Rank the toss-up states on likelihood of Obama winning them

I’m curious how you guys rank the toss-up states.

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.

About the same as you. PA might be more certain the MI, but I’d bet on either of them going Obama.

Here’s mine:


MI and PA are in the bag for Obama, I don’t consider them tossup at all. Similarly FL and NC are in the bag for Romney. Not tossups at all.

Pretty safe bets for Obama are NV, WI, OH, these are almost safe for Obama IMHO.

The others you guys have listed, NH, CO, IA and VA are true tossups and I would say either of them have a good shot at winning them.

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).

In my opinion:

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.

According to 538, there’s been more recent polls:

10/18 - Rasmussen - Romney 50%, Obama 47%
10/19 - Public Policy Polling - Obama 49%, Romney 47%
10/20 - Wenzel - Romney 49%, Obama 47%
10/21 - Mellman - Obama 46%, Romney 45%

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”?

Big story in Ohio is that 20% have voted early and that Obama leads 60% to 30% among them

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.

It’ll be close, but comfortable.

I just copy 538’s paper, and he says


Mostly good. I think Obama’s got a better shot at Colorado than Virginia, though. Virginia is going to be tough.

I have seen that mentioned. Do they count early votes and release the numbers? Or is this a media guess?

I don’t understand how anyone could possibly say OH is leaning Romney at this time. What might this be based on?

The big question here is whether these are representative or if the Obama campaign has simply encouraged its voters to vote early.

Polling trends. Gut feeling. Skulduggery.

Well I’m not seeing it.

If you look at RCP polls for OH, there is not a single major polling outfit which shows Romney with any lead since Rasmussen in May.

Polls don’t account for voter suppression.

How many had voted early at this stage 4 years ago? What was Obama’s lead amongst them then? without those data points I have no way of knowing if this is good news or bad news for Obama.

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.