Better Late Than Never… If Election Were Held (Two Days Ago), 9-11-12

Have been a little busy the last few days, so I’m getting this up late.  But here is our latest electoral college map, based on polling in the last week or so that reflects more of the impact of the Republican National Convention as well as at least giving us a partial picture of the impact of the Democratic National Convention.  Here is the map as it currently stands:

 

Big things to note:  Michigan is still in the Obama camp and Ohio has now moved into the “leaning Obama” column.  As in previous weeks, our rubric is as follows:

  • Candidate has 20 pt or greater lead in a state:  “Solid”
  • Candidate has between 10 and 20 pt lead in a state:  “Likely”
  • Candidate has between a 5 and 10 pt lead in a state:  “Leans”
  • Candidates are polling within 5 points of one another in a state:  “toss up” or “too close to call.”

Following up on our introduction last week of predictions based on “momentum,” I want to introduce a second map this week which picks up on trends in the momentum of the two candidates following their conventions (or trends pre-dating the conventions for states we do not have post-convention data for yet).  This map has no “toss-up states,” its all shaded in one way or another.  Here’s what that looks like:

 

The same rubric used above applies to this map, except that the “leaning” column now includes states in which the advantage of a candidate may be fewer than five points.  This is tricky because sometimes we are dealing with leads within the margin of error for our polling data.  What I am basing these predictions on here is not so much the actual numbers as 1) momentum (has the lead of a candidate been steadily increasing or decreasing in recent polls?)  and 2) consistency (even if there is a small margin, does one candidate consistently come out on top).  The combination of these factors gives us a bit more to go on than just the numbers alone when we are dealing with small leads.

As should be apparent from both of these maps, Obama has a significant advantage in terms of momentum coming out of the conventions (the only places Romney seems to have picked up steam are in Virginia and North Carolina).  That obviously doesn’t mean that Obama can sustain his lead for the next three months, but at the moment the race is going very much his way.

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