Polling Analysis and Election Forecasting

Where Things Stand

If anyone tries to tell you the presidential race is close, don’t believe it. It’s just not true. With the debates beginning tomorrow, Obama’s September surge in the polls appears to have finally leveled off – but it has moved him into the lead in every single battleground state, including North Carolina.

If the election were held today, my model predicts Obama would get 52% of the major-party vote in Florida and 53% in Ohio. If Obama wins Florida, there’s almost no chance Romney can win the election. If Obama loses Florida but wins Ohio, Romney’s chances are only slightly higher.

Romney has to be hoping for a very large, and very consistent swing in opinion across a large number of states. The shift will have to be over 2% – which would be as big a change in voter preferences as we’ve seen during the entire campaign. And it will have to begin immediately. Post-RNC, it took just under one month for Obama to gain 1.5%-2% in the polls. Romney has just over one month to undo that trend, and more.


  1. Rose Campion

    But it’s a bit worse than that. As early voting has already begun, and will over the next few weeks affect more and more states, it’s not just the voter preferences that will be “frozen” – it will be the actual votes themselves. And those can’t be undone, no matter how each candidate rises and falls in the polls between now and Election “Day”.

  2. MarkS

    Time to make some quick money by buying “Obama wins” shares (or short-selling “Romney wins” shares) on intrade!

  3. Joel

    I’m considering a DEM-DEM-REP parlay for president-senate-house, despite Prof. Wang’s confidence in a democratic takeover of the house.

  4. Jordan

    In a tweet Drew said to wake him up when Romney was up in Ohio. Wake up!

  5. Drew

    Not quite yet…

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