Aug. 7: North Carolina Isn’t Central to Electoral Math
There were two polls out in Colorado on Tuesday showing apparently contradictory results. One survey, from Rasmussen Reports, had an exact tie there. Another, from Public Policy Polling, put President Obama ahead by six points, or by four points with Gary Johnson, a Libertarian, included in the survey. (In cases where pollsters ask questions both with and without Mr. Johnson on the ballot, we simply average the numbers, so our forecast model treats the poll as showing a five-point lead for Mr. Obama.)
As regular readers will know, however, Public Policy Polling surveys have had a Democratic lean this cycle, while Rasmussen Reports polls have a Republican one. So it’s not that unusual to see a split like this between them. Considering their respective “house effects,” both polls are consistent with the forecast model’s prior take on Colorado, which puts Mr. Obama ahead there by slightly under three percentage points.
Another Public Policy Polling survey, in North Carolina, put Mr. Obama three points ahead there. Even considering the polling firm’s house effect, this is one of Mr. Obama’s better numbers in the state and did move the forecast in North Carolina some: his chances of winning it rose to 33 percent from 27 percent previously.
But North Carolina just isn’t that important to the electoral math. Mr. Obama currently holds leads in the forecast in states totaling 332 electoral votes. That figure includes a couple of cases — Florida and Virginia — that are close to being tied in the model right now. But even dropping those from Mr. Obama’s column, he has leads in states holding 290 electoral votes
The 290 total, of course, also includes plenty of states (like Ohio and Colorado) that Mr. Obama could easily lose. If Mr. Romney gains a few points on Mr. Obama nationally, Mr. Obama will be underwater in a lot of places.
But how likely is it that Mr. Obama’s numbers will decline in states like Ohio and Colorado and, simultaneously, improve in North Carolina? That is what would be required to make North Carolina a true tipping-point state.
It’s not impossible — there is
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/aug-7-north-carolina-isnt-central-to-electoral-math/
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