now. That includes two ridiculous polls. The current Gallup poll which has Romney up 6, which is so extreme as to be unbelievable. RCP also includes the Washington Post poll which has Obama up 3 with a D+9 sample. Keep in mind the 2008 Obama landslide was only a D+7 election, thus making a D+9 poll not believable. These national polls are interesting but we all know it comes down to 50 state elections. Looking at those, where exactly is Romney’s path to victory?
The Obama campaign won’t really admit it but they’ve given up on Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. They also appear to have given up on Colorado, which Romney is leading by a slight margin according to RCP. If these four states go Romney, that gives him 257 electoral votes, only 13 away from victory. That would leave Romney with two pathways to victory. One is win Ohio, the other is win Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. He can’t do either of these and thus Obama is going to be re-elected.
Let’s look at Ohio first. RCP has Obama up by 2.4 right now. Rasmussen shows Obama up 1 point. Survey USA shows Obama up 3, with an unusual amount of undecided voters. The interesting poll though comes from PPP, which has a very fair D+4 sample showing Obama up 5. The 2008 election was a D+8 election in Ohio while the 2010 GOP landslide was a R+1 election. PPP went right up middle. Most importantly, Obama is over 50% in the poll. In Ohio it is clear that in early voting Obama is up by over 10 points. That matters in that these are people who won’t change their votes.
With Ohio out for Romney, his only other pathway to victory is to win New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada. Even if we give Romney New Hampshire, where Obama has been in free fall and the latest poll shows the race a 47-47 tie Romney still has major problems in Iowa and Nevada. In Nevada, Rasmussen has Obama up 3 and hitting the 50% mark. In Iowa, We Ask America shows Obama up 3 while ARG shows the race tied in a D+1 sample. If Nevada is a loss, then Iowa won’t matter even if ARG is right. Nevada has not been trending in the GOP’s favor, especially with an influx of liberals escaping California over the past decade.
What isn’t being factored in any of these polls is how undecided voters will actually vote on election day. We know that historically 80% of people who say they’re undecided going into election day vote against the incumbent. That’s good for Romney but only if Obama has less than 49% support going into election day. Obviously a state where Obama is at 50% or better has rendered its undecideds irrelevant. That’s a problem if PPP is correct in Ohio and Obama thus has 51% support. It’s also a problem in Nevada if Rasmussen is correct. Lose Ohio and Nevada and Romney is done.
There’s been a lot of talk about enthusiasm this election. There’s no doubt that the liberal Democrat base isn’t delirious for Obama like they were in 2008. But that doesn’t mean they won’t go vote for him. We cannot assume that because the economy stinks and the President suddenly supports homosexual marriage that blacks will decrease their national vote share from the 13% they were at in 2008 to their historical 11%. We can’t assume that other people in the Democrat base won’t show up because their disillusioned with Obama or have lost interest. Cleveland is huge for the President, we cannot assume those folks won’t vote even if they aren’t sky high for Obama anymore.
Like it or not, Romney isn’t going to win this election. The numbers just aren’t there for him in the states that matter. Obama’s summer of setting Romney up to look like a cross between Scrooge McDuck and Thurston Howell III took place exclusively in these swing states and it clearly has worked. These states have been very slow to switch to Romney, unlike the rest of the country. Romney’s good debate performances simply cannot overcome an entire summer of negative ads from Obama which Romney didn’t have the cash to counter. We’re stuck with Obama for another four years, get used to it.