Another dry, wordy, must-read from Nate Sliver at FiveThirtyEight about the most puzzling question of campaign 2012: Why were Romney and his team so surprised by the election night results, when statistical models showed them trailing significantly in the states that mattered most?
Really? Even on election night, with North Carolina too close to call deep into the night, with Obama performing well in Virginia and Florida, with states like Iowa and Colorado showing good returns for Obama — even with all that going on, Ryan thought they were in a position to win until Ohio was called?
Nate Silver and his team at FiveThirtyEight are still at it. And I sincerely suggest that journalists interested in giving accurate information in elections spend some time reading his wonky post-mortems.
Obama won Elliott County in Eastern Kentucky, which has less than 8,000 people and is over 99 percent white. Elliott has apparently voted for the Democrat in every presidential race since the county was founded in 1869. That’s the longest winning streak for any party in any county in the country. But it was close this year, with Obama beating Romney 1,186 to 1,126.
This post will not update itself, so you’ll need to refresh from time to time if you’re following it. 12:35: With 92.96% in Ohio reporting, Obama’s lead is now 82,000 votes, a 1.59% margin. Just 12% of the vote in…
Here’s my guess: I think the turnout will be slightly better than the consensus predictions for Democrats generally and African Americans specifically. That will push Obama easily past 270, even though he’s likely to get only about 51 percent of the vote and to lose at least a couple of states that he took in 2008 — Indiana and North Carolina.
“Many of The Economist’s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama. We beg to differ. For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.”
The state level polling is consistently showing Obama headed for something around 300 electoral votes. Obama is apparently ahead in Ohio, which would seem almost certain to guarantee him the election, but he also has other paths to 270 with states where he apparently has even narrower leads: New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado, and Virginia. Florida looks very close too, but an average of state polling puts Romney slightly ahead.
Right now, the FiveThirtyEight model gives Obama a 63.8% chance of winning on Nov. 6. That’s down dramatically from the 87.1% chance before the first debate. FWIW, InTrade has Obama with a 60.4% chance of re-election.