National Journal: winning without Ohio (possible, but tough)

The other day, I wrote about a pathway for Romney that doesn’t include Ohio. This article from the National Review takes this topic and analyzes it in more detail. You can see that it is certainly possible, but probably a long shot. Something key contained within this article is something that I’ve always thought was the case but that isn’t published in many places: if the president is polling at or below 47% at this stage in the race, it is almost impossible (barring a true October surprise) for the incumbent to claw his way back and win that state. That is why Suffolk University withdrew its polling activities in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. The reason for this is due to the nature of the the polling as it relates to incumbents. If an incumbent is polling below 50% the likelihood of him prevailing in that state are 50/50 at best. (Though it isn’t monolithic, undecideds usually break for the challenger.) Thus, when looking at polls, make sure to pay attention to where Obama is positioned as much as the spread. If he’s hovering at numbers in the sub-48% range, the incumbent is in trouble.