First of all, if the election were held yesterday, it would have been very difficult for much of the Northeast to vote under the impact of Hurricane Sandy (for more info, see this post).
By next week the Northeast should be dug our enough for the election to go on as normal. That’s right, the election is next week! So this is our last installment of the “if the election were held today series.” Next Monday I will put up a final map, my prediction of the electoral college results for next Tuesday, and then next Wednesday (a week from today) I’ll compare my predictions with the actual results.
On to this week’s map:
As in weeks past, our criteria (based on the most recent state polls) 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”
Its important to note that it is too early to gauge what, if any, impact Hurricane Sandy may have on the vote. So that is not reflected in the map above (but might be in the one next Monday if there has been any measurable impact). Its also clear from the map above that going into the final week this is a close race without a clear winner.
Taking into account longer-term trends, here is a map that shows the most likely outcome of the electoral college:
Three states are left in the “toss-up” column because they are a virtual dead heat, Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. Ohio and Florida, while they have each been trending in a particular direction, are also very close races that could easily change direction in the next week or so. Of these five, Ohio, Florida, and Virginia are obviously the three with the most electoral votes. For Romney to win the electoral college, he must win all three of these large states plus one of either Iowa or Colorado. In contrast, for Obama to win reelection he only needs to win one of the Ohio-Florida-Virginia triad (or alternatively, win both Iowa and Colorado). The map above shows a scenario in which Obama wins Ohio (and thereby the election) before any of the three dead-heat states have been decided.
Next week I put up my predictions of the results, and following the election an analysis of the actual outcome. Home stretch, here we go!