Chart of the Day

via Smartypants

This is Moodys’ projected electoral outcome for the 2012 election based on the improving economies of battleground states, current polling trends in those states, and the results of the 2008 election.

Nine states switched from supporting Republican President George W. Bush in 2004 to Democrat Obama in 2008. Leaving out Indiana, which both sides say is trending toward its Republican tradition, the remaining eight are again shaping up as the central election battleground.

Those eight states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia — have a combined 101 electoral votes. Romney must win at least 79 of those electoral votes to prevail if all other states run true to their 2004 and 2008 partisan preferences.

And as Smarty points out, the president could even lose Ohio and still win the election. I find that hard to see happening, however.

This isn’t a case for complacency, however in this election more than perhaps any previous election, it’s more advisable to focus on the situation in electorally-crucial states rather than national polls which have been dubious at best.

Keep this in mind before lighting your hair on fire the next time a pollster assigns a heavy conservative weighting (which doesn’t actually exist) to a poll to produce a desired result. A result that fits their narrative of an “all tied up” horse race.

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  • D_C_Wilson

    Remember when the media used to discuss the details of each candidate’s respective platform instead of just covering the horse race?

    • JMAshby

      When was that?

      • D_C_Wilson

        Exactly.

      • Victor_the_Crab

        A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

  • muselet

    This illustrates perfectly one of the (many) things that annoy me about our glorious news media. National polling numbers are irrelevant in a presidential election. What matters, thanks to the Rube Goldberg/Heath Robinson (delete according to cultural preference) system the Founders cobbled together, is the Electoral College vote.

    But national polls make for a closer horse race, so they get reported in breathless tones.

    Better reporters, please.

    –alopecia

  • Alex0001

    Kind of curious how Wisconsin is still blue. I can’t say I’m feeling too good about the recall so I’m wondering how they’d vote for a Dem president but not a governor.

  • trgahan

    For the media, the money is on reporting “a dead heat” as long as possible. I really want to see how long “all tied up” can work after the debates starts.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      They want a dead heat in order to keep the eyeballs of the people glued to their TV sets.

  • BenAu

    Weren’t there serious attempts to paint McCain/Palin as potential winners right up until election day in 2008? And they got wiped. They were going on a lot about the “racist vote” not showing in the polls as I recall.

    This time it will be every not-good-enough financial indicator which will get the “pundits” breathless. Plus the PAC influence (imagine the money that will flow to Rove if Romney looks like taking a dive).

  • RS Janes

    Keep in mind most polls are still conducted the same way they were in the 1950s: the polling firm calls people on landline phones and gets the opinions of those who are willing to stay on the line and answer questions. These days, those people tend to be older, whiter, retired and more conservative. Most of us now have cellphones unreachable by pollsters, or answering machines to screen them out. The polls are also weighted, as has been pointed out; three African-Americans can become representative of the entire black vote, and it does serve the interests of the media to keep things horse-race close, so they won’t be demanding better polling methods anytime soon. Adding to that is the example of Marquette University in Wisconsin recently admitting to putting its thumb on the scale in favor of Scott Walker by polling conservative Republican areas more heavily than Dems or independents. No wonder Walker is even or slightly ahead of Barrett.