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 303, Romney 235
Last week, we noted that trends in several key states suggested that perhaps President Barack Obama had withstood the worst of the gigantic surge toward former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the weeks following the first Presidential debate on October 3. This week’s numbers bolster that scenario, as the Tossup state of Colorado, which we moved to the Romney column for projection purposes last week, returns to Obama’s side of the ledger. That pushes Obama’s electoral vote total back above 300.
We’ll devote some more extensive analysis to what’s happening in Colorado and other Tossup states below. Meanwhile, despite some notable movement of numbers in several states, Colorado is the only change from last week’s projections. An interesting fact: Each candidate leads in 25 states, with Obama also leading in the solidly Democratic District of Columbia.
Locked for Obama (184 votes): California, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington
Locked for Romney (128 votes): Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming
The latest polls show some shrinkage of leads for Romney in Georgia and Obama in New Mexico, but there’s no reason to think that those leads won’t remain considerable.
Likely Obama (17 votes): Minnesota, Oregon
Likely Romney (52 votes): Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee
Over the past week, Romney has lost a point off his leads in Arizona and Montana. That reflects the general trend, but probably no real cause for concern with the election just two weeks away at this writing.
Leaning Obama (46 votes): Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
Leaning Romney (0 votes)
The general trend holds here as well, as Obama’s lead in all three of the states leaning his way has increased slightly over last week.
Tossups (100 votes): Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia
Last week, we declared that Romney must win Ohio to get to 270. Obama can win without it, but he’d better not lose too many other Tossups. With each candidate close to solidifying support in the non-Tossup states he leads — Wisconsin still could prove problematic for Obama, but that’s about it — let’s break down the states where the election will be decided individually.
Colorado. The candidates have split the last six polls, with Romney leading by as much as four points, Obama by as much as three. The current rolling average has Obama up by just three-tenths of a point.
Florida. Romney has led four of the past five polls here, but his overall lead is down from last week, to 1.4 points.
Iowa. Five polls have been completed in the past eight days; Obama leads in two, Romney in one, and there are two outright ties. The upshot: Obama by 2.2.
Nevada. Obama has never trailed in any poll here. His lead had shrunk to less than two points last week, but now is back up to 3.2.
New Hampshire. Not too long ago, the Granite State was firmly in the Obama camp. Romney has led two of the past five polls, but the trend back toward the President continues, and what was a virtual tie last week is now a 1.6-point Obama advantage.
North Carolina. Obama has not led a poll here since just prior to the first debate, and Romney’s lead has grown to 4.5 points — almost enough to move it out of Tossup status.
Ohio. Romney has pulled close — two of the seven most recent polls have been ties, but Obama has never trailed.
Virginia. Romney’s on top in three of the last five polls, but Obama’s lead holds steady from last week — at a paper-thin 0.3 points.
Thumbnail analysis: The third and final debate is in the books, with most observers — including post-debate snap polls — giving Obama the decided edge. What that will do to state-by-state numbers won’t be apparent until this time next week. It’s safe to assume that the President won’t get the same kind of bounce Romney got from their first encounter. But at this state, the swing of a point or two in a few key states would make all the difference in the world. Stay tuned.