OK

With the week (from a polling standpoint, at least) that Mitt Romney has had, any day that you are not hemorrhaging is a comparatively good day. So let's call the day a decent one for the Republican nominee. There were not a flurry of polls showing him down high-single or double digits in states thought to be tossups less than a month ago. So, I suppose, he has that going for him.

And, he may well have locked down Indiana. So, there's that, as well.

The problem persists, however, for fans of the GOP ticket. If you want to stay tethered to the planet (which would demand that you ignore all of this inane "unskewing" bullshit), it is becoming harder and harder, as time continues to grow shorter and shorter, to envision a coalition that gets Mitt Romney to 270 electoral votes.

More on that after the jump. But, first, the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL POLLING:

NATIONAL (Fox News): Obama 48, Romney 43 (LV); Obama 49, Romney 41 (RV)

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama 50, Romney 44

NATIONAL (Ipsos/Reuters Tracking): Obama 49, Romney 42 (LV); Obama 48, Romney 38 (RV)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama 48, Romney 48


ARIZONA (Moore Information--R): Romney 46, Obama 42, Others 4

ARIZONA (Rasmussen): Romney 52, Obama 42

CONNECTICUT (PPP): Obama 54, Romney 41

INDIANA (Howey/DePauw): Obama 52, Romney 40 Romney 52, Obama 40

IOWA (Voter/Consumer Research for the Iowa Republican--R): Romney 47, Obama 46

NEVADA (NBC News/Marist): Obama 49, Romney 47 (LV); Obama 51, Romney 44 (RV)

NEW HAMPSHIRE (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Hassan for Governor campaign): Obama 52, Romney 45

NEW HAMPSHIRE (NBC News/Marist): Obama 51, Romney 44 (LV), Obama 51, Romney 43 (RV)

NORTH CAROLINA (NBC News/Marist): Obama 48, Romney 46 (LV); Obama 49, Romney 45 (RV)

VIRGINIA (Suffolk University): Obama 46, Romney 44, Others 2

WASHINGTON (Gravis Marketing--R): Obama 56, Romney 39

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
AZ-SEN (Moore Information--R): Jeff Flake (R) 43, Richard Carmona (D) 40, Marc Victor (L) 4

IN-SEN (Howey/DePauw): Joe Donnelly (D) 40, Richard Mourdock (R) 38, Andrew Horning (L) 7

ME-SEN (Rasmussen): Angus King (I) 45, Charlie Summers (R) 33, Cynthia Dill (D) 14

MN-SEN (Mason Dixon): Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) 57, Kurt Bills (R) 28

NV-SEN (NBC News/Marist): Sen. Dean Heller (R) 49, Shelley Berkley (D) 43 (LV); Sen. Dean Heller (R) 48, Shelley Berkley (D) 44

VA-SEN (Suffolk University): George Allen (R) 44, Tim Kaine (D) 44


IN-GOV (Howey/DePauw): Mike Pence (R) 47, John Gregg (D) 34, Rupert Boneham (L) 5

NH-GOV (Feldman Group for the NH Freedom Fund--D): Maggie Hassan (D) 50, Ovide Lamontagne (R) 41

NH-GOV (NBC News/Marist): Maggie Hassan (D) 47, Ovide Lamontagne (R) 45 (LV); Maggie Hassan (D) 47, Ovide Lamontagne (R) 44 (RV)

NC-GOV (NBC News/Marist): Pat McCrory (R) 52, Walter Dalton (D) 39 (LV); Pat McCrory (R) 51, Walter Dalton (D) 38 (RV)


CA-44 (SurveyUSA): Rep. Janice Hahn (D) 43, Rep. Laura Richardson (D) 33

FL-18 (Public Opinion Strategies for the West campaign): Rep. Allen West (R) 52, Patrick Murphy (D) 41

IA-04 (American Viewpoint for American Future Fund--R): Rep. Steve King (R) 48, Christie Vilsack (D) 41

IA-04 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Vilsack campaign): Rep. Steve King (R) 46, Christie Vilsack (D) 44, Martin Moore (I) 4

IA-04 (PPP for Credo Mobile): Rep. Steve King (R) 48, Christie Vilsack (D) 45

NY-25 (Siena College): Rep. Louise Slaughter (D) 52, Maggie Brooks (R) 42

WI-07 (PPP for Credo Mobile): Rep. Sean Duffy (R) 48, Pat Kreitlow (D) 44

On Twitter this morning, I posited that if ever there was a day where the NBC/Marist polls could come through for Governor Romney, today would have to be the day. That is because, cycle-wide, some of his best numbers in the "battleground" states have come from the "Three N's": Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.

