Predicting the Electoral Map

As I said last week, I think my original prediction of an Obama victory still stands. Certainly the race has tightened in the last month, but the polls still give an edge to the President in the crucial battleground states. That being said, it’s difficult to be dogmatic because many of those very same polls are still within the margin of error. Nevertheless, the trends seem to indicate that President Obama will end up with more than the required 270 electoral votes. In my view, the most likely result from tomorrow’s election will give the President 290 electoral votes to Romney’s 248 (see map above).

Having said that, the polls could be wrong given that they are within the margin of error. Also, the large crowds showing up at Romney rallies over the weekend suggest a great deal of excitement on the GOP side. If that’s the case, I’m guessing that the most likely scenario for a Romney victory would result in 276 electoral votes for Romney and 262 for the President (see map below). This guess is based in part on some of the internal polling that the Romney people are looking at (for Romney Ohio +1, Iowa +2, NH +3). Again, I’m no political professional. I’m just an amateur who follows these things pretty closely. So take my prognostication with the requisite grain of salt. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow how close (or not close!) I was.

If you want to fill-in your own map and game the different scenarios, visit

16 Responses to Predicting the Electoral Map

  1. Aaron O'Kelley November 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    I’m saying Romney breaks 300, perhaps even significantly.

    • Tom Parker November 6, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Really??? How about 206?

      • Alex Humphrey November 6, 2012 at 11:09 am #

        Depends which polls you read, Tom. They’re pretty split. Some saying President Obama has a commanding lead, others Romney. It’s completely possible that Romney has over 300 electoral votes.

  2. joerigney November 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    Denny, I came across this chart on Twitter and it basically demonstrates the two schools of thought about tomorrow:

    It’s a comparison between Rasmussen’s October Party ID Survey with the exit polls going back to 2004. You’ll see that they’re always pretty close.

    The big question is between the 2008 exit polls and Rasmussen’s 2012 Party ID. The polls are almost universally assuming a 2008 electorate (or more Democratic; CNN’s last poll at a D+11 split, with Romney winning independents by 22 points, and still a tie). If something approximating the 2008 electorate shows up, Obama wins a second term. If Rasmussen’s Party ID electorate shows up, then Romney wins handily. If it’s somewhere in between, then it’s probably Romney by a nose.

    My money’s on an evenly split electorate, giving Romney a solid win, since he’s winning independents pretty well. The nightmare scenario is a squeaker either way, with the results being decided by the lawyers in the next 2 months.

    Nothing left to do but vote.

  3. James Stanton November 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    I think the first map is a likely scenario although the trend in Virginia has been toward Obama since the third debate. I think his ceiling is 303 with Virginia and 332 if Democrats exceed expectations in Florida but I think the Republicans restricting early voting there will enable a win for Romney.

    Romney’s winning scenario could be 270-268 winning Ohio and New Hampshire, 275-263 winning Ohio and Colorado, or 279-259 with all 3 of those states. I assume in all cases that he would win North Carolina and Florida.

  4. Dan Bruce November 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    I believe that Obama will garner 280+ electoral votes, and that he will win the popular vote 51% to 47%. I can’t see Mitt “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney as a winner in Ohio. A poll taken Nov. 1-4 has Ohio voting as follows: Obama 49%, Romney 45%, Johnson 4%, Stein 1%, and Goode < 0.5%. Without Ohio, it will be very difficult for Romney to win.

  5. Mike Bird November 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Can I send you another magazine if Obama wins?

  6. David Thomas November 6, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    Among swing states, Romney carries FL, NC, VA, NH, OH, WI, IA, and CO. At least.

    • Denny Burk November 6, 2012 at 12:58 am #

      I vote for your prediction over mine!

  7. Alex Chediak November 6, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    I couldn’t get my map to show up as pretty on my blog, but I have a 285-253 map, with Romney winning.

  8. Karen Campbell "thatmom" November 6, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    I think Peggy Noonan has it right….all the polls in the world cannot measure what we have also seen stirring across the country!

  9. Matt Martin November 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    The first results are already in from Dixville Notch, NH. They traditionally vote all together at midnight. The results…

    A tie! 5 to 5.

    But looking closer at it, the town has two registered Democrats, three registered Republicans and five independents. And while voting in their state races, the Republicans came out on top, usually winning 7 votes. So the independents are choosing Obama.

    The other town small town to vote at Midnight in New Hampshire – Hart’s Location – voted for Obama – 23 to 9. A year ago it was 17 to 10.

    It’s kind of silly to analyze such a small vote. But I do think it’s hinting at what’s going to happen today. While the Republicans are enthusiastic, when it comes down to it, Democrats are showing up and the independents are slightly choosing Obama.


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