Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The state of the presidential contest on 10/10/12

Last Saturday, I made the following assessement in the introduction to Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Change in the weather edition).
Between now and the general election, Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday will highlight the research stories from the public universities in swing states for either the presidential election or competitive contests for the U.S. Senate, plus those states holding presidential or vice-presidential debates during the week. Competitive states will be determined based on the percentage chance to win at Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times. Those that show the two major party candidates having probabilities to win between 20% and 80% inclusive will count as swing states.

As of October 6th, the presidential swing states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Virginia, while the states with competitive races for the U.S. Senate are Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Wisconsin.
That's changed. As of last night, the presidential swing states are now Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia. Nevada, New Hampshire, and Ohio have moved back into the competitive column with 70-80% likelihoods of  Obama victories, while North Carolina has moved out with an estimated 80.3% chance of a Romney win. Nate Silver's latest entry reflects the new reality.

Oct. 9: Romney Erases Obama’s Convention Bounce in Forecast
Following another day of strong polling on Tuesday, Mitt Romney advanced into the best position in the FiveThirtyEight forecast since the party conventions. His chances of winning the Electoral College are now 28.8 percent in the forecast, his highest since Aug. 29. For the first time since Aug. 28, President Obama is projected to win fewer than 300 electoral votes. And Mr. Obama’s projected margin of victory in the national popular vote — 2.0 percentage points — represents the closest the race has been since June 27.

The forecast model is not quite ready to jump on board with the notion that the race has become a literal toss-up; Mr. Romney will need to maintain his bounce for a few more days, or extend it into high-quality polls of swing states, before we can be surer about that.

But we are ready to conclude that one night in Denver undid most of the advantage Mr. Obama had appeared to gain in September.
As I concluded last night's entry, it's time to get out the vote.

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