Poll Analysis: Obama gains

94.4% probability of winning 5.6% probability of winning
Mean of 302 electoral votesMean of 236 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

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Electoral College Map

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Obama has made a big jump in his chances to be reelected with this new analysis.

A couple of things. This analysis only includes polls through early Friday morning. Also, I am using a 7-day “current poll” window at this point in the race. Third, after missing most of the week, I cannot go through the state-by-state polls today. And last, there are some older polls I’ve added but not included in this list. The list may also exclude one or two new polls. You can always see what polls are used for each state from the big state table below.

Here are (most of) the new polls I’ve included:

FLGravis Marketing30-Oct30-Oct5494.24750R+3
MABoston Globe24-Oct28-Oct5834.15639O+17
MIGlengarif Group27-Oct29-Oct6004.047.545.0O+2.5
NE2Wiese Res23-Oct25-Oct6793.84449R+5
OHOhio Poll25-Oct30-Oct11822.94846O+2
ORHoffman Res24-Oct25-Oct6154742O+5
PAKeystone Poll23-Oct28-Oct5474.24945O+4
TXU TX15-Oct21-Oct8003.53955R+16
VAGravis Marketing26-Oct26-Oct6253.94848tie
VARoanoke College23-Oct26-Oct6384.04449R+5
WAWashington Poll18-Oct31-Oct6323.956.435.9O+20.5
WISt. Nobert25-Oct29-Oct10655.05142O+9

After 100,000 simulated elections, Obama wins 94,381 times and Romney wins 5,619 times (including the 384 ties). Obama received (on average) 302 to Romney’s 236 electoral votes. In an election held now, Obama would have a 94.4% probability of winning and Romney would have a 5.6% probability of winning.

The long term trends in this race can be seen from a series of elections simulated every seven days using polls from 02 Nov 2011 to 02 Nov 2012, and including polls from the preceding seven days (FAQ).

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

Ten most probable electoral vote outcomes for Obama (full distribution here):

  • 290 electoral votes with a 3.58% probability
  • 303 electoral votes with a 3.38% probability
  • 319 electoral votes with a 2.86% probability
  • 281 electoral votes with a 2.55% probability
  • 305 electoral votes with a 2.18% probability
  • 299 electoral votes with a 2.09% probability
  • 297 electoral votes with a 2.03% probability
  • 310 electoral votes with a 1.98% probability
  • 286 electoral votes with a 1.93% probability
  • 294 electoral votes with a 1.88% probability

After 100,000 simulations:

  • Obama wins 94.4%, Romney wins 5.6%.
  • Average (SE) EC votes for Obama: 301.7 (21.2)
  • Average (SE) EC votes for Romney: 236.3 (21.2)
  • Median (95% CI) EC votes for Obama: 301 (262, 344)
  • Median (95% CI) EC votes for Romney: 237 (194, 276)

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 Obama166
Strong Obama54220
Leans Obama7070290
Weak Obama000290
Weak Romney131313248
Leans Romney4646235
Strong Romney130189
Safe Romney59

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

84VotespollsVotesObamaRomney% wins% wins
AL91*404 39.6 60.4 0.1 99.9
AZ111*480 45.8 54.2 9.9 90.1
AR61*571 34.9 65.1 0.0100.0
CA555*3967 58.2 41.8100.0 0.0
CO943252 50.4 49.6 63.4 36.6
CT76*4435 56.0 44.0100.0 0.0
DC31*1173 91.6 8.4100.0 0.0
FL2953630 49.7 50.3 39.4 60.6
GA161549 45.7 54.3 8.4 91.6
HI41*1549 67.4 32.6100.0 0.0
ID41*563 30.0 70.0 0.0100.0
IL2011174 58.2 41.8100.0 0.0
IN111735 43.3 56.7 0.4 99.7
IA643571 51.6 48.4 90.9 9.1
KS62*1143 39.4 60.6 0.0100.0
KY81*557 42.4 57.6 0.5 99.5
LA81*2548 37.9 62.1 0.0100.0
ME25*2886 58.4 41.6100.0 0.0
ME112*588 62.2 37.8100.0 0.0
ME212*538 54.6 45.4 93.6 6.4
MD102*1538 61.6 38.4100.0 0.0
MA1131643 61.3 38.7100.0 0.0
MI1621095 52.3 47.7 87.6 12.5
MN101534 53.7 46.3 88.7 11.3
MS61*717 40.0 60.0 0.0100.0
MO1011169 44.0 56.0 0.3 99.7
MT31744 45.8 54.2 5.3 94.8
NE221905 39.4 60.6 0.0100.0
NE111*389 45.5 54.5 11.2 88.8
NE211*632 47.3 52.7 16.3 83.7
NE311*284 35.9 64.1 0.0100.0
NV611164 52.1 47.9 84.2 15.8
NH421811 51.0 49.0 72.8 27.2
NJ145*3773 55.6 44.4100.0 0.0
NM52*1307 54.8 45.2 99.3 0.7
NY293*1770 63.8 36.2100.0 0.0
NC1521313 48.8 51.2 27.3 72.7
ND321283 41.6 58.4 0.0100.0
OH1875129 51.1 48.9 86.4 13.6
OK71*279 35.8 64.2 0.0100.0
OR71356 53.4 46.6 81.1 18.9
PA2010*7146 51.5 48.5 96.1 3.9
RI41*523 62.1 37.9100.0 0.0
SC93*4199 48.2 51.8 4.8 95.2
SD31*706 44.3 55.7 1.7 98.3
TN111*566 36.6 63.4 0.0100.0
TX381*752 41.5 58.5 0.1 99.9
UT61*195 22.1 77.9 0.0100.0
VT31*415 71.3 28.7100.0 0.0
VA131600 50.0 50.0 49.5 50.5
WA121522 57.5 42.5 99.2 0.8
WV51*361 42.1 57.9 1.3 98.7
WI1054689 52.9 47.1 99.8 0.2

