After Obama’s victory in the second debate, Mitt Romney’s campaign has been somewhat in free-fall. With his advisers and strategists left scratching their heads in the wake of a powerful debate performance by a popular incumbent President, Governor Romney desperately needs to re-energise his campaign in order to even remain competitive ahead of election night let alone pull a victory out of the hat.
And here’s why.
In a poll of polls, Obama is outperforming Romney in nearly every key battleground state after the second debate. From Nevada to Colorado, New Hampshire to New Mexico, Barack Obama is leading by healthier margins than he could have expected at this stage in the race; certainly better than many pundits were predicting after the first debate debacle. Critically for Governor Romney, President Obama is leading by 5% and 4% in Pennsylvania and Iowa respectively and, in my opinion, putting both states (and their combined 26 electoral college votes) out of reach of the Romney camp. When you factor in Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Hampshire (with a combined total of 38 electoral votes) all leaning to Obama by 2 to 3 percentage points, the electoral math for Mr Romney just doesn’t seem to add up.
Here’s my prediction, based on the state of the race at the moment, for the November 6th election:
I think Obama is going to carry Florida relatively easily, given the aging population of senior citizens and the ongoing perceived threat to Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid from Mr Romney. Pundits keep talking about Wisconsin being in play given that Mr Ryan, as Romney’s running-mate, comes from the state but I really don’t see how that argument stands up especially given that Obama will almost certainly carry Massachusetts (Romney’s own home-state). Wisconsin has also been won by Democrats since the era of Dukakis in ’88; six straight wins are not likely to change colour this time round.
The ones to watch are North Carolina and Virginia; I expect them to fall into the Romney column but the polls between now and the next debate may well indicate some change. If Obama can keep them from reverting back to red, as they were during the Bush years, then Romney’s path to victory will be all but closed by the start of the last debate and he will have to pull out all the stops on the night.
Thoughts on the map? Do you agree or disagree with the states as I’ve called them?