Poll Analysis: Obama gains a bit more on Romney

[Update: An analysis with more recent polling data can be found here.

I said in the previous analysis that a new poll was about to be released in South Carolina. It was. Unfortunately, they didn’t poll the presidential race. Too bad…now I’ll have to endure “I don’t believe the S.C. results” in comment threads and forums across the intertubes.

Folks, there was a recent very large (2100+ person) poll taken in South Carolina…and Obama led Romney. Maybe the pollster got unlucky; just maybe the lead was real. Either way, nobody will be surprised if the lead turns out to be transient.

With that off my chest, there are seven new polls released since the previous analysis:

CTYankee Institute01-Feb02-Feb5004.55037O+13

We cannot profess any surprise in Obama’s lead in the Connecticut (+13%), Illinois (+21%), and Minnesota (+12.7%) races.

Two swing states weight in. Ohio gives Obama a slender +4% lead. This means Obama has led in all three Ohio polls taken this year. And in Pennsylvania, Romney has a slenderer +2% lead. Nevertheless, a Keystone poll taken a couple of weeks ago had Obama leading 41% to 30%. Since both polls are considered “current” [FAQ], they are pooled and Obama ends up on top…for now.

The South turns in a couple of pleasant surprises for Team Obama. In Virginia, Obama is up by +4% over Romney. The only other Virginia poll taken this year also has Obama up (+1).

North Carolina seems to be leaning toward Obama (+1%). There are two other NC polls taken this year. A recent Civitas poll has Romney up +9. I should point out that Civitas is a conservative think tank, but their polls were okay in 2008. An early January PPP poll in NC had Obama up by +1. But only the two most recent polls are considered “current”, so Romney leads in North Carolina.

The previous analysis found Obama with a 99.6% probability of winning an election held then, and a mean of 335 electoral votes to Romney’s 203.

With the seven new polls included, a Monte Carlo analysis of 100,000 simulated elections gives Obama 99,804 wins and Romney 196 wins (including the 21 ties). That suggests Obama has a 99.8% probability of winning an election held now. On average, Obama gains nine additional electoral votes: 344 to Romney’s 194.

99.8% probability of winning 0.2% probability of winning
Mean of 344 electoral votesMean of 194 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLousianaMaineMarylandMassachusettesMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaD.C.WashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Electoral College Map

GeorgiaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoDelawareConnecticutFloridaMississippiAlabamaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaD.C.WashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Here is the distribution of electoral votes [FAQ] from the simulations:

Ten most probable electoral vote outcomes for Obama:

  • 342 electoral votes with a 4.77% probability
  • 352 electoral votes with a 3.52% probability
  • 343 electoral votes with a 3.29% probability
  • 351 electoral votes with a 2.79% probability
  • 341 electoral votes with a 2.68% probability
  • 357 electoral votes with a 2.68% probability
  • 333 electoral votes with a 2.63% probability
  • 332 electoral votes with a 2.26% probability
  • 348 electoral votes with a 2.17% probability
  • 358 electoral votes with a 2.13% probability

After 100,000 simulations:

  • Obama wins 99.8%, Romney wins 0.2%.
  • Average (SE) EC votes for Obama: 343.9 (20.9)
  • Average (SE) EC votes for Romney: 194.1 (20.9)
  • Median (95% CI) EC votes for Obama: 343 (302, 390)
  • Median (95% CI) EC votes for Romney: 195 (148, 236)

Each column of this table shows the electoral vote total aggregated by different criteria for the probability of winning a state (Safe=100%, Strong=90%+, Leans=60%+, Weak=50%+):

ThresholdSafe+ Strong+ Leans+ Weak
Safe Obama63
Strong Obama241304
Leans Obama3737341
Weak Obama111342
Weak Romney101010196
Leans Romney3838186
Strong Romney87148
Safe Romney61

This table summarizes results by state. Click on the poll count to see the individual polls included for the state.

48VotespollsVotesObamaRomney% wins% wins
AL91*754 37.8 62.2 0.0100.0
AZ111*443 46.3 53.7 13.4 86.6
AR61*1744 40.4 59.6 0.0100.0
CA551*900 55.6 44.4 99.2 0.8
CO91*730 51.1 48.9 67.0 33.0
CT71435 57.5 42.5 98.7 1.3
FL2955704 51.5 48.5 94.6 5.4
GA1611072 45.5 54.5 2.0 98.0
HI41*517 64.8 35.2100.0 0.0
IL201546 61.5 38.5100.0 0.0
IA61*1277 54.1 45.9 98.3 1.8
KS61*442 45.0 55.0 6.8 93.2
KY81*528 45.5 54.5 7.2 92.8
LA81*542 41.1 58.9 0.2 99.8
ME41*586 56.3 43.7 98.6 1.4
MA111*905 63.3 36.7100.0 0.0
MI161528 54.5 45.5 93.3 6.7
MN1021598 56.0 44.0100.0 0.0
MS61*717 40.0 60.0 0.0100.0
MO101524 50.0 50.0 49.3 50.7
MT31356 40.4 59.6 0.6 99.4
NE21*658 42.7 57.3 0.3 99.7
NE111*269 50.6 49.4 55.6 44.4
NE211*204 45.6 54.4 18.3 81.7
NE311*185 29.2 70.8 0.0100.0
NV61*513 53.4 46.6 86.0 14.0
NH41446 55.6 44.4 95.2 4.8
NJ1411256 55.8 44.2 99.9 0.1
NM51*455 58.2 41.8 99.4 0.6
NY2921273 65.1 34.9100.0 0.0
NC1521239 49.3 50.7 35.9 64.1
ND31*480 41.3 58.8 0.2 99.8
OH1832560 52.1 47.9 93.9 6.2
OR71*464 54.7 45.3 91.8 8.2
PA202876 53.3 46.7 91.3 8.7
RI41*495 59.4 40.6 99.8 0.2
SC91*1833 51.7 48.3 85.8 14.2
SD31*454 37.7 62.3 0.0100.0
TN111*1139 47.5 52.5 11.5 88.5
TX381637 46.2 53.8 8.5 91.5
UT61*688 33.0 67.0 0.0100.0
VT31*1085 61.4 38.6100.0 0.0
VA1321946 51.7 48.3 86.4 13.6
WA121*496 54.2 45.8 91.3 8.7
WV51*811 38.0 62.0 0.0100.0
WI101616 54.5 45.5 94.4 5.6