North Carolina has habitually been the weakest link in the Obama 2008 coalition, save for Indiana (which only true Obama partisans think is liable to remain in the Democratic column this November). No state has shifted more away from the Democrats, on a marginal level, than Nevada. Even as Ohio and Florida, even in middling surveys, stayed a few points south of Obama's 2008 performance levels, Nevada slid a full ten points below Obama's double-digit margin from four years ago. And New Hampshire, with Mitt Romney's semi-homeboy status, has vacillated fairly wildly over the course of the cycle.

Alas, for the GOP, when NBC/Marist's numbers dropped earlier this evening, the result was...meh. As local sage Jon Ralston noted, the informed scuttlebutt in Nevada is that the NBC/Marist numbers (at least, with the likely voter screen in place) were probably a few points too favorable for the GOP. And Romney still trailed, even with a pretty wide LV/RV gap. With likely voters, Romney still trailed by two. Among the larger pool of registered voters, however, the margin crept out to seven points. And, as Ralston noted, that seemed closer to reality:

I know Democrats here fell pretty confident about where Obama is -- they think he is up more -- and less so about Berkley -- they think she is close but perhaps not ahead. So if you take the registered voter numbers here, they pretty much match what I have been hearing about the race from those who have seen data I trust.
Meanwhile, Romney appears to be nowhere in New Hampshire, trailing by seven points in the Granite State. North Carolina, the one battleground that almost everyone ceded to Mitt Romney, could not even muster a lead for the GOP.

Indeed, the only GOP lead today in a battleground poll was a Republican-sponsored poll in Iowa, which has been contradicted by a handful of recent polls in the Hawkeye State (though, good news! We'll get a new Des Moines Register poll here this weekend).

So, the question that begs asking here: given where the polls are, even on a halfway decent GOP day, how does Mitt Romney get to 270 electoral votes? At this point, it would appear to be more than a slight uphill climb.

Virtually every prognosticator is conceding 191 electoral votes to Mitt Romney (though that does include several states, most notably Missouri and Arizona, where recent polls have given Romney only a single digit lead). So, to win the presidency, he needs to cobble together 79 electoral votes.

But, if you look at the so-called battlegrounds, and average together the five most recent polls in each, the challenge for Romney becomes acute.

Battleground States--Average lead--Five Poll Average

Colorado (9 EVs): Obama +4.4
Florida (29 EVs): Obama +4.2
Iowa (6 EVs): Obama +3.2
Michigan (16 EVs): Obama +10.4
North Carolina (15 EVs): Obama +2.2
New Hampshire (4 EVs): Obama +4.0
New Mexico (5 EVs): Obama +9.4
Nevada (5 EVs): Obama +5.2
Ohio (18 EVs): Obama +6.8
Pennsylvania (20 EVs): Obama +8.6
Virginia (13 EVs): Obama +3.8
Wisconsin (10 EVs:) Obama +5.8

What this all means, in essence, is that Romney needs a shift, and a seismic one, to overcome his present deficit. A three-point swing in his direction only gets him to 206 electoral votes (via North Carolina). A four point swing will net him an additional set of electoral votes from Iowa, Virginia, and New Hampshire, but even that only gets Romney to 229 Electoral votes. Even a five-point swing, which would net him Florida and Colorado, would only get him to 267 electoral votes.

The bottom line is this: when Mitt Romney's "good polling days" have him down two in Virginia, Nevada, and North Carolina, then he is not having a good day, after all.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 06:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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