So everyone is going to blather on about how no GOP candidate has won the White House without Ohio. But, there exists a path for Romney…
Obama gains Nevada, New Hampshire (247)
Romney gains Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia (257)
That would put the election squarely on three battleground states – Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), Ohio (18). Romney can take Ohio and win (277) or he can take Wisconsin and Iowa and win (273).
Wisconsin looks to be closing, Ohio still looks to be within the margin of error, and Iowa is within the margin of error. A lot of money is going to pour into these three states.
The real battleground is the Rust Belt.
Garbage polls by NBC/WSJ as per usual.
Wisconsin: Obama 50 – Romney 45
D/R/I: 33/28/38 (D+5)
Iowa: Obama 50 – Romney 42
D/R/I: 36/31/33 (D+5)
Colorado: Obama 50 – Romney 45
D/R/I: 34/32/32 (D+2)
As usual, the polling assumes a Democratic turnout nearly equal to 2008, the highwater for the Dems. D+6 was the turnout in 2008…I am about 99.9% sure November is going to be closer to D+2 or even.
Garbage in, garbage out. Polls create narratives. The media narrative: OBAMA IS WINNING. Internal polling says otherwise, or else Obama wouldn’t be in Iowa/Wisconsin considering the margin he won by in 2008.
Polls are nothing more than a snapshot in time, meant to create a narrative that one candidate is winning or pulling away and another is falling and fading. Most polls have awful sample skews and/or ask the questions in a way that show obvious bias.
Nonetheless, some scattershots:
- AP poll has Obama up 1, 47/46
- CBS/NYT Colorado: Obama 48/47
- CBS/NYT Virginia: Obama 50/46*
- CBS/NYT Wisconsin: Obama 51/45
- Rasmussen New Hampshire: Romney 48/45
- WeAskAmerica Virginia: Obama 49/46
Digging deep into the polls, we find some have relatively normal sample sizes (CBS/NYT Colorado has R+1) but some are so weird (CBS/NYT Virginia had a D+11 sample size, which is +5 more than ’08 turnouts, but Romney is crushing with indies 53-42).
Let me address that Virginia poll. A 4-point race with a +11 Democratic sample, nearly double 2008, where the Republican wins indies by double-digits. Let me tell you, if you adjust that poll to even ’08 turnout, Romney is at least tied or barely ahead in Virginia.
That Colorado poll, with an R+1 sample, suggests Obama wins independents by a single point, 47/46. Obama took Colorado purely by running up his margin with independents in the suburbs, where Republicans still have a huge voting edge. Romney is probably a marginal favorite in Colorado.
Let’s say Romney is the favorite in Colorado, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and New Hampshire…Obama is the favorite in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan…now its 248R-243O…I think Iowa goes Romney, but (at this point) Wisconsin goes Obama…254R-253O…Romney has to take Ohio to win (272) as Virginia doesn’t get him there (267)…or he can lose Ohio, win Virginia, but he has to steal a state (Wisconsin is the best bet). There are some unusual paths for him, but there are paths based on polling.
- All Signs Point to a Tight Race: Those watching the daily tracking polls know that, while the President has seen a bounce from his convention, his approval has already begun to slip, indicating it is likely to recede further. In eight states, Pollster.com’s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts the margin between the two candidates at less than three points, virtually guaranteeing a tight race.
- Next, the battlefield has actually expanded, not contracted. Note that Wisconsin is now in play and our campaign is now up with ads in that state, while the latest poll numbers from the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico show the race closing there. And this tightening is not an anomaly. Consider the traditional Democratic strongholds of New Jersey and Connecticut, won by President Obama in 2008 by margins of 15 points and 22 points, respectively. In both states, Pollster.com’s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts Obama’s lead at only seven points in each of these states.
- In North Carolina, fresh off of hosting the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign is laying the groundwork for a stealth withdrawal. In a state the President won by a mere 14,000 votes in 2008, all one has to do is look at the Obama campaign’s television buy in the state to understand how they view their chances there. The Obama campaign’s North Carolina television buy has dropped 35% compared to June, and they have run more than twice as much advertising over the past two weeks in Rochester, Minnesota (hitting a small slice of Iowa), than they have in any North Carolina market.
So with the Republican National Conference over and the Democratic National Convention starting, one only has to look at the speakers to see who the rising stars (“the benches”) are for each party. Let’s put them in a depth chart
- First String: VA Gov. Bob McDonnell; WI Gov. Scott Walker; SC Gov. Nikki Haley; NJ Gov. Chris Christie; LA Gov. Bobby Jindal; SD Sen. John Thune; Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice; WI Rep. Paul Ryan; FL Sen. Marco Rubio
- Second String: NH Sen. Kelly Ayotte; OK Gov. Mary Fallin; NV Gov. Brian Sandoval; KY Sen. Rand Paul; OH Sen. Rob Portman; PR Gov. Luis Fortuño; NM Gov. Susana Martinez; Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush; TX Sen. Ted Cruz
- Third String: ND Sen. John Hoeven; TN Rep. Marsha Blackburn; WA Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers; Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love; OH Gov. John Kasich; Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty
- First String: CO Gov. John Hickenlooper; Former VA Gov. Tim Kaine; MD Gov. Martin O’Malley; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer; MA Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren
- Second String: Newark Mayor Corey Booker; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel; Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx; NC Sen. Kay Hagan; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Vice President Joe Biden; MN Senator Amy Klobuchar; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilagarossa
- Third String: WI Senate Candidate Tammy Baldwin; House of Representatives Candidate Joaquin Castro; MA Gov. Deval Patrick; Former OH Gov. Ted Strickland; Houston Mayor Annisse Parker
Will update with videos tomorrow.
