We really are 100% sure that Romney has 191 EV in the pocket and Obama really does have 243. You could try to make a case against Michigan and Pennsylvania, but both have jumped out of the +5 battleground zone often enough to tell me that most likely, they are not competitive are are very likely to go for the President. But to even give Romney more of an edge, in some permutations, I am going to give him those states now and then.
So, let make assumption number 1, the most likely to happen, namely, that Obama gets a "lock" on Ohio before election night. Here are 6 permutations of how a 269-269 can happen with Ohio constantly in the Obama column:
These permutations are in no specific order, but the one thing those five had in common was Ohio in the Obama column. It is highly unlikely for Obama to win Ohio but lose New Mexico, but stranger things have happened in life. The permutation I find the most fascinating would be were Obama to win Ohio but lose Pennsylvania, lose the South but maintain all of the West, and with one EV out of Maine for Romney, we have 269-269. It is unlikely, but it is a possibility. Unfortunately for Romney, polling out of Maine shows that this is not going to happen. Of course, the first permutation could have made Democrats cry for joy in 2004.
Ok, let's look at possibilities that happen if Obama locks down both Ohio and Virginia:
Again, these permutations are in no specific order.
Let's see what happens if Nevada becomes an absolute lock for the President, but Ohio and Virginia are not locks:
BTW, there is reason to believe right now that Obama already has a lock on Nevada. READ.
What if the ground shifts and only Colorado is a lock and everything else is shiftable? What happens if the early voting puts Obama over the top in Florida, but something goes wrong for the President in Ohio and Pennsylvania?
Right now, if you take the averages exactly as they are, without tossups, we have the following as of today, 10/27/2012, 07:00 Eastern Time:
Right now, if the statistics were to hold, Obama would win in the EC with a +68 Elector margin and amazingly, get exactly the same number of electors that Truman and Kennedy both got in 1948 and 1960, and just two more than Nixon got in 1968, six more than Carter got in 1976.
And BTW, I am not the only one showing these numbers: Dave Wissing (R) from the HEDGEHOG REPORT, a website for Republicans, is showing exactly the same numbers. Behold:
In order to get a bare 270-268 win, Romney is going to need to peel off 35 electoral votes from Obama. It can be done, but he is going to have to move some margins mightily in order to get the margin averages to show that he is getting a lock on those 35 EV and he is going to have to do it now. The polling in Ohio has been so consistent, which means that this is starting to look like a tall order for him. Not only that, Obama is very close to his polling average in Ohio from 4 years ago and he OUTPERFORMED his average in the Buckeye State in 08. It could very well be the same story this time around. The good old adage that "momentum comes for the challenger meme was disproven" in both 2000 and 2004. Bush was already leading before the election in both years in the state polling, and election night bore those numbers out. Bush Sr., who was the obvious underdog in 1992, did not surge up at the end.
Besides that, Obama can lose both Ohio and Virginia and would still win 272-266 if he holds all of the West. But if Romney really does suddenly advance in Wisconsin, then Iowa becomes doubtful for the President as well. This explains to me why Romney is also investing heavily in Colorado, for if he flips the Million Dollar Highway State, then Obama must absolutely win Ohio in order to get over the top.
I just want to point out that the statistical tossup and battleground leads for Obama in Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Nevada are currently higher than Romney's statistical leads in North Carolina and Florida, so people who want to cast doubt upon Ohio or Nevada for Obama must therefore also admit that North Carolina and Florida could just as easily slip into the President's column on election night. Fair is fair.
FACIT: a 269-269 is possible, but it is highly, highly unlikely to happen, and considering the bitter partisan nature of our current politics, an election that would be decided in the House of Representatives for the President and in the Senate for the Vice President would probably be an unmitigated disaster for our Republic and would cast a horrible shadow of doubt on the winner. Now, we came close to this in 2000, and just remember how stressful those 36 days were waiting on the final results out of Florida.
Is it more likely that a slight electoral backfire, ala, 1828, 1876, 1888 and 2000 could happen, where one candidate wins in the NPV, but the other wins in the EC.
So, it is my opinion that a clean win on election night, either for Obama or Romney, is better for our Union.