I'm an Electoral College Geek, so we're going to be spending a reasonable amount of time on the subject. As I wrote not too long ago, putting aside the national head-to-head polls and looking at Electoral College counts, Obama has a big edge, and I'll be monitoring that pretty closely.
Today I read of Pennsylvania. PPP is out with a poll showing Obama 50, Romney 42, basically unchanged since a 49-42 Obama advantage in March. We're getting to the point where these trends are, while far from decisive yet, starting to count for something.
New Hampshire is out of play. That's a 10-point Obama lead. Nevada has crept into Obama's column, which surprised me when it started happening because the economy there was so miserably bad, but apparently it's been turning around (Kevin, are you reading?). And don't buy this latest Wisconsin poll showing a tie. That was a poll of likely recall voters, and that means the sample was probably heavy on pro-Walker voters.
The starkest way to put it is like this. Obama won nine states in 2008 that George Bush had won in 2004. You know them, or should: Florida (29), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Indiana (11), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), and New Mexico (5). Obama can lose eight of them. That's right, he can give eight of the nine back, as long as the one he wins is Florida, and he hits 275 EV's. And there are many alternative scenarios.
If Obama wins just Ohio and Iowa, or Ohio and Nevada, he's in, with 270. He's nine points up in Iowa right now and is very unlikely to lose it. He's also not going to lose New Mexico, where he's up by double digits. So put it another way. Of the nine flipped states, Romney will win Indiana. But then he has to run the table in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia. That's not impossible but it's all pretty tall order.
And again, class, why? Because the R's have made themselves too crazy even for moderate-to-conservative states like Virginia and Colorado. It's just fine with me if they never figure this out.