Predicting Election Based on Presidential Polls, Electoral College

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Predicting the election outcome based on presidential polls and the electoral college
Credit: Realclearpolitics.com

With the election only ten days away, many Americans are looking to presidential polls as a means for predicting the outcome of the election and possibly making the decision to vote for one candidate over the other.

Many voters recognize that the state they reside in will go to one candidate over the other regardless of their vote, but people still vote for the opposing candidate. Americans understand that the outcome of the election is determined by the Electoral College, not a popular vote.

This year, political observers are watching eleven states considered toss-ups or swing states. These are states that could go to either candidate. According to Real Clear Politics these swing states and their electoral votes include: Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), and Wisconsin (10).

Mitt Romney has a one point lead in the national aggregated presidential polls. Yet, the slight lead in the popular vote is not reflected in his hunt for 270 electoral votes. Obama has a ten electoral vote lead regardless of national presidential poll, largely due to carrying high electoral vote races like California (55), and New York (29). Based on likely outcomes in thirty-nine other states, Romney has 191 electoral votes and Obama has 201, with 146 up for grabs.

Voters looking to understand presidential polls and their outcome should focus on the toss-up states as indicators of the winner. Below are the swing states according to Real Clear Politics and the most recent polling in each state.


State

Colorado (9)
Florida (29)
Iowa (6)
Michigan (16)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)
North Carolina (15)
Ohio (18)
Pennsylvania (20)
Virginia (13)
Wisconsin (10)

Total Electoral Votes


Obama (201)

47.8
47.1
49.0
48.8
49.7
48.3
46.5
48.0
50.0
46.8
49.3

80


Romney (191)

47.8
48.9
46.7
44.8
47.2
47.2
50.3
45.7
45.2
48.0
47.0

57


Obama is pulling more electoral votes from the toss-up states regardless of Romney leading in Florida. Colorado will be the target of pushes from both campaigns as they’re locked in a virtual tie.

If the election was decided today, based on these numbers, Barack Obama would win with 281 electoral votes with Romney trailing at 248.

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  1. Rick Rogers I too have reminded people that the national popular vote polls are meaningless in regard to winning a state and ultimately the election. It seems many people want to either jump on the bandwagon of the leader or gravitate to the underdog out of sympathy. You wrote “Many voters recognize that the state they reside in will go to one candidate over the other regardless of their vote, but people still vote for the opposing candidate.” I don’t see the significance of this statement. Why wouldn’t people still vote for their candidate? What else should they do? You wrote “Obama is pulling more electoral votes from the toss-up states regardless of Romney leading in Florida.” If you base this on the RCP average of polls you failed to mention that some of the polls they average are out of date or intentionally skewed to influence voters. If you average bogus numbers, your average is bogus. Garbage in, garbage out. I weight the reputable polls more than the others. Some polls I disregard completely. Make your projections from the most respected polls, not all of them. If you do, you’ll see a tighter race and perhaps a Romney lead. You wrote “Colorado will be the target of pushes from both campaigns as they’re locked in a virtual tie.” All the swing states and others are targeted, not just CO. You wrote “If the election was decided today, based on these numbers, Barack Obama would win with 281 electoral votes with Romney trailing at 248.” Again, garbage in, garbage out. The election will not be decided by these numbers. That’s what you should have included. Are you trying to influence people with this blog post? I hope not. If you are, you should admit it and stop doing it. We all know that many people will agree with what they think everyone else thinks is right. As you wrote, some people may be using polls to determine which candidate to vote for. Unfortunately, that’s true. That’s why people skew and distort polls. To influence those people, “sheeple” as they are commonly called. I think people that refuse to learn the truth and use polls to determine their candidate should not vote.
  2. Rick Rogers If that happens, the Tea Party people won't cry about the popular vote because they know how the system works. Unlike the Democrats that cried about it when President Bush won.
  3. bob jackson Kevin, this should have been a REPLY to your post; VERY ASTUTE of you! Though the “Fright-Right” will fail to understand, or just reject the Obvious out-of-hand! …….
  4. bob jackson "The Fright-Right-WingNUT's" DON'T even question why it is George W. Bush has been "Hunkered Down in a Bunker" - since he left the Office of President. .......
  5. bob jackson tyello, VERY ASTUTE of you! Though the "Fright-Right" will fail to understand, or just reject the Obvious out-of-hand! .......
  6. bob jackson susan, I wonder if you had any real concerns about the KNOWN "WMD LIES," that have taken the lives of tens of thousands? ... Bigoted hypocrisy, isn't very attractive. ........
  7. bob jackson sherry, and just how do you rate "Etch-A-Sketch, Romley-Care's" veracity? Oops. .......
  8. bob jackson bob jackson 10.29.2012 546 Rank: New MemberReply Gary, is there A LOT OF FRAUD? Please provide citation, link/s and/or sources – and explain. …….
  9. bob jackson Gary, is there A LOT OF FRAUD? Please provide citation, link/s and/or sources - and explain. .......
  10. bob jackson Maybe we should just have "Old White Men vote," eh? .......
32 comments
Rick Rogers
Rick Rogers

I too have reminded people that the national popular vote polls are meaningless in regard to winning a state and ultimately the election. It seems many people want to either jump on the bandwagon of the leader or gravitate to the underdog out of sympathy.

You wrote “Many voters recognize that the state they reside in will go to one candidate over the other regardless of their vote, but people still vote for the opposing candidate.” I don’t see the significance of this statement. Why wouldn’t people still vote for their candidate? What else should they do?

You wrote “Obama is pulling more electoral votes from the toss-up states regardless of Romney leading in Florida.” If you base this on the RCP average of polls you failed to mention that some of the polls they average are out of date or intentionally skewed to influence voters.

