Romney is by common consent at least tied in Ohio but Republican intensity and Romney's near two to one advantage among independents should carry Ohio. But if Ohio fails,
Wisconsin is a very plausible win for Romney. One week ago on 18 October Rasmussen had Obama +2 but was a 4.5 MOE, however, Obama had achieved 50%. Nevertheless, Scott Walker beat the recall by about 7% and I think we will see the same positive forces at work in Wisconsin for Romney and it will mirror Ohio intensity and independent strength for Romney.
Pennsylvania remains a possibility. Pollsters anchored in Pennsylvania are much more favorable to Romney but all the national pollsters including Rasmussen have Obama about the same +5. It is unlikely that Romney will take Pennsylvania without Ohio but it is conceivable that the saturation bombing by Obama in Ohio might freeze the electorate in his favor while Pennsylvania is free to move with Romney momentum felt elsewhere across the nation where the negative ads have not been so intense.
An oddsmaker looking at this picture would have to say as he counts seven states that Obama must sweep that the odds collectively mount against him. For example, the pollsters have Obama up by RCP average 2.7% with Rasmussen having Obama +2% in Nevada. That means that Nevada is easily within Romney's reach and it would take very little to tip this state. When mixed and with other states, such as Wisconsin, the cumulative odds look good for Romney.
We have considered Republican intensity and independent proclivity but we have not talked about momentum. If Romney retains any part of the momentum he has enjoyed since the first debate he could easily take Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Democrats are talking up an Obama resurgence after the third debate but I think most of that is air while the movement towards Romney is "secular" and any reaction to the third debate favoring Obama will be a limited short-term bounce. There are chartists and there are fundamentalists among traders and investors. If we stop being chartists for a moment and look at the fundamentals, I think there is a momentum shift which economists would call "secular" in Romney's favor because the economy practically mandates a change in government. The whole nation, like the whole stock market, is shifting away from a losing proposition. It is a paradigm shift changing the whole dynamic of the race against which Obama's performance in the last debate, even viewed in its best light, is insufficient to counter.
Our FR man in Ohio was told by the Republican Party chairman that Mitt will win by at least 5% if not 10%.