Four years ago, I predicted right here on Daily Kos that Obama would win with 54% of the popular vote and 338 votes in the EC. He won with 53% of the popular vote and with 365 EC votes. Now I'm back for my final prediction before Tuesday. As I mentioned in the diary way back then, I'm not a superstitious person in the least and I don't think I'm jinxing anything. If you're terrified about election day then you probably should stop reading right here.
My EC projection is Obama with 303 and Romney with 235. I think Obama will win the popular vote with 51%. My full analysis is below.
Of the swing states, I'm giving Obama the following: Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia. Obviously I'm also giving Wisconsin to Obama, but I've never considered it a swing state this cycle. I'm giving Florida and North Carolina to Romney.
I live in Northern Virginia (ground zero: Fairfax County) and I'm fairly sure my state will be very close. Two weeks ago I would've said it's 50-50, but on the whole I'm encouraged by the latest polling. Obama also has a ferocious organization here; I've seen Obama volunteers all over George Mason University and two of them came to my house yesterday reminding us to vote on Tuesday. Obama won Fairfax County with 60% of the vote in 2008. He needs to rack up at least 55% of the vote here, 55% in Prince William, and 50% in Loudoun to win the state. When the numbers come in on Tuesday, just skip past the bullshit and look at how he's doing in these counties. Prediction: O 51% R 48%.
The early vote numbers from Ohio, as well as the polls, are looking great. I'm far more certain that Obama will win here than in Virginia. The two most important counties in the state are Cuyahoga in Cleveland and Franklin in Columbus. In 2008, Obama won them with 69% and 60% of the vote, respectively. He won the state with 52% of the vote so he has a bit of a cushion in case the rural counties post higher numbers for Romney than four years ago. If he can get at least 65% in Cuyahoga he'll be fine. Amazingly, despite the national erosion of support for Obama in comparison to 2008, Ohio is set to defy the trend and vote for the President with about the same margin as it did four years ago. Prediction: O 52% R 47% (same as 2008).
Obama won Florida with 51% to McCain's 48% in 2008. That kind of margin leaves little room for error, and although Democrats continue leading in the early voting tallies, they do so by far smaller margins than four years ago. The key for the Democrats, as always, is Southern Florida. Obama will need roughly the same numbers there that he posted in 2008, otherwise he doesn't have much of a chance. I think Romney will win the state with the thinnest of margins. Prediction: R 50% O 49%.
All the polls in Nevada point to an easy Obama victory, and the Democrats are well ahead of Republicans in the early vote. Nevada is now a reliably Democratic state; Republicans have lost it for at least the next generation. Obama beat McCain here by 12 points and Romney is headed for a similar loss. Prediction: O 53% R 46%.
5. NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina has always been the toughest battleground for Obama this year. There was hope early on that it would remain competitive, but I think any rational analysis would conclude that Romney will win here. Of the last ten polls released in the state, Romney leads six of them, three of them are tied, and Obama leads one. Obama won in 2008 by just 14,000 votes. Unlike Florida, there is absolutely no room for error here. In fact, Obama will have to outdo his 2008 margins in Wake County (he won with 57%) considering the lopsided losses he'll suffer in the rural areas. Romney looks good here. Prediction: R 52% O 47%.
Iowa is the state that got Obama going in the 2008 primaries and gave him a 9 point victory in the general election. The early voting figures are promising and the last ten polls show Obama ahead in eight. It'll be very close but I think Obama will take it in the end. Prediction: O 51% R 48%.
7. NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire went for Bush in 2000. A lot of people have forgotten that a Gore win there would have earned the Vice President 270 electoral votes and negated the entire fiasco in Florida. Rousseau once predicted that Corsica would shock the world one day, and surely enough it produced Napoleon. Don't rule out New Hampshire's importance in a close race for the EC. Obama won every county in the state four years ago; he'll need an equivalent performance on Tuesday, but he has a big cushion given his 54% tally in 2008. Prediction: O 52% R 47%.
Obama defeated McCain decisively here, winning by 9 points. That's unlikely to happen again. This is probably the closest battleground state in which I'm predicting an Obama victory. The last ten polls show a close race leaning towards the President: Obama leads six polls, Romney leads three, and one is tied. Prediction: O 50% R 49%.
That's my take on the battleground states. I want to emphasize that I consider any insinuation of states like Pennsylvania or Michigan as competitive to be absolutely foolish. The Democrats have a voter registration advantage of more than one million in Pennsylvania. Jesus would have a hard time beating Obama there, much less Mitt Romney. So these are my predictions and I'm sticking to 'em. What are yours?