About a week ago I posted a column here entitled “Romney Isn’t There Yet,” in which I contended that as things then stood, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney seemed unlikely to win more than 248 of the 270 electoral votes required to take the presidency away from Barack Obama in the November 6 election.
What a difference a week makes! This morning I bet money on Romney on the Irish-based Intrade futures market. As a gambler I am too cold-blooded to vote out of sentiment, but as of this moment – and recognizing that everything could change before the ink dries on this post – Romney seems to have the edge.
I didn’t bet the farm – not even a haystack. I paid $3.65 for a Mitt Romney contract that will pay me back $10 if Romney wins, and zero if he loses. In effect, I was wagering that Romney had at least a 36.5 percent chance of winning the presidency.
I can make the argument that his chances are more in the neighborhood of 75 percent. Since I posted a week ago, the Rasmussen polling organization has shown him moving into a tie with President Obama in Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin, where he previously had trailed slightly, while taking the lead in Colorado, where he had trailed, and New Hampshire, where he had been tied. This is an example of the Mittmentum you have been hearing about.
The only scary news out of Rasmussen recently is that Romney’s lead in Florida has tightened to two percentage points from five previously. This undoubtedly explains why Romney is dashing from town to town in Florida today even as I write.
As of this moment, Romney leads in the Rasmussen tallies in states with 261 electoral votes, Obama leads in states with 243 electoral votes, and there are 34 electoral votes up for grabs in the deadlocked states of Iowa (6), Ohio (18) and Wisconsin (10).
We have to assume that those three states won’t be tied any longer after the polls close on November 6. And since they are tied now, we also have to assume that each of them has a 50 percent chance of going for Romney, and a 50 percent chance of going (heaven forbid) for Obama.
Not to bore you with more statistics, but there are eight possible voting combinations among those three states, and six of them – the 75 percent I mentioned above – would put Romney over 270 in the electoral college.
All other things remaining the same, it won’t matter how Iowa votes, because its electoral total is too small to make the difference. But any combination in which Romney wins either Wisconsin or Ohio would force the Obama family to reserve a moving van for January.