Romney May Need Both VA and PA to Win

Nate Silver explains Mitt Romney's last-minute push for Pennsylvania. Maybe it's also why President Obama brought Bill Clinton to Virginia yesterday (where 25,000 turned out to cheer them.)

Mr. Romney’s campaign may be thinking about a map like this one, in which he wins Pennsylvania in order to claim 273 electoral votes. If Mr. Romney did so, he could win the presidency despite losing Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada.

Mr. Romney could not afford to lose Virginia, where he is narrowly behind in the polling average, or Florida, where he is narrowly ahead. He could also not afford to lose Colorado, unless he won New Hampshire.

President Obama and Bill Clinton were in New Hampshire this morning where 14,000 turned out. CBS says only 10% of NH voters use early voting. [More}

The remainder of today's appearances:

After addressing voters in New Hampshire, Mr. Obama today heads to campaign events in Florida, Ohio and Colorado. Romney, meanwhile is hitting up Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia today.

As of now, Silver has Obama winning with 306.9 electoral votes.

< Sunday Electoral Maps | Obama: It's All Up to You, Who Do You Trust More? >
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    The Dems also seem to think Pennsylvania (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:31:16 PM EST
    is in play again, as we've just been notified that Bill Clinton will be speaking nearby on Monday.  We are in the suburbs of Philly, which have gone from reliably R to narrowly D over the last 20 yrs.  If PA is in swing status, then our area is a significant part of what can determine the direction of that swing.  FWIW, in the last week, we've seen two homes in the immediate neighborhood post R-R signs, and a dozen or more putting up Obama signs.

    Not taking something for granted... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by magster on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:08:51 PM EST
    ... is not the same as being worried. The O campaign has 4 effective "celebrities": Barack, Michelle, Joe and Bill. There's plenty of talent to go around to keep the Penn Democrats feeling enthused.

    It'll be somewhat close, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:16:47 PM EST
    ... were I a betting man, it's better than even odds the president will take Pennsylvania by a margin that's a little larger than the nationwide popular vote, which I predicted yesterday that he'd take, 51-48%.

    Although Sandy slowed things ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:16:00 PM EST
    down enough to probably give Obama a Bush '04 style win.

    The numbers still have a 2000-ish weirdness.  Nothing quite adds up the way it's supposed to.  And that has the Obama camp doing a bit of nail-biting.

    You could brush this all aside Nate Silver style.  And that could well be the right reading this time. But I've closely followed a lot more elections than Silver.  And sometimes the true picture hides behind these anomalous out-croppings.


    Ooooh Really (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    In 2008 Nate Silver called 49 of the 50 states.  Missed Indiana which went to Obama by 1%.  He called every Senate race.  How's your record?  I know everyone hates having a true professional take over the spinning hot air brigades, and I would never want Nate to become so over confident that he stopped doing the thorough work he does, but you my friend are no Nate Silver :)  Just observing is not the same as crunching the numbers, not even close, that's like trying to compare a Picasso to an architectural blueprint.  

    "...you my friend are no Nate Silver." (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Angel on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:40:12 PM EST
    That reminded me of Lloyd Bentsen's takedown of Dan Quayle in the VP debates.  How I miss Lloyd Bentsen, what a great public servant he was.

    I said it that way for that reason (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 03:47:52 PM EST
    Bentsen was one of my grandmother's favorite politicians.  I watched that debate with my grandmother.  I just happened to be home for a visit.

    Nate has one election under his belt ... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:56:52 PM EST
    that's not a track record.  He could well be right again this time.  As I said.  I basically agree with his prediction.

    But there is a weirdness in the numbers.  There's just stuff in there that doesn't look the way elections normally look.

    Nate just considers that noise.  He may be right.  But in politics the truth is often hidden in the noise.


    Ooooh, I think that 2012 (none / 0) (#11)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:41:51 PM EST
    is not 2008.

    Silver is good stuff, but he does not have a track record yet.

    I hope that Robot Porter and I are wrong, but I have to agree, if only because Silver does not factor in voter suppression, intimidation, etc.  And 2012 is not 2008 in those ways, too, but feels more like 2000, at least in my state -- a swing state.  It's probably not happening in Alabama.


