Rasmussen Reports has released the first major polls for the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia since Romney’s masterful debate performance on Wednesday night. The surveys seem to indicate that the first presidential debate has provided Romney with some of the forward momentum that previous polling indicated he needed in those states as Romney closes the gap in each of the three states to within either a percentage point behind or ahead of President Obama.
While all of this is good news for Mitt, the best news of all is in the Ohio numbers.
Up to now, White House 2012 has largely concluded that Mitt Romney was likely to become the first Republican to win the White House without winning Ohio. Barack Obama knows that without Ohio, Romney has significantly fewer paths leading to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. For that reason, the Obama-Biden ticket has targeted Ohio and made it the key to their own reelection effort. So far they have done so with success by exploiting the President’s bailout of the auto industry which in one way or another, employs a significant number of Ohioans. But these new numbers may now show that the Obama strategy to deny Romney Ohio is going to be tougher than heretofore believed. Apparently, Romney’s debate performance swung at least some minds in his direction. But the apparent turnaround in Ohio and Obama’s struggle to deny Romney the state is a problem for the President that is only compounded by the fact that the latest Rasmussen poll now also shows Romney ahead in Virginia and Florida.
If this trend continues, the tables can quickly turn and President Obama can find himself the one losing the number of paths available to reelection.
On Monday, when these and other polls are figured in to the RCP average of polls, White House 2012 will be updating its own Electoral College projection which currently gives Romney an 8 vote lead over President Obama. (See the current WH12 Electoral College Projection here.)
The White House 2012 Electoral College projection is based upon a formula which uses the average margin of error in all the polls that Real Clear Politics uses to reach its average of polls. This formula compensates for what we believe is the undercounting of the Republican voter that most polling outfits are using by basing this election on the 2010 turnout models. Under this formula, White House 2012 currently adds 3.7% to Romney’s RCP average in each of the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Virginia…. the six states we believe are still undecided. North Carolina which is considered a swing state by the mainstream media, is not considered such by White House 2012. We believe that Romney will win North Carolina and have put that state and its 15 electoral votes in Romney’s column.
As indicated in the map below with blue states being for Obama and red states being for Romney, most other states are clearly in the column of one candidate or the other. A few exceptions could present themselves though in the coming weeks. White House 2012 suspects that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico could open up and become much more competitive for Romney than it currently is. If that happens, WH12 will consider them toss-ups and apply the 3.7% formula to their RCP average.
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