* 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. 1


    But.. but.. According to Bob, the evangelicals (discarding their biases towards Mormons) and Willard’s voting machines will ensure a Romney win..

    Oh I inserted that last part! My bad.

    Welcome back Darryl.

  2. 2

    Real American spews:

    As much as I would like to believe the Kentucky and Tennessee numbers… I ain’t able to.

  3. 4

    Richard Pope spews:

    You still have Kentucky and Tennessee flipped the wrong way. Both those surveys were in Romney’s favor by 15 or more points. So a 100% chance of Obama carrying those states becomes a 100% chance for Romney instead.

    Add those 19 electoral votes back to Romney, and you have Romney at 236 EV’s. A slight decline for Romney, for sure.

    The national polling numbers seem to be going Obama’s way, and so does the news — credible job on Sandy response, jobless rate staying below 8%, Libya tragedy really not so much Obama’s fault — so I would bet on Obama at this point, but not by the margin that your analysis would show (even if KY and TN were correctly portrayed).

  4. 5

    Ryan spews:

    Jeez, so sloppy. I have to believe no one even glanced at the actual map. Kentucky and Tennessee going for Obama stick out like a sore thumb.

  5. 12

    Real American spews:

    @ 6 No harm, no foul Darryl.

    Doesn’t really change much of anything. It is still gonna be glorious hearing the howling and rendering of clothing coming from Cereal and the rest of the wingnut trolls come Romney’s inevitable crushing defeat on Nov 6th.

    Can’t wait!

  6. 13


    Holy crap, Goldy called me in the hospital on Monday night to point out that I had reversed the Obama–Romney numbers on Tennessee. And in my morphine-altered state, I went and swapped the numbers for the most recent Kentucky poll.

    I’m still at the point where I get abdominal and/or back discomfort sitting in front of the computer, but I can manage for about 30 minutes at a time.

  7. 14

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Polls smolls.

    Gekko/Galt is the anvil
    We are the HAMMER!

    Call your friends. Visit your neighbors.
    HAMMER IT HOME … Get Out The Vote

    ps. Gov Duvall of MA just stopped by the North Capital Hill Denver precinct OBA HQ.

  8. 15


    It is still gonna be glorious hearing the howling and rendering of clothing coming from Cereal and the rest of the wingnut trolls come Romney’s inevitable crushing defeat on Nov 6th.

    It’ll be crickets from those buffoons if things go our way.. They won’t give us the satisfaction..

    Things look good but I don’t put anything past the right wing.. They’ve laid down some heavy coin and most of them will do anything to get what they want for it.

  9. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I don’t see a hell of a lot of “Romney momentum” in this analysis. But, as Cereal Bob will remind us, Darryl is biased. Maybe the Romney juggernaut barreling toward victory on Tuesday is right before Darryl’s eyes and he can’t see it because his mind is addled by morphine.

  10. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 This won’t be a crushing defeat for the R$money crowd. It’ll be close enough for them to try stealing it after-hours in the Ohio ballot processing and tabulation like they did in 2004. That’s why Obama really needs a couple of extra states (where the ballot counting is unimpeachable) for insurance.