    He has an excellent track record (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 03:44:13 PM EST
    In more than just politics.  Look up his sports prediction record.  And because of that, I did not take the guy seriously in the political arena when he showed up.  He has more of a record though than one election.  I don't bet on sports, only follow soccer and some horse racing so have no reason to be interested in his sports success, he has much more of a numbers cruncher history though than one election.  Given how anything can happen in sports given a little opportunity and a lot of heart, I would think predicting political elections is a cake walk compared to a baseball game.

    I have been reading his book and was struck by how from my perspective the Bush administration created its own noise much like the yakking pundits do, but the Obama administration in its approach to terrorism doe not do this.  At least IMO this is true.  Who found Osama?  The people actually listening for the signal and not the noise.

    You know what seems really sucky horrible to me, when he started his own blog he suffered an enormous leftwing blog commenters lashout about being self serving and self promoting.  It seemed like it lasted forever too.  What has been launched at him lately smells and tastes the same and I'm literally thinking to myself haters gotta hate.  


    I know all of that about him (none / 0) (#16)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:34:50 PM EST
    and none of that tells me that he has factored suppression, intimidation, etc., into his predictions.  That is our point.  You may have other points, but they do not address our point.

    He can't factor that stuff in because he's (none / 0) (#17)
    by Angel on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:38:20 PM EST
    analyzing the polls only.  There's no hard data for suppression or vote tampering.  I do understand what you're saying and I am with you on the fear that those two things can and might change the true voting outcomes for one or more state.  I'm just hoping that the Justice Department and the Obama Team are on it and don't let anyone get away with anything that changes the true results.  The Supreme Court, on the other hand...no one can control what they do.  Another fear altogether.

    Fear, makes me so angry when (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:47:33 PM EST
    Democrats respond to fear like that.  I know we are the kinder party, the gentler party, but screw fear.  I wish I was in Florida right now working someplace where there were threats, screw these people and fear and being afraid.  The republicans count on that working, they make bank on it too.  Fear is not for me, I will not be made so afraid I will not stand up for myself and others.

    I have to wonder if somebody... (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 05:00:50 PM EST
    will try to f*ck with me when I go to vote on Tuesday.  My polling place is a church that I know is, shall we say, right-wing friendly in the middle of one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city.

    I can only say that if they want to screw with me on my birthday--good luck with that!


    My polling place is a gay-friendly church (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 07:11:40 PM EST
    where it's going to be fun to vote for Tammy Baldwin!

    the polling place I'm working in is at the (none / 0) (#32)
    by DFLer on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 07:41:41 PM EST
    East End Fire Station...always a hoot. And yes, sometimes the trucks go out on a call, right in the middle of things.

    That could be colorful, and (none / 0) (#33)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:03:05 PM EST
    I really wish that I did not have to vote in a church, but if I gotta vote in a church, it's a great (liberal as all get out, as you can tell) one.

    In 2008 (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:39:44 PM EST
    I went to vote in the D primary and this was when, you know, both parties were deciding who to nominate. When I asked for the D ballot i got a look from the elderly lady with died hair. I gave her a look LIKE I DARE YOU to say anything and she promptly looked back at what she was supposed to be doing. I told my husband about it when i got home and he just laughed.

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that (none / 0) (#29)
    by shoephone on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:44:48 PM EST
    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 05:09:55 PM EST
    He cannot factor in what, in 2000 -- per Robot Porter's comment -- proved a crucial factor, the corruption of the voting process.  

    And living in a swing state seeing all sorts of evidence of that factor, as we have for some time, with pleas for action to no avail, I have no hope of the DoJ and Obama campaign doing something about it.  My once-clean state has been seriously corrupted, and we were targeted in no small part because we are a swing state -- pawns in a chess game played by others for their benefit, not by us nor with any benefit to us.

    Now, the DoJ and the Obama campaign may do something about it in one or two swing states in a Florida 2000 redux, if it turns out that those state's EC votes are needed.  My state does not have enough EC votes to matter.  Nothing will be done, and we live with the resulting corruption.

    As a result, I really find it difficult to care, as my vote probably will not be counted.  All that I can do is look forward to all this ending soon, when my state won't matter again, and the comfy shoes get lost in the closet again.  I begin to understand the cynicism seen in other  countries with seriously flawed voting processes.