* An older poll was used (i.e. no recent polls exist).

Details of the methods are given in the FAQ.

The most recent analysis in this match-up can be found from this page.


  1. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    Okay, okay. I’m willing to concede that MAYBE Virginia and S. Carolina will go blue in the next election, assuming that Romney is the Republican candidate.

    But if the candidate is Gingrich or Santorum, they might turn pink again. But ten other states would then turn blue, so I could live with that result.

  2. 3

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Obama will get re-elected, but the House and Senate will remain about the same. It’s OK – that way the government can’t do much harm.

    The up side to Obama getting re-elected is that we won’t have to put up with Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson getting out into the streets to call Americans racist for not re-electing Obama. Chris Rock and Jeanine Garafalo (SP?) won’t get to get on their high horses and say how “straigt-up racist” Ameicans are. It’s an easy gig, and all we have to do is re-elect Obama, which, at this point, is about a sure-thing as you can get!

    As for me, I’ll still write in Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich for prez and vice-prez, respectively.

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 But if a stymied government can’t do much good, either, where will that leave us? Why are you an anarchist?

  4. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    Well, Romney’s chances for re-election could get even worse if the Republicans keep acting like the humerless high-school vice-principle most of us remember.

    A college student, who was also an unpaid intern getting college credit for working at a Colorodo Democratic legislator’s office, “glitter bombed” Romney at the end of his victory celebration last weekend.

    All he did was throw some glitter, and he’s getting the book thrown at him. He’s charged with causing a public disturbance, “launching a missle”, and a couple of other charges.

    I don’t know what Colorado calls “launching a missle”, I’m guessing that some uninformed prosecutor saw the report of a “glitter bomb” and thought that was the same as an ICBM.

    The upshot is that he’s already lost his unpaid internship, which means he won’t get credit for the class, which means he probably won’t graduate in June. Which might not make any difference, since he might end up spending up to six months in jail. And there’s a fair chance he will get expelled from college.

    In the meantime, Romney can shake off the glitter from his $3,000 suit, and continues to suffer no adverse consequences from taking perfectly good companies, robbing them of their cash, then discarding the remnants to the bankruptcy courts and the workers to the unemployment lines. In fact, he’s been rewarded many times over.

    I also haven’t heard of any of the Republican thugs, like the “private security” guys in Alaska (they were off-duty Alaska National Guardsmen) who stomped the face of a rather petite female protestor who dared to display an anti-Republican sign within eyesight of a Republican candidate – and laughed about it.

    Rule # 1 in politics is you have to be able to laugh at yourself, otherwise you come off as unapproachable and arrogant. Romney’s already got that reputation. Iincidents like this – where the little guy gets his entire future taken away from him just because Romney’s feels like “firing someone” that day – aren’t going to help him.

  5. 7

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    I this silly season of sillier candidates, I reread this again, and found it quite timely. And, of course, I fell on the floor laughing and snorted coffee.

    Well worth the read.

  6. 8

    Steve spews:

    @7 “So you want me to run for president again? Yeah, sure, absolutely, I’ll do it. I’d be honored to do it—with my fucking dick in your mouth, you worthless scumbags.”

    Funny stuff.

  7. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Dodd-Frank is prompting financial firms to adopt “clawback” policies that will hold crooked and reckless banksters responsible for their illicit activities.


    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Republicans want to repeal Dodd-Frank so greedy and dishonest banksters will have a free hand to rob, loot, and steal from the rest of us. Why would anyone except a greedy and dishonest bankster vote Republican?

  8. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Less than a year from now the 1-percenters will get kicked in their wallets, and the only thing Democrats have to do to make it happen is … nothing.

    Here’s what happens when the Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich (TM) expire on Jan. 1, 2013:

    The maximum capital gains tax will rise to 23.8% from 15%;

    The maximum tax on dividends will to rise to 43.4% from 15%;

    The estate and gift tax will rise to 55% from 35%;

    The estate and gift tax exemptions will drop from $5 million back to $1 million; and

    The earned income tax “is also rising due to the addition of new healthcare taxes. (Mostly notably a 3.8% surtax on investment income.)”


    Roger Rabbit Commentary: The 1-percenters have no one to blame for this except Republicans. President Obama offered the GOPers $10 of spending cuts for every $1 of new revenue, but obstinate teabaggers wouldn’t take that deal. So this is what their rich pals will get instead. Serves ‘em right, they should’ve voted Democrat!