Scoreboard Watching

The game is coming down to the wire, the 11 battleground states now have 11 days to make up their collective minds as to who should sit in the White House this January. So what do the polls say about the state of the race for the White House? For reference, the RM uses the polling aggregate on pollster.com, which includes all of the top polls in a regression (it measures trend, rather than just a single point average.) Undecided percentages are a range of the most common results, and recent polling results are labeled “consistent” if greater than 2/3 of the polls show the same leader.

  • Colorado (9 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 1 point, with 3%-6% of the electorate undecided and recent polling showing a clear Obama lead. However, this polling is dominated by firms with known Democratic house-effects, so this race remains a toss-up.
  • Florida (29 votes)- Mr. Romney and Pres. Obama are in a trend tie, with 2%-4% of the electorate undecided and consistent recent polls. This race is still leaning towards Mr. Romney.
  • Iowa (6 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 2.2 points, with 2%-4% of the electorate undecided and consistent recent polls. This race is leaning towards Pres. Obama.
  • Michigan (16 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 7.3 points, with 2%-4% of the electorate undecided and consistent recent polls. This race is leaning towards Pres. Obama.
  • Nevada (6 votes)- Pres Obama over Mr. Romney by 3.3 points, with 2%-3% of the electorate undecided and unified recent polls. This race is leaning towards Pres. Obama.
  • New Hampshire (4 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 1.7 points, with 1%-5% of the electorate undecided and mixed recent polls. This race is a toss-up.
  • North Carolina (15 votes)- Mr. Romney over Pres. Obama by 1.8 points, with 1%-4% of the electorate undecided and consistent recent polls. This race is leaning towards Mr. Romney.
  • Ohio (18 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 2.5 points, with 3%-6% of the electorate undecided and consistent recent polls. This race is leaning towards Pres. Obama.
  • Pennsylvania (20 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 6 points, with 2%-3% of the electorate undecided and unified recent polls. This race is leaning towards Pres. Obama.
  • Virginia (13 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 1 point, with 1%-4% of the electorate undecided and mixed recent polls. This race is a toss-up.
  • Wisconsin (10 votes)- Pres. Obama over Mr. Romney by 4.6 points, with 2%-4% of the electorate undecided and consistent recent polls. This race is leaning towards Pres. Obama.

The combination of current polling and baseline assumptions gives us a picture of the race in total:

President Obama- 277 electoral votes

Mr. Romney- 235 electoral votes

Up For Grabs- 26 electoral votes

Friends of The RM will see that these electoral projections are identical to those from last week, with only changes in directionality and magnitude within the state polls in question. President Obama is doing marginally better in some states (like Virginia), and Mr. Romney is doing marginally better in other states (like New Hampshire).

With 270 electoral votes needed for the White House, Mr. Romney still faces a difficult path to the White House. But unlike previous elections, this path need not travel through old channels, namely, that one must win 2 of the three Big Three, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. See the following scenario:

If Romney can maintain leads in Florida and North Carolina, pull back Mr. Obama’s lead in Wisconsin, and win in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia, then he would score 271 electoral votes and take the election.

Reason for liberals to stay active, conservatives to stay hopeful, and everyone to exercise that one shining gift of all Americans who came before us.

Vote!

After you do your duty, tune into The Rational Middle at 7 pm eastern for 5 hours of live coverage of the election. I will live blog updates for the races for the House, Senate, and the White House, and you can comment directly via Facebook. Unless you really want to watch Fox or MSNBC all night…