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Post-Convention Polling

Posted Friday, September 21, 2012, at 10:11 AM

Both conventions have now been held so that means it is time for the post-convention look at the polls and make another forecast for the electoral college. I waited a little longer than I had previously stated to this blog in order to wait for more states to release polling.

For the purposes of this blog I will use the same states that I previously used:

In the last blog I used the states Georgia, Arizona, and New Mexico. They were clearly not toss up or leaning states so I have removed these states this time and given the EVs to the candidates leading in the state. I will state, however that while we have seen Arizona and New Mexico have broken more towards the leading candidate, Georgia has actually seen a trending the other way, but because Romney still leads by a healthy margin he gets those points.

With the current "safe" states counted Obama currently leads Romney 201-181

Let us start with the east coast:

New Hampshire (4 EV): Over the past month this state has gone from toss up to lean Obama back to toss up again. Obama's lead has shrunk somewhat down from 49.3 - 45.4 before the convention to 48.2 - 45.6. The problem with New Hampshire is that other a few state polls there has yet to be extensive polling in the state. Right now the trend is towards Romney but Obama still has the lead so he gets the 4 EV.

Pennsylvania (20 EV): This state was at one point considered very much a toss up but since the conventions the trends have completely gone in Obama's direction. Before the conventions his lead was at 48.3 - 41.8. After the convention it now stands at 49.6 - 42.2. While both candidates have seen their numbers improve Obama's lead has actually increased. 20 EV to Obama

Virginia (13 EV) and North Carolina (15 EV): These are the two states that the Romney campaign at one point considered absolutely necessary in their chances to win the election, mostly because in the last few elections the states had voted Republican before switching to Obama in 2008. In Virginia, Obama's lead was 47.1 - 45.4 before the conventions. It now stands at 49.1 - 44.8. This includes the newest poll from Fox giving Obama one of his largest leads in the state to date. Obama gets the 13 EV.

In North Carolina the trend line before the conventions was very much in favor of Romney. Since the conventions it has completely turned towards Obama. The polling gave Romney a modest lead before the conventions 47.9 - 46.1. The polling now has Romney barely in the lead 47.0 - 46.9. This even includes a true outlier that had Romney up by ten. The reason that this poll is a complete outlier is simply because neither candidate has a double digit lead in the state either before the poll or since. Romney still has the lead so he gets the 15 EV

Florida (29 EV): Fir years Florida has been considered a true swing state. This year is no different. Before the conventions Obama had a very anemic lead of 46.3 - 46.2. After the conventions that lead now stands at 48.9 - 45.1. The trend, for now, is definitely in Obama's favor. He receives the 29 EV.

After the East Coast swing Obama leads the electoral college by a count of 267-196. The reason the numbers may seem off is because of those three states that I had already given to the candidates.

Next we move to the Great Lakes

Ohio (18 EV): Another true swing state, before the conventions Obama lead was at a modest 47.8 - 44.8. Since the conventions 48.7 - 43.7. The trend is towards Obama. More importantly Romney has not enjoyed a lead in the state since the beginning of the month. Ohio Obama gets the 16 EV.

Michigan (16 EV): In August Obama had a small lead of 47.5 - 43.5. As of now that lead is 50.3 - 41.8, an increase of almost 5% points. Obama gets the 16 EV. Remember this is Romney's home state.

Wisconsin (10 EV): Ryan's home state. He was picked in small part in hopes that he could deliver Wisconsin to the Republicans. Before the conventions it certainly seemed that the trend was to the Romney team. Obama's lead had completely disappeared as he lead by only a 49.0 - 46.1 lead. As of today the lead is now 49.2 - 44.4. As you can see, Obama's lead has not increased because voters have switched to him as much as voters have left Romney. Romney gets the 10 EV.

Iowa (6 EV): Iowa, despite being considered very important by both candidates has just not been polled very heavily. Of note. Only two pollsters have found any type of lead for Romney has been Rasmussen and a Des Moines Register poll WAAAAAAY back in February. Before the conventions Romney was still staked to a 45.5 - 44.7 lead. As of today Obama now has a lead of 46.8 - 45.3. Obama takes the state 6 EV. This is one of the true toss up states that have gone back and forth.

