Leading up to the November 6 Presidential election, Weld is tracking the projected outcome in the Electoral College. Based on analysis of rolling monthly polling averages in each state, electoral votes are awarded in a tiered system that identifies every state as either Locked, Likely, Leaning or a Tossup. In determining the weekly vote totals, tossup states are awarded based on which candidate is leading in that state. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency.
Projected Electoral College result: Obama 332, Romney 206
The clock is ticking on the Mitt Romney campaign. The election is now eight weeks away, meaning another week has passed with no change in the projected outcome. That’s not good if you’re trying to come from behind.
Worse for Romney, President Barack Obama emerged from the Democratic National Convention with a bounce in the polls that, while not overwhelming, was substantial enough to provide some breathing room. Obama leads by an average of 3.5 points in national popularity polls completed since the convention; likewise, his job approval rating has been at 50 percent or above in every major poll taken over the past several days. There is some speculation that, barring significant movement toward Romney in several key states by early October — the first Presidential debate is scheduled for October 3 — many top Republican donors will concentrate their efforts over the last month on maintaining control of the House of Representatives and winning the Senate for their party.
But that’s three weeks away. A lot can happen in three weeks.
Locked for Obama (168 votes): California, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington
Locked for Romney (117 votes): Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming
These states aren’t going anywhere. Okay, there is a scenario where New Jersey becomes competitive and an even crazier one where Texas does. But neither will happen.
Likely Obama (43 votes): Connecticut, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania
Likely Romney (58 votes): Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee
Not much to report here. With the exceptions of Missouri, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, there has been little to no new polling data to support reliable updating of numbers. That will change over the next few weeks.
Leaning Obama (10 votes): Minnesota
Leaning Romney (16 votes): Georgia
It’s also been some time since we’ve seen fresh poll numbers from these two states, along with the key battlegrounds of Iowa, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin. Such numbers will tell us a great deal about the direction of the campaign.
Tossups (126 votes): Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin
With one exception, all of the post-DNC trends favor Obama, whose leads have grown in Colorado, Florida and, most dramatically, Michigan. The exception is North Carolina, where Romney’s lead has ticked upward. Unfortunately for him, this illustrates the difficulty of his path to victory: Spend too much time and resources closing ground in one place, and you might lose it in three others. Of the 10 Tossups, Obama leads in nine — the same number as before the two conventions.
Thumbnail analysis: Can Romney still win? Yes. Does he have any margin at all for error? Now more than ever, No.