If you average bogus numbers, your average is bogus. Garbage in, garbage out. I weight the reputable polls more than the others. Some polls I disregard completely. Make your projections from the most respected polls, not all of them. If you do, you’ll see a tighter race and perhaps a Romney lead.

You wrote “Colorado will be the target of pushes from both campaigns as they’re locked in a virtual tie.” All the swing states and others are targeted, not just CO.

You wrote “If the election was decided today, based on these numbers, Barack Obama would win with 281 electoral votes with Romney trailing at 248.” Again, garbage in, garbage out. The election will not be decided by these numbers. That’s what you should have included.

Are you trying to influence people with this blog post? I hope not. If you are, you should admit it and stop doing it.

We all know that many people will agree with what they think everyone else thinks is right. As you wrote, some people may be using polls to determine which candidate to vote for. Unfortunately, that’s true. That’s why people skew and distort polls. To influence those people, “sheeple” as they are commonly called.

I think people that refuse to learn the truth and use polls to determine their candidate should not vote.

Linda Moore
Linda Moore

I am voting for neither. Looking back in time and how my votes.... voted in office. All I have ever voted for.... is to hurt america.

Lucas Eaves
Lucas Eaves

I will to see the Red Skins win, which was followed by the incumbent winning 16 times out of 18, this is the best poll.

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall

The only reason that rmoney is ahead in the recent polls is that right-leaning polls are conducted more frequently lately- Rasmussen, fox, etc... They do this on purpose to trick the many, many stupid people who would vote for rmoney into feeling bolstered. Enjoy four more years, dummies.

Stormie Forte
Stormie Forte

Well how many of you thought the EC should have been disbanded when Bush won though Gore won the popular vote?

Susan Williams Voyles
Susan Williams Voyles

Just think...if Obama wins and then gets impeached for the Benghazi scandal....omg....Joe Biden will be president! Vote Romney!

Paul Greig
Paul Greig

whatever happened to "majority rule" in this country, the electoral college should only come into affect in the case of a tie or a vote to close to call decisive!

Sherry Craig Dorr
Sherry Craig Dorr

I am a registered Independent but I realize there is more at stake this election than just making a statement. Obama's legacy will be liar and cheater and sparing no one to win his agenda.

Gary Smith
Gary Smith

I believe the electorial college should be outlawed. We no longer have need of this. With internet and phones there is just no need of it. Use the popular vote of eac. could cut out a lot of fraud.

Kevin VonMoses
Kevin VonMoses

FEW people are honest in Pols and the questions can be 'tilted' to give inconclusive answers that can be interpreted...

We won't even touch the attempts made to imbalance the sample base one way or the other.

Joshua McMahon
Joshua McMahon

No. Not everyone has a home phone and those who do are not always there to answer.

Billy Hoff
Billy Hoff

we need to get rid of them! popular vote is what suould count!

Dr. William J. Kelleher
Dr. William J. Kelleher

Neat stuff, Matt! Because Romney is an inch ahead in the national polls, and Obama is a foot ahead in the EC votes, suppose Romney wins the popular vote, but Obama wins the EC vote and the presidency! What will all the unhappy Tea Partiers do? Have a Tea Party?

Jane Susskind
Jane Susskind

While national polls may be an indication of public opinion, in an electoral college, that doesn't really matter. Some states have more electoral points - A win in Florida is not the same as a win in Nevada. It's an important distinction to make. I think these are good predictions.

Shawn M. Griffiths
Shawn M. Griffiths

I believe the conclusion is spot on, especially about where the campaigns are focusing their attention. I know a friend who is going to fly out to both Florida and Colorado to get out the vote for Mitt Romney. This will be a very interesting election night to watch. It is going to be so close.

bob jackson
bob jackson

tyello, VERY ASTUTE of you! Though the "Fright-Right" will fail to understand, or just reject the Obvious out-of-hand! .......

bob jackson
bob jackson

Kevin, this should have been a REPLY to your post; VERY ASTUTE of you! Though the “Fright-Right” will fail to understand, or just reject the Obvious out-of-hand! …….

bob jackson
bob jackson

susan, I wonder if you had any real concerns about the KNOWN "WMD LIES," that have taken the lives of tens of thousands? ... Bigoted hypocrisy, isn't very attractive. ........

bob jackson
bob jackson

sherry, and just how do you rate "Etch-A-Sketch, Romley-Care's" veracity? Oops. .......

bob jackson
bob jackson

bob jackson

10.29.2012

546

Rank: New MemberReply

Gary, is there A LOT OF FRAUD? Please provide citation, link/s and/or sources – and explain. …….

bob jackson
bob jackson

Gary, is there A LOT OF FRAUD? Please provide citation, link/s and/or sources - and explain. .......

Dr. William J. Kelleher
Dr. William J. Kelleher

Right on, Gary! One problem: bills have been introduced in Congress to start the amendment process to abolish the EC at least 200 times in the past 200 years. How can we make this succeed?

bob jackson
bob jackson

Maybe we should just have "Old White Men vote," eh? .......

Rick Rogers
Rick Rogers

If that happens, the Tea Party people won't cry about the popular vote because they know how the system works. Unlike the Democrats that cried about it when President Bush won.

bob jackson
bob jackson

The friend you know should save their money. The Romney LIES about the race being "razor edge close," is publicity being paid for by the Romney "circus, crusade campaign." It'll only aggravate people further, after the election. .......

bob jackson
bob jackson

"The Fright-Right-WingNUT's" DON'T even question why it is George W. Bush has been "Hunkered Down in a Bunker" - since he left the Office of President. .......