  11. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 Are you home now? I told Mrs. Rabbit they’d kick you out of the hospital after two days. She said no, pancreatis is serious, they’ll keep you there for a while. I tried to explain to her that hospital stays are dictated by medical economics now, and therefore you’d be home before the end of this week.

  12. 19

    Real American spews:

    @15 and @ 17 I am painfully aware of the republican War On Democracy machine. The wounds inflicted on the US by the stealing of the 2000 election, and the insidious dismantling of the right to vote by the republicans in 2004 Ohio and Florida are still festering.

    But I am [strike]confident[/strike] hopeful that even with the close poll numbers (largely made “close” by right wing biased polling outfits) enough of a majority will vote for Obama, that even the election thievery attempts by the repugs will not be able to steal this election.

    It is sad that we need a super-majority of Real Americans to win an election against the 1% and their lickspittle minions, but that is the times we live in.

  13. 20

    Real American spews:

    We need a special place to confine election thieves. Maybe some US controlled spot in Cuba.

  14. 21

    wharfrat spews:

    @12 I don’t think that it will be the crushing defeat that Republican obstructionists’ deserve but it will be sufficient that, on Wednesday, November 7, Senator Mitch McConnell will say “We have done everything in our power to ensure that President Obama is a two-term president and I am pleased to announce that we have succeeded.”

  15. 22


    @ 16

    I never said Darryl was biased.

    I think that he has made the decision to include all poll data that is collected openly and offered transparently. He doesn’t weight some more and some less, unless due to overall sample size.

    What that means is that polls that have weightings that don’t seem all that realistic or that give numbers clearly outside what everyone else is getting are included in his overall analysis.

    It may or may not mean diddly squat at the end. If on November 5 the poll data says Obama gets 300 EV and it turns out he gets 261, then it does. If he gets 289, then it doesn’t.

    But it isn’t bias.

    We’ll see.

  16. 23

    czechsaaz spews:

    Five new polls of Ohio today and not a single one has Willard leading. Tell a lie often enough and loud enough and people will start to believe that nothing you say is true.

    But every poll is just a bad sample. Early voting is going to save Romyan. The Evangelicals! He did not say “Let Detroit go Bankrupt!” The Pain, it’s coming! Y’arrrrgh!

  17. 24


    So, here’s a relevant question:

    WaPo says that between 13 and 16% of Obama voters will vote for Romney this year.

    Two weeks of Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll interviews find 84 percent of likely voters who supported Obama in 2008 support him this year, while 13 percent say they are switching to Romney and 3 percent are backing others or haven’t made up their mind yet.


    Do we believe that those people are accurately accounted for in the poll data?

  18. 25


    @ 23

    Five new polls of Ohio today

    Er, two polls of OH reported today.

    One’s a tie (Rasmussen), one has Obama +3 (CNN/Opinion Research).

    You’re looking at older stuff in Darryl’s analysis, above. The RCP site has more recent data.

    The CNN/Opinion research polls in the past have given significantly greater indies to Obama than most of the other OH polls.

    So, one poll is a tie and another with possible indie response skew toward the D side has Obama up +3.

    I’m sorry, did you have a point?

  19. 26

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Polls smolls

    I just picked up 23 early votes for Obama here in Denver since my earlier post.
    Today is last day for early voting in CO.
    When my day is done I will have hand carrief at least 100 votes today.

    Also, not a single sighting of a Gekko/Galt canvasser here in Denver in 2 days.


  20. 27

    czechsaaz spews:


    Tossing out non sequiturs to assuage your pain? Does it matter.

    Lost in your fine analysis is there is no geographic info of where those 13% are. So if 28% of people who voted for Obama who live in Missouri vote for Romney this time, does it matter? if 17% of people who voted for Obama in Arkansas vote for Romney this time, does it change anything? If 100% of the people who voted for Obama in Utah vote for Romney this time, VICTORY FOR WILLARD!

    But thanks. The straws you’re grasping keep getting smaller. It’s kind of fun to watch.

  21. 29


    @ 27

    Look at OH turnout attributed to Dems vs OH turnout attributed to GOP, and compare it with early voter turnout for each party 4 years ago.

    It’s happening in OH, too.

  22. 30

    czechsaaz spews:


    O.K. you got me. But now the “was on average 5+ points off to the Republican in 2010″ poll has a tie and there isn’t a new poll that Willard leads. The poll you like to cite as proof that all the others are biased, Rasmussen, is moving to The President and the news in Ohio is 24/7, Romney’s lying about Jeep.

