Swing State Pres

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dashboard Update...Those Swing States Never Seem to Swing Red (October 1, 2012)

“Swing states,” by definition, can swing either way, right?  But in this campaign, Obama has consistently led in most, albeit quite narrowly at times.  Not much swinging has been going on…and less so now.  With the latest series of Romney-gaffes fully registering in the realm of public opinion, Obama is, well, surging.  And certain crucial swing states are so blue they may go the way of Pennsylvania and Michigan, the type of deep blue that renders a state more “safe” than “swing.”

And thus, we may never know if Ann Romney’s concerns would have been realized.  Over the weekend, Ann was interviewed by KTVN in Reno, Nevada.  She was asked what her biggest worry was assuming her husband won the election.  Her answer?  You know, I think my biggest concern, obviously, would just be for his mental well-being."  Probably not the answer Mitt wanted her to give. 

Whatever Romney wants to call it (he appears to dislike the term “turnaround” when it applies to his campaign), it must begin with the first of the three Presidential debates this coming Wednesday night.  (There is also a VP debate, next week, on October 11th.)  Playing for a cautious draw ain’t gonna butter the biscuit for Mitt…he has to go on offense and take it to Obama, and commit no gaffes along the way.  Very tall order.

Let’s get to the numbers.

Swing States.   I’ve kept the list at the same ten swing states, although Ohio and Wisconsin, with 7-point Obama margins, are slipping out of reach for Romney.  In fact, they are in the range of a number of states I do not consider swing states, such as Michigan (Obama +9), Minnesota (+8), New Mexico (+8), Oregon (+9) and Pennsylvania (+8).  Romney is basically not contesting any of  those states with ad money or appearances. 

And, I could make the case that Arizona (Romney +6.5) and Montana (Romney +7) are perilously close to coming into play for Obama…that is, potentially becoming swing states.  Stay tuned.

Obama now leads in 9 of the 10, with North Carolina swinging now in his favor.  Missouri alone remains in the Romney camp.  I’m not sure Missouri is a swing state either, since it has been for Romney for virtually the entire campaign, and if it’s stuck with him this far, it’s hard to see a 6-point lead evaporating. 

1-Oct
Electoral
Polling
Since
17-Sep
10 states
Votes
Obama
Romney
Obama +/-
Wisconsin
10
51.3
44.0
7.3
Ohio
18
50.3
43.4
6.9
Colorado
9
50.5
45.5
5.0
Florida
29
50.2
45.8
4.4
Nevada
6
49.0
45.0
4.0
North Carolina
15
48.5
45.5
3.0
New Hampshire
4
48.7
45.7
3.0
Virginia
13
47.5
45.5
2.0
Iowa
6
47.7
45.7
2.0
Missouri
10
44.0
50.0
-6.0

120


3.6


So the math is quite compelling.  Obama has 237 solid electoral votes, from true blue states.  If you give him Ohio and Wisconsin, that takes Obama up to 265 electoral votes.  That means he needs only one more swing state (unless it is tiny New Hampshire, which only has 4 electoral votes) to get him to the magic 270.  Only one…out of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina…and he leads in all of them by 2-4 points.

Overall Obama’s swing state lead in 3.6 points, the highest level we have seen to date.  Thus his projected electoral college margin is very large, and at this point growing.


Solid
Swing
Total
Obama
237
110
347
Romney
181
10
191


The Obameter.  The Obameter is now at a “record” +21.9.  This is on the strength of a new consumer confidence report which showed a large increase from roughly 60 to 70, with the other measures either the same or showing very modest variation.  The consumer confidence mark is now above the “baseline” January number. 

OBAMETER
Baseline




1-Jan
16-Sep
23-Sep
30-Sep
Unemployment Rate
8.7
8.1
8.1
8.1
Consumer Confidence
65.0
60.6
60.6
70.3
Price of Gas (average for week)
3.32
3.90
3.88
3.89
Dow-Jones (average for week)
    12,076
       13,406
       13,535
       13,471
Romney Favorability (average)
38.0
44.5
44.7
45.7
"Events"
0
10
10
10





Unemployment Rate
8.7
6
6
6
Consumer Confidence
65
-4
-4
5
Price of Gas (average for week)
3.32
-6
-6
-6
Dow-Jones (average for week)
    12,076
13
15
14
Romney Favorability (average)
38
-7
-7
-8
"Events"
0
10
10
10





OBAMETER
0.0
12.6
13.9
21.9
Obama versus Romney
1.1
3.4
3.6
4.5


Latest National Polling.  The rising Obameter is consistent with Obama’s expanding lead in the national polls as well.  The improving macro environment, coupled with the full impact of Romney’s various gaffes, has propelled Obama into a 4.5 point lead in the national polls, with Obama inching even closer to the 50% mark, which he does not need to win (third party candidates will chew up a point or two) but would certainly be an important pre-Election Day marker.


Nat'l Polls
Obama
48.5%
Romney
44.0%
Diff
4.5%


The Charisma Factor.   Romney continues to be net negative, unheard of for a presidential candidate at this stage of the game.  One can safely conclude that Romney has been examined carefully and the majority of voters simply do not like him.  That bodes poorly for Election Day voting decisions among undecideds, who tend to vote for the person they’d rather have a beer with.

Obama’s net positive of +7.3 yields a “Charisma Factor” of +10.3, a commanding lead and an election day asset.

Obama
52.0
44.7
7.3
Romney
45.7
48.7
-3.0
Net


10.3


Popular Vote Projection.  My projection of Obama’s national popular vote lead is now almost 4 full points.


Vote
%
Obama
 66,714,804
51.3%
Romney
 61,283,393
47.1%
Other
   1,988,683
1.5%



As always, comments welcome! 


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