For my purposes, the toss-up states are those listed by RCP.
Here’s my order:
P.S. Please don’t quibble with me about the definition of a toss-up state. If there are some that you think are so clearly in one direction or the other that you don’t think they rate the title of “Toss-Up”, then just leave them off your list.
Those are all pretty reasonable orderings, from what I can tell.
My current hypothesis is that there are only four “toss-up” states (perhaps five, if you want to include WI): CO, IA, OH, NH. I think Nevada is a sucker’s bet for Romney, and FL probably a waste of time for Obama at this point (not because either state is truly out of reach, but because by the time they win it they will have won the election).
I’d rank those as: OH > IA > CO > NH for Obama at this point. But they are all pretty damn close, and any more movement towards Romney will likely move them all into his column.
I should add a note about VA - that one is hard for me to gauge. There hasn’t been very much polling their lately (only a Rasmussen R+3 from 10/18), which I find very odd. It’s not completely impossible to imagine continued demographic trends there yielding a surprise Obama win (surprise in the sense that he wins there but loses, say, OH and IA).
I’d really like a few non-Rasmussen polls in that state (not because I particularly dislike Ras, but because he doesn’t call cell-phones and a variety of methods would yield a more robust average).
Safe for Romney: FL, VA, NC
Leaning Romney: OH
Tossup: CO, IA
Leaning Obama: NV, NH
Safe Obama: MI, PA, WI
Right now I’m not feeling entirely comfortable about Obama’s odds. He’d have to hold all of the states I think are leaning and safe for him, plus grab *both *CO and IA.
Between now and early next week I think OH will show a trend one way or the other. I think it’ll either trend whole hog for Romney (which is where it will stay until Nov 6), or it will move into my Lean Obama column (which means Obama will need a first-rate GOTV effort to squeak it out). As an Obama supporter, I’m not feeling optimistic about this state.
But on election night, if Obama *does *somehow win Ohio, it’s over, four more years. If Romney wins Ohio, it’ll all come down to CO and IA. And I actually think CO might be the OH/FL of 2012 come election night.
Ah, thank you - RCP’s average doesn’t include those other ones (probably because they are party-affiliated). That actually puts it as an almost dead tie (in fact Nate has it 51%/49% odds in Obama’s favor).
Obviously losing Virginia is completely untenable for Romney.
ETA: I wonder if any of the posters in this thread would explain why they are considering VA “safe Romney”?
I predict Colorado goes to Obama by 2-3 points. Obama out-performed all the polls in 2008 and it’s likely he will do so again. Suburban women are the swing voters in CO all the Republican craziness about “rape babies” and contraception bans do not go over well. There is one 527 ad that runs here constantly that goes right after this issue and these women. I have a daughter at CU and she says the get out the vote efforts are crazy on campus. They is a competition between CU and CSU to see who can register the most first-time voters.
If Obama loses both Virginia and Ohio, he needs to win every single other swing state. (I’d hoped for Obama to win Virginia and eke out victory without Ohio. I’m still hoping for that, but it sounds like most of you consider it unlikely.)
Thus the chances are very good that the Ohio Pattern will continue – the winner of Ohio has, I think, become President in every election since 1893 with the sole exceptions of Dewey (1944) and Nixon (1960).
There were very credible allegations of GOP cheating in Ohio in the elections of 2000 and 2004. They are certainly trying to cheat in 2012; only identified cheating ploys have been beaten back. Don’t worry though: If Romney becomes President due to Ohio cheating, the SDMB’s self-appointed legal expert will assure us that this was the democratic will of Ohio’s majority.