With the Republican Convention taking place this week and the Democratic Convention soon after I thought it might be a cozy spot to track where the candidates are right now, electoral college anyways. After following politics intensely over the last 20 years one thing that I have seen is that national polling simply does not matter. The state polling is what needs to be watched. At the end of the it is the electoral college that decides the president, not the overall national election.
Right now as we stand with only the states that are considered safe for both candidates, Obama leads 186-143. With 270 needed to win neither candidate is within breathing distance of victory.
The way I will determine who at this point has the votes is rather simple. In the states that were considered toss up or leaning towards one candidate or the other I look at the polling that has been done in the state. Whoever is leading I give that candidate those electoral votes. In Maine and Nebraska the votes are actually split up but since little voting has been done by district whoever is leading in the state gets all the electoral votes. I will not leave out outlier polls (polling that is completely at odds with other polling. In other words polling showing a candidate having a much larger lead than other polling shows or polling showing a candidate that has been trailing suddenly with a lead).
Let us start with the east coast:
New Hampshire (4 EC): This state is largely a progressive state but in national elections the people have never truly favored one party over the other. Romney had a lead coming into the year but has not lead in a poll since April. With exception to an NBC poll in May, Obama has had a fairly steady lead and with all polls accounted for he holds a 49.3 - 45.4 lead, so Obama gets the four EV.
Pennsylvania (20 EV): Though Romney has had individual leads in some polling in this state he has never held an overall lead with all the polls together. Obama currently enjoys a 48.3 - 41.8 lead so he gets the 20 EV.
Virginia (13 EV) and North Carolina (15 EV): Obama carried both states in 2008 by very slim margins. Virginia has been all over the map in polling with both candidates leading in different polling. Obama has a lead at 47.1 - 45.4 but it has been narrowing, but Obama does get the 13 EV. In North Carolina Romney has had a very slim lead but in recent weeks that lead has been widening to 47.9 - 46.1, Romney gets the 15 EV.
Florida (29 EV): Florida is proving to once again to be a true battleground state. In the past few weeks the polling has gotten much tighter and I would not be surprised if after the RNC that Romney has a healthy lead. For now, though, Obama currently hangs to a 46.3 - 46.2 lead which will give him the 29 EV.
Georgia (16 EV): I am not entirely sure why Georgia is only considered to be leaning towards Romney at this point. He holds a fairly healthy lead and Obama has yet to lead in a poll and the closest he has gotten is 3 percentage points in a Democratic sponsored poll. Romney, in my opinion easily walks away with Georgia and right now with a 49.1 - 45.8 that should continue. Romney gets 16 EV.
After the East Coast swing Obama leads the Electoral Votes: 242 - 174.
Next we move to the Great Lakes which out of the seven states only two are solidly in one corner.
Ohio (18 EV): At this point this state is not nearly as competitive as we have been told. In the last month Romney has only lead or been tied in two the polls. Both candidates support has been rising but no gains in either direction. Obama leads 47.8 - 44.8 and he gets the 18 EV.
Michigan (16 EV): Again while it has been close, Romney has not exactly been narrowing the race. Obama leads 47.5 - 43.5 and receives 16 EV.
Wisconsin (10 EV); Even though the addition home state Ryan and the narrowing of the state, Obama still has an almost 3% lead at 49.0 - 46.1 which would give him the 10 EV.
Iowa (6 EV): Iowa has seen a dramatic shift over the last few weeks taking a slightly leaning Obama state now into a slightly leaning Romney state. With a 45.5 - 44.7 lead Romney gets the 6 EV.
Missouri (10 EV): So technically Missouri is not in the Great Lakes region but the state is grouped with the states for these purposes. I am not really sure why Missouri is only considered a leaning state for Romney. Romney get the 10 EV with a 49.1 - 43.9 lead.
After this portion of the states Obama leads 321 - 186.
The final portion of states are in the West.
Colorado (9 EV): Colorado was once a leaning state towards Obama but Romney has made some gains in recent weeks. Obama is still getting the 9 EV with a 47.9 - 46 lead.
New Mexico (5 EV): This was an error on my part in the earlier part of my blog but Obama leads by nearly 10% and is a strong state for Obama.
Arizona (11 EV): Another goof by me in the earlier point of my blog. This is beyond strong for Romney at this point.
Nevada (6 EV): Obama led this huge at one point after Romney gave up the lead last July (before he was even the nominee). Romney has narrowed Obama's lead but at this point he still has the lead. Obama gets 6 EV with a 48.4-45 lead.
At this point before the conventions Obama's lead is
341 - 197 326 - 212 which is more than enough to win the election. I will do this again about a week after the DNC to see how the picture has changed.
Keep in mind this is just a prediction. We will not know how it turns out until November obviously.
The sites I used to make my predictions were:
I used to draw the map, and
To see individual polls.
Originally I had posted Obama's lead at 341 - 197. On my map I had apparently given North Carolina to Obama instead of to Romney. This was a mistake on my part and I apologize for that. The final numbers should have look like this:
326 - 212.
Again I apologize for this mistake.