    And we really don't know (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:52:47 PM EST
    That Nate doesn't factor in suppression when it can be factored in, when he knows suppression has been in play.

    The only thing he has factored in, to my (none / 0) (#24)
    by Angel on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:24:22 PM EST
    knowledge, is the new PA voter ID law.  They went from no voter ID laws to a strict photo ID requirement.  He adjusted his state fundamentals for PA to +1.2% popular vote shift in favor of the Republican candidate for that reason.  He does not adjust the poll numbers because he thinks that is factored into the likely voter model that each pollster uses.  PA is the only swing state he made the adjustment for because it's the only swing state that has new voter ID laws on the books since the last election.

    I've never read anything on his site about adjustments for vote tampering or suppression at the polls, only the one thing related to the new voter ID law.  


    Nobody said he was a substitute for getting out (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:42:58 PM EST
    the vote, if anything because he is as accurate as he is, he is a good tool in focusing our resources toward winning.  And as the race tightens in Florida to a hair he is inspiring the GOTV there IMO.  If I wasn't in AL I would be out there protecting votes and those voting and not wasting my time bagging on Nate Silver, and many people are giving it their all in states where intimidation is being attempted.  When someone intimidates you though, successful people don't just lay down..

    I agree this is a factor (none / 0) (#25)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:29:56 PM EST
    But he has accounted for in his model, at least partially. He hasn't accounted for it perfectly, of course, because (among other things) voter suppression efforts may be stronger this year than in past years. But see his post from Saturday, where he talks about systematic bias in the polls.  He doesn't use the words "voter suppression," but such suppression is one of the things that could make the polls diverge from the actual results.  

    Note that Nate talks about "systematic bias" in the polls, when actually, in the case of voter suppression, we would say that the actual vote is biased and the polls are more accurate. But in terms of the statistical analysis, for the simple projections he is making, it amounts to the same thing.

    Here's hoping everyone votes on Tuesday and everyone's vote is counted!


    You are so unoriginal. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:58:05 PM EST
    The "Blame Sandy" meme has been around for two days now.

    IMOH, Sandy is relevant politically, only to the extent that the storrm served to highlight Romney's asinine comment about getting rid of FEMA, offered up earlier in the year when he was trolling for wingbat primary votes by running to the right of the clown car.

    Sandy clearly caught Romney's campaign flatfooted, which allowed the candidate's earlier comment to come back full circle and bite him in the a$$. He wasn't able to etch-a-sketch his way out of that one.


    Princeton Election Consortium (none / 0) (#27)
    by lilburro on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:38:41 PM EST
    were spot on in 04 and 08 and are confident in an Obama win.  link

    "No, VirginiA... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:02:55 PM EST
    "...there ain't no PAnta Claus."

    I'm concerned about lack of oversight orgs (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by shoephone on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:50:46 PM EST
    In 2008, I worked for a VoterAction.org on election day. The Seattle contigent was tasked with listening to and analysing thousands of phone calls complaining of voter intimidation, voter suppression all over the country, then deciding which ones to forward to the legal team in New York for action. Lucky me, I was assigned to oversee the calls coming in to Miami-Dade and Broward counties in FL. I know that suits were filed and that we won at least three cases, one of which was in Pennsylvania.

    This year, the organization is nowhere to be found. Makes me wonder how they can sluff off during a time of such obvious sculduggery.

    I think Romney has Virginia (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:39:04 PM EST
    It's a gut feeling as I have friends who live down there, but I think the Mittster is going to pull Virginia.

    I don't know about PA. The reason he has a chance there is the "coal vote".

    Thanks for your concern.... (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by magster on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 02:09:23 PM EST
    I wish (none / 0) (#15)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 04:11:41 PM EST
    Because then they'd be giving me much$$$$$ for my opinion.

    Regardless, it's my opinion that Mitt will sin Virginia, and I base that on my personal experiences of the state and what the people I know that live down there think.

    So whats it to ya?

    Slay...get your mind right... (none / 0) (#26)
    by fishcamp on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:33:36 PM EST
    PPP's last OH & VA polls (none / 0) (#34)
    by lilburro on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 08:23:45 PM EST
    find Obama up 5 in Ohio and 4 in VA.  link