Obama 290
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Ties 9
Romney 239
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Dem 54
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Ties 2
GOP 44
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  • Strongly Dem (187)
  • Likely Dem (50)
  • Barely Dem (53)
  • Exactly tied (9)
  • Barely GOP (69)
  • Likely GOP (36)
  • Strongly GOP (134)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: GA ID NM
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: FL IN NH NC
PW logo Latest Swing State Polls Romney Near Landslide Among Rural Voters
Swing States Slipping Away from Obama? Paul Ryan Can't Lose
Clinton Accepts Responsibility for Security Failure McGovern in Hospice Care

News from the Votemaster

Editorial note: A short posting today but back to normal tomorrow.

Obama Leads in Early Voting

Early voting has started in over 40 states and 7% of the voters have already cast their ballots. These early votes have broken strongly for President Obama, 59% to 31%, according to a new Ipsos poll.

Both campaigns are urging their supporters to vote early because a vote banked early can't change, even if the candidate stumbles later. Typically, strong partisans, whose votes will not change no matter what, are the ones who vote early. Fence sitters tend to wait until the last minute.

Sen. Rob Portman: Romney Can Win without Ohio

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said yesterday that Mitt Romney can win the election without Ohio, but it would be tough. This is an amazing statement for two reasons. First, Portman knows very well that no Republican has ever been elected President without Ohio and this year is unlikely to be different. If Obama wins all the states the Democrats have won the past five presidential elections, he has 242 electoral votes locked down. New Mexico is not really in play any more, giving Obama 247 electoral votes. If he wins Ohio, he has 265. It takes 270 to win, so if Obama wins Ohio, he needs to win only one of Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, or Virginia. Romney would have to win all of them without Ohio. New Hampshire has only 4 electoral votes, so if Romney sweeps all of the above but Obama wins New Hampshire, we would have a 269-269 tie and the new House would elect the President, with each state having one vote.

Second, key politicians rarely make such negative statements about their states. Normally, the senator from Ohio would say that he expects Romney to carry Ohio, and not talk about Romney losing the state. Clearly Portman is fairly pessimistic about Romney's chances in Ohio. This assessment is consistent with Romney spending most of the week campaigning in the state and Ryan spending several days there as well.

This is why Portman and Romney are worried. There have been eight polls taken entirely after Obama's disastrous presidential debate. In seven of them, Obama is ahead. In the most recent one, by 5 points. In only one of the eight polls was Romney ahead, and then by only 1 point. Averaging all eight polls we get Obama 49%, Romney 46%. Hence all the attention on Ohio.

Tuesday's Debate Could Be Decisive

President Obama and Mitt Romney will go at it again tomorrow at Hofstra University on Long Island. The format will be different than the first debate: a town hall, with members of the audience submitting questions to moderator Candy Crowley in advance and Crowley selecting questions to ask.

Eveyone expects Obama to come out swinging but the format does not lend itself to nasty attacks well. After all, the candidates will be addressing a member of the audience who asked the question, not each other. Nevertheless, if some little old lady asks Obama about Medicare, he could reply that he wants to keep it as it is and Romney wants to turn it into a voucher system. One thing that the Obama campaign has promised is to go after Romney whenever he says something that contradicts what he has been saying all year. In the first debate, for example he said he would not cut taxes on the rich, even though all year he has been saying he would cut taxes on the rich, which he called the "job creators," so they could go create some more jobs.

Town Hall debates are less predictable than debates where the moderator thinks up the questions because issues that are a big deal inside the Beltway (like what happened in Libya a few weeks ago) are frequently of little import to actual voters. Here is a nice history of "presidential debates" going back to 1858.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Georgia 43% 51%   Oct 08 Oct 11 Atlanta Journal
Idaho 27% 63%   Oct 08 Oct 10 Mason Dixon
New Mexico 49% 39%   Oct 09 Oct 11 Research and Polling

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Oct14 Romney and Ryan Move to Ohio
Oct14 The Hill: Democrats Will Hold Senate, GOP Will Hold House
Oct14 Five Myths about Polling
Oct14 Obama Has Gotten Donations from over Four Million People
Oct14 Ron Paul Refuses to Endorse Romney
Oct14 What Obama Can Do To Win the Next Debate
Oct13 Another Poll Shows Biden Won the Vice-Presidential Debate
Oct13 Romney To Run Massive Numbers of Ads in Final Three Weeks
Oct13 Closing Loopholes Would Allow Only a 4% Tax Rate Reduction
Oct13 Gallup To Make Half of Its Calls to Cell Phones
Oct13 Consumer Confidence Highest in Five Years
Oct13 Ryan Has Received $3 Million in Donations from the Financial Industry
Oct12 Biden Ends Democratic Freakout
Oct11 Expanded Poll Graphs Now Available
Oct11 What Biden Needs To Do Tonight
Oct11 Forget the National Polls, It's All about Nine States
Oct11 Fight over Provisional Ballots Expected to Go to Court in Ohio
Oct11 Why Did It Take So Long for Romney V2.0 to Repudiate Romney V1.0?
Oct11 Jamie Dimon Supports Higher Taxes for the Rich
Oct10 Romney Leads Obama Nationally in New Polls
Oct10 Romney Says He Will Not Pursue Any New Restrictions of Abortions
Oct10 Ohio Secretary of State To Appeal Early Voting Decision to the Supreme Court
Oct10 The Role of Congress Likely to Loom Large in Vice-Presidential Debate
Oct10 The Ten Most Competitive Senate Races
Oct10 Democrats Have Massive Lead Among Latinos in Arizona
Oct10 Three States Have a Referendum on Same-Sex Marriage
Oct09 National Pew Poll: Romney Leads 49% to 45%
Oct09 Next Congress Will Be More Divided than This One
Oct09 Active Duty and Retired Military Personnel Support Romney
Oct09 Biden V2.0 May Be Very Different from Biden V1.0
Oct09 Bill Clinton Campaigning Everywhere
Oct08 Internet Voting Seen As a Huge Risk
Oct08 Absentee Ballots Present Challenges to Election Officials
Oct08 Budget Experts Say the Books Were Not Cooked
Oct08 Heitkamp Running for Mayor of North Dakota
Oct08 Disenchanted Lugar Supporters May Determine Indiana Senate Race
Oct08 Moderator Martha Raddatz Needs to Show Biden and Ryan Who's the Boss
Oct07 Obama Raises $181 Million in September
Oct07 Romney Gains Momentum after Debate
Oct07 Priebus Praises Biden in Advance of Vice-Presidential Debate
Oct07 Democrats Not Expected to Retake House
Oct07 Coloradoans Like Pot
Oct06 Early Voting Reinstated in Ohio
Oct06 Democrats Fight Voter Suppression Laws with Voter Encouragement Laws
Oct06 How Bipartisan Was Romney as Governor?
Oct06 Democrats Counting on Biden to Attack the Ryan Plan for Replacing Medicare
Oct06 Why Isn't Romney Really Rich?
Oct06 Romney Drops Talking Point
Oct06 Will Black Voters Turn Out in Virginia and North Carolina?
Oct05 Obama Approval Reaches 3-Year High