    “Bring the Ottoman! I’m slightly uncomfortable!”

  23. 31

    czechsaaz spews:


    Let me know when that gap gets to around 200,000 voters. Then you might have a pipsqueek of a change of overcoming the margin of victory of 2008.

  24. 32


    @ 30

    1. Appreciate the acknowledgement.

    2. It’s close.

    3. It comes down to turnout.

    4. Both sides have (publicly disclosed) reasons to think they’re doing well in OH.

    It’s interesting that the number of early votes cast per day in OH is starting to decline despite the GOTV efforts.

  25. 34

    rhp6033 spews:

    Bush’s performance on the economy was so discredited by the summer of 2008 (even before the Wall Street meltdown), that I heard even stauch southern Republicans vowing to vote against him.

    So I was fully prepared for a good number of those to go back into the Republican ranks for this election, for whatever reason.

    It didn’t really matter because the ones I spoke to were not in swing states, so their flip in 2008 has no relevence to 2012. Also, polling data has no memory, it just asks who the voter would vote for (if the election were held today). So every poll starts with a clean slate.

  26. 36

    rhp6033 spews:

    I hope everyone has a good weekend. By Monday, it will be the day before the election and there will be no sense in arguing about polling. In four days, it should all be over – barring any mishap which extends the contest as it did in 2000.

  27. 37

    Czechsaaz spews:


    There’s a problem with your hopefulness. Your article is five days old.

    1.3 million people have voted early in Ohio as of yesterday.

    29% of them Democrats and 23% Republicans

    That works out to 377,000 Democratic votes, and 299,000 Republicans. So unless Willard is winning the ‘unaffiliated’ by at least 6% it’s not close.

    You can extrapolate what you like from that info and then ponder what the early voting this weekend might be. And yes, this is oversimplified analysis not taking into account any Romney Democrats or Johnson republicans.

  28. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @24 But WaPo doesn’t say how many McCain voters are voting for Obama this year. This sort of bleeding across party lines is normal in all elections, and it flows in both directions.

  29. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 On Monday I’ll be hopping down the highway enroute to my election monitoring assignment. My HA posting will go dark on Monday morning and resume on Wednesday.

  30. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Montana Soap Opera

    Now this is funny! A judge has blocked the GOP candidate for Montana governor from spending a $500k money transfer from the Republican Governors Association. Problem is he already spent it! Consequently, he had to pull all his advertising and go dark right before the election. As of Oct. 25, the Democrat had a 1-point lead in polls.


  31. 42

    Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

    A problem with Cap’n Crunch’s analysis…

    He complains that polls are ‘oversampling’ Democrats relative to Republicans.

    He also crows that Romney is winning Independents.

    These are interrelated problems and stem from the same misapprehension on his part.

    I was reading yesterday (I got to find the source) that after the rise of the Tea Party in 2009-2010, many conservatives changed their self-identification from republican (too establishment) to Independent.

    This significantly shrank the proportion of ‘Republicans’ and both swelled that of ‘Independents’ and made them on average more conservative.

    So, comparing relative D:R ratios from 2008 and 2012 is erroneous, and undercuts Cap’n’s complaints of oversampling Democrats. There are more D’s than R’s, without really changing the make up of the electorate, because there really are fewer self-identified R’s. (This gets at the markedly fluid nature of self-ID in political terms and undercuts the validity of ‘unskewing’.)

    Also, the ‘winning independents’ is specious because of the expansion of that segment by the very right-wing. Mitt isn’t winning a greater proportion of the former, smaller ‘Independent’ fraction, but some segmentof this plus getting those that bolted the Republicans because that party was too timid/establishment/liberal.

  32. 43


    @ 42

    Hi Lib Sci.

    Yes and no. ‘Brand damage’ to the GOP undoubtedly was done in 2008, and some indies may be disaffected Republicans. So there’s the yes.


    … a recent study shows voter regstration across 8 states that register voters by party (FL, NC, CO, NV, NM, IA, PA & NH; states like OH & VA don’t) shows a net 1.3% increase in Republican registration since 2008 and a net 2.5% decrease in Democratic registration, while independent registration has boomed, up 14.4%. You can read that registration data to show that being an independent is still a lot more popular choice than being a Republican these days; you can’t sensibly read it to show that the growth of independent voters is the result of a decreasing base of Republican voters, and you can’t possibly read it to show that the total share of Republicans and independents is holding steady or declining relative to the Democrats.


    (It’s his November 2 entry).

    Note that the GOP registration is increasing while the Dem registration is decreasing.

