We are on the cusp of one of the closest Presidential elections in our lifetimes and throughout the course of this campaign I've provided a couple of electoral maps that have shown a slight Obama edge creep into a minor Romney lead. However, I believe that this election is breaking favorably now for Gov. Romney and the polling that we are seeing from early voting, including the extensive data that Gallup has provided has shown that what was a +16 point advantage for Obama in 2008 over McCain has turned into a +6 point edge for Romney in the swing states.
That is Huge!
Also, data suggests that the overall gender gap has shrunken incredibly, where recent polling shows a statistical tie between Obama and Romney among women, while Romney owns a decisive edge among men. Unless there's some other gender type that I'm leaving out, that would seem to bode very well for Romney chances on election night.
Also, enthusiasm among democrats is notably less than what we are seeing among republicans, while independent voters are breaking decisively in Romney's favor as well.
Here's how the swing states look:
Nearly all the polling results out there is using 2008 exit poll data as the basis for weighting this year's polls. I'm quite confident that is a huge mistake as I think we'll see something more along the lines of what 2004 gave us when Bush was running for re-election. Overall turnout will be lower than what we saw in 2008.
With that said, I think Florida is a foregone conclusion that it will fall in Romney's column. The data coming out of this state has been very favorable for Republicans. Even long-shot Connie Mack running against the well-established Bill Nelson is closing the gap between those two as well, which I thought would be very unlikely.
Other swing states that are following the same course as Florida is North Carolina, Colorado, and Virginia. New Hampshire has peaked at the right time for Romney as well, and get-out-the-vote efforts have favored Republicans in that state .
One state I don't believe Romney has a chance at that many believe to be a toss up is Nevada. There is far too strong of an influence among casino unions and Hispanics - both of which favor Obama quite nicely.
Michighan and Minnesota, though some have put these states in the toss-up column, I don't think Romney can carry them. Between the two Michigan has the best chance though.
The Must-See Swing-States Final Four:
Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin (10), and Iowa (6) - these are the states that are likely to be the closest. Between them they represent 54 electoral votes - or almost the electoral value of California (55).
At this point Romney holds a 261-223 lead over Obama and ONLY needs 9 more electoral votes to become your 45th President of the United States.
And I'm going to make a bold prediction and say that all four states go for Romney and provides him with a well cushioned 315-223 victory over Obama.
Despite all the anti-Romney commercials in Ohio that is running over his stance in the auto-industry, polls have him and Obama tied between 47-48. Without getting over 50% before an election in polls, tie goes to the challenger as it always has, and you'll likely see a 51-49/52-48 margin of victory for Romney.
Remember undecideds in polling are typically not undecided between Romney and Obama, but Romney and not voting. That's why on election day, undecideds vote 5 to 1 against the incumbent, in favor of the challenger.
Wisconsin has similar data to that of Ohio, and is also peaking at the right time for Romney. Iowa, is pushing into the Romney camp as well established firms such as Rasmussen shows a +1 advantage (#1 polling firm in 2008) and that's all that Romney needs for a decisive victory on Tuesday.
My most controversial of picks is Pennsylvania, which is the gold-mine between the four states mentioned, representing 20 electoral votes. I'll get a lot of disagreement on this one but I think this state, with the heavy coal influence will slightly tilt Romney on election night.
So there you have it - my electoral map. Feel free to disagree, post your comments stating as much. But my job is to give you my opinion, and that is what I'm providing you with. Do I think I'm 100% right? Not at all. But with the information and data that I've seen to-date, this is how I see the election going.
Here's the electoral map as I see it