Since our last map, the Obama campaign has cemented leads in all key states apart from Virginia where there has been no change. Following on from the predictions by Aaron, the chances of Obama keeping the White House are 80% or more at this point in the race, according to this analysis.
3 States Explained
1. Pennsylvania – The only state to officially change rating this week, it moves from ‘Likely Obama’ to solid Democratic territory. The latest poll puts the President 11 percent ahead of Romney. The Republican ticket can angle all they want about potential turnout in the rural, conservative west of the state, but Pennsylvania is now safely in the Obama column. This narrows the possible path to victory even further for Governor Romney.
2. Ohio – There was a lot of pressure to move the Buckeye state from ‘Leans Obama’ to ‘Likely Obama’, especially after the last two polls put the President more than 5% up. Though the Obama campaign is making progress in Ohio, it is too early to tell to what extent the feel good industrial focus is going to last. The polls could easily swing back and undermine Obama’s lead, so for the moment leaning is all Ohio does.
3. North Carolina – This could have been the piece of good news for the Romney campaign. The former Governor is looking increasingly unstoppable in Carolinian polls, and smart money might go for this being the first state Obama pulls out of. It does not quite move from ‘Likely Romney’ to safe, but it is not far away at all.
3 States to Watch
1. Michigan - The home of GM and birthplace of Mitt Romney is one major poll release from being placed in the safely Democratic column. The rather surprising challenge the Republican nominee presented here to the Obama campaign has not crumbled, but collapsed. A little surprising the Romney campaign is still active in Michigan at all, the clock is running out here.
2.Virginia – Progress postponed? The Obama campaign has not made any progress in Virginia over the past week, remaining consistently ahead but well within the margin of error. Hitting Governor Romney hard in Virginia and running up the score could put 270 electoral votes out of reach of Romney now that Pennsylvania is looking safe for the President. Expect a major push by Team Obama over the next few weeks, the state maybe the birthplace of Presidents, but it may also be the graveyard of the Romney campaign.
3. Oregon – Various major polling averages still have Oregon as within striking distance for Governor Romney, with no major survey yet putting the President more than 6 percent ahead. Keep an eye on Oregon, it may just show this reporter’s predictions to be completely off after dismissing a Republican challenge in the state a few months back.