Missouri (10 EV): Before the conventions Romney was staked to a 49.1 - 43.9, after the conventions that lead is nearly identical at 49.1 - 43.8. From this point out Missouri will likely be taken off the list unless Obama sees some incredible gains, but I do not see that happening. Romney gets the 10 EV.

After this portion of the states Obama leads 317 - 206

The final portion of states are in the West. With Arizona and New Mexico now solidly in Romney and Obama's (respectively) corner. There are only two states left.

Colorado (9 EV): Before the conventions, Obama had a very narrow lead of 47.9 - 46, Since the conventions that lead is now 47.5 - 45.7. Essentially all that has happened is both candidates have lost support. Obama gets the 9 EV.

Nevada (6 EV): Before the conventions Obama had a 48.4-45 lead. That lead is now 49.2 - 45.2, Obama gets the 6 EV.

So after the national tour of states right now Obama is staked to a 332 - 206 lead, which honestly with the only state switching being Iowa from Romney to Obama my number from last blog to this blog do not add up, which obviously means that in the last blog I cheated Romney out of a state. Looking at the map I believe I inadvertently gave Obama the state of North Carolina. The original number should have been 326 - 212. I apologize for that error.

So since the conventions Obama, polling wise, has picked up a state. The polling to this point is definitely not going in Romney's favor. There are three debates in October. Following those debates I plan to release one more polling update before the election. As always polling is a fluid state and things can and will change.

The sites I used to make my predictions were:


I used to draw the map, and


To see individual polls.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

This is a good post Michael, although I think these EV totals seem too high for Obama. I say this because many the swing state races are within (or nearly within) the margin of error for the surveys. Which means that statistically speaking, these are dead heats.

I understand your method, the candidate currently with the lead according to the polls gets the EVs. i just don't think the final results will look like what your model predicts.

I'd guess that Florida, Colorado, and Nevada all end up red. I agree with the rest of your picks. Adjusting for these three states, the totals would be 282 - 256, in favor of Obama.

I would not be surprised to see Obama lose the popular vote and still win the election a la Bush 2000.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 11:28 AM

I can see Florida an Colorado swinging to Romney as the polling there has been fairly even, but why Nevada? Romney has not lead in a poll since April ... of last year and has not been tied since October. I am not saying that you are wrong but the trend has been towards Obama since that time. Why not more likely states Iowa and New Hampshire which have actually had Romney in the lead recently?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 2:49 PM

Michael, Shalom. Just for giggles, since it kind of jumped out at me, Ohio offering, above, in your award of EV, you have the "O" right, but you might want to exchange the 'iho,' with a 'bama.' ((^8

We know what you mean, but Historians, fifty years from now might not understand. Ha.

November Six, and Seven, should be interesting days. I do pray that all vote, so we can actually see the 'Will of the People,' rather than the 'will of the majority of the minority of people that found the time to vote. . . . or something like that.

Keep the reports coming.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 3:09 PM

I completely agree Navyblue. I believe that every American that can vote should. There is hardly any excuse not to with all the possibilities out there to vote. Absentee, early, and day of voting. There should never really be any excuse for not voting.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 4:22 PM

Thanks for catching my mistake Navy. It wouldn't seem logical for Ohio to get the EVs considering they already have them.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 4:24 PM


I say Nevada, because its within the margin of error and according to RCP, the trend line for the average of the major polls is working toward a Romney win.


Even if I am wrong, the point would still stand. It would be 288 - 250 with NV being blue.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 5:18 PM

Nice work.

-- Posted by Phaerisee on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 7:18 PM

The interesting thing in Florida is that in the last eight polls that RCP has listed, Romney leads in three but all are within the MoE. In the five that Obama leads only two are within the MoE and one of those is by .1 per cent.

That is why to this point most sites that are tracking state polls give Florida a slight lean to Obama, instead of it being a toss up.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 12:17 PM

What is even more interesting is the race for control of Congress. As it stands now the Democrats look to hold the Senate, while the Republicans look to hold the House. What is different now from a few months ago is that as recent as late July, early August it looked like a real possibility that the Republicans would gain the Senate.

Mind you these are just forecasts. The races aren't over until November. It's just something for political junkies to do.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 12:23 PM

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