- Future First Lady Ann Romney
- Former AL Congressman Artur Davis (D)
- Former PA Senator Rick Santorum
- NJ Governor Chris Christie (keynote)
- Mayor and Utah Congressional Nominee Mia Love
- TX Senate Nominee Ted Cruz
Day 2 is shaping up to to be GOOD:
- PR Governor Luis Fortuño
- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- NM Governor Susana Martinez
- Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan
So, maybe the news isn’t all bad for Republican control of the Senate? Let’s go straight to predictions and explanations!
- Arizona: No change from last week. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
- California: No change from last week. I’m excited to see Emken go on CNN Monday morning. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Connecticut: This one has moved into a tossup. A new poll had McMahon up 49-46 and Connecticut looks a lot less friendly to Obama. Could a Republican upset happen here? Until I see another poll tell me otherwise, I say yes. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
- Delaware: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Florida: No change. I still think the way Florida goes in November decides the winner between Nelson and Mack. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
- Hawaii: No change yet. Hirono and Lingle are going to debate 8 times between now and November. Lots of room for change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Indiana: Still not a lot of polling, so no change. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Maine:No change. Still not a lot of polling and King has still not declared a caucus yet. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
- Maryland: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Massachusetts: A PPP poll had Brown up 5 points yesterday. Looking like Brown’s race to lose. TOSSUP/HOLD
- Michigan: Two new polls have given Hoekstra a lead and another Stabenow in the low single-digits. Romney’s coattails could make this an upset. TOSSUP/HOLD
- Minnesota: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Mississippi: Incumbent: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Missouri: Call it a tossup now. Actually, as long as Akin is the nominee, McCaskill will win. Weak Dem lean with the chance to jump back to GOP with a new nominee. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Montana: Montana is looking RED as RED can be this year. Moving this to GOP lean. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Nebraska: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Nevada: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
- New Jersey: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- New Mexico: No change yet. TOSSUP/HOLD
- New York: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- North Dakota: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Ohio: No change. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Pennsylvania: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Rhode Island: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Tennessee: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Texas: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Utah: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Vermont: No change. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
- Virginia: Virginia is looking like a lean blue state in November, so I’m moving this one down to a Dem hold. TOSSUP/HOLD
- Washington: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- West Virginia: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Wisconsin: Thompson looks to be getting stronger and Wisconsin is looking like a Romney state. Moving this up a little. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Wyoming: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
Last week I had it at 52-47-1 (GOP/Dem/Independent King); this week we have it at: 52-47-1. Haha. Missouri goes blue, Connecticut goes red. Total wash.
Time for some presidential polling and predictions! Please, don’t get so excited, you might pass out.
Gallup and Rasmussen have shown a consistent tie to Romney +2. WSJ/NBC last night has Obama +4 and AP today has Obama +1.
Update on some state polling done in the last week:
- Survey USA in Nevada: Obama +2 (47/45)
- Baydoun/Foster (D) in Michigan: Romney +4 (48/44)
- PPP (D) in Wisconsin: Romney +1 (48/47)
- PPP (D) in Virginia: Obama +5 (50/45)
- CNN in Wisconsin: Obama +4 (49/45)
- Rasmussen in Wisconsin: Romney +1 (48/47)
- Rasmussen in Florida: Romney +2 (4/43)
- Mitchell Research in Michigan: Obama +5 (49/44)
- Franklin and Marshall in Pennsylvania: Obama +5 (47/42)
So let’s go state by state in our categories:
- Solid Obama: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C. (182)
- Leans Obama: Connecticut*, New Mexico, Oregon**, Pennsylvania*** (39)
- Tossup: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin (111)
- Leans R: Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina (47)
- Solid R: Alabama, Alaska Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming (159)
August 22nd Prediction: Romney 280-Obama 258 (+6 Obama)
Where the tossups went:
- Nevada, Virginia to Obama (lost Colorado, gained Virginia)
- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin to Romney (lost Virginia, gained Colorado and Michigan)
*Connecticut moves from Solid to Leans on the basis of PPP polling that Obama has dropped -14 from 2008, from a 22-point win to only an 8-point lead.
**Oregon drops not due to polling, but because of an electoral “twinsies” with Wisconsin, but a teensy bit more liberal (hence, Leans, not Tossup)
***Pennsylvania drops due to polling