    That’s not good news for Obama, and to the extent that pollsters may be weighting according to 2008 numbers, it also will create sampling inaccuracy.

    (If you follow the link and click on the link to the study it cites, you get something I posted earlier today on another thread. Here’s the salient data:

    In total, since 2008 in these 8 states:
    • Independent registration has increased 969,589, or 14.4%, and now stands at
    • Republican registration has increased by 158,037, or 1.3%, and now stands at
    12,047,112; and,
    • Democratic registration has decreased by 372,827, or 2.5%, and now stands at
    14,723,535.† )

    To take this further, looking at data cited @ 37, yes, Dems have cast more early ballots in OH than GOP. But that difference is down significantly from what it was 4 years ago. Obama relied on the early vote in 2008 and withstood a GOP advantage in the state on Election Day.

    The way the GOP is looking at it, the advantage Obama has banked in OH so far with early voting won’t be enough to overcome the expected onslaught of GOP Election Day votes.

    Hey. You didn’t swear and me and I didn’t swear at you.

  33. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s what GOP insider Matt Latimer says about Tuesday’s election:

    “What is propelling Team Romney and their cheerleaders [is] wishful thinking, not empirical evidence. …

    “If the GOP cannot defeat a weak incumbent in the midst of an economic climate like this one, can they ever win a presidential race again? For two election cycles in a row, an ‘Etch-a-Sketch’ candidate blessed by the Republican establishment and crammed down the throats of rank-and-file voters would have lost.

    “What, Republicans must ask, has become of the GOP?”

    This, Latimer says, is what the GOP has become:

    “[T]he GOP has adopted an ‘us versus them’ mentality. If you aren’t on our side all the way, you are a traitor … an entire culture has emerged … where supporters are told half-truths or fed wishful words and expected to believe them …. Obama was hated because they wished it was so. So they decided it was so. And then it was so.”


    Roger Rabbit Commentary: It’s hard to find a clear-thinking Republican who believes Romney still has a ghost of a chance.

  34. 48


    Here’s an interesting comment from We Ask America about their polling. They did a lot of data massage to get the respondent distribution they feel is important/correct/necessary, apparently:

    We’ve just wrapped up our weighting on three important polls–Wisconsin, Virginia and Ohio–and want to push the top-lines out to you as quickly as possible. All of these polls were conducted from Oct.30-Nov. 1 through automated means. The responses came from likely voters, and the results have been weighted to correct for over-/under-sampling. We took great care in Ohio and Virginia to make sure we had adequate coverage of regions that are afflicted by Hurricane Sandy outages, and now feel we have the right mix of voters.


    I do have to wonder what their unweighted poll data would look like. Probably much like Tuesday’s results.

  35. 50


    This from the guy at George Mason U that runs the United States Election Project:

    Here are some numbers that will give the Obama campaign heartburn in the key states of Iowa and Florida.

    In Florida, 406,634 registered Democrats have not returned their mail ballots compared to 362,920 Republicans. In comparison, registered Democrats have returned 700,970 mail ballots compared to 781,043 Republicans. Thus, even though Republicans outnumber Democrats in returned mail ballots by a wide margin, more Democrats have yet to return their ballot.

    In Iowa, 40,601 registered Democrats have not returned their mail ballots compared to 21,224 Republicans. Iowa is not reporting their ballot status in the same way as Florida, but we know that among all ballots cast — both by mail and in-person — registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 261,166 to 198,130. And while that may look like a comfortable margin, keep in mind that Iowa Republicans have historically voted in-person on Election Day in large numbers; John Kerry won the Iowa early vote in 2004, but lost the state.

    It is not out of the question that a person with a mail ballot sitting on the counter may think of themselves as a voter even if they have not filled out the ballot. If so, when surveyed they may respond in the affirmative that they have voted even if they have not. The polling within these states may thus favor Romney slightly more than we may think.


    I suppose this could explain the poll data that oversample people who claim to have voted, vs. what the states are actually reporting has occurred.

    Or maybe the pollsters are being fed, and then repeating lies @ 50.

  36. 51


    @ 49

    I know that losers make big elections about small things (Obama said so, back when he wasn’t about to lose an election), so your trifling with the attendance at the West Chester rally is understandable.

    Here ya go:

    Romney spoke to a crowd of 30,000, according to West Chester Fire Chief Tony Goller


    You and I each have better things to do this weekend, don’t we?

  37. 52

    Real American spews:

    Obviously Cereal it makes a big difference to you, or, being the loser you are, you would not have made a point of mentioning it to counter the poll number showing Romney to be the biggest loser.