Skip to comments.Mitt Romney’s Electoral College Advantage
Posted on 07/06/2012 8:03:33 PM PDT by neverdem
Why the GOP nominee has a slight edge in the one poll that counts
Suppose that this Novembers presidential election is so close that one candidate wins the popular vote and the other wins the Electoral College (and thus the election). Which candidate, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, or neither, holds an edge in the Electoral College system for choosing U.S. presidents? Though his advantage is small, I believe it belongs to Romney.
My analysis begins with what I call a political quotient. Ive constructed this device to measure a persons political views quantitatively. Higher PQs correspond to more liberal views, with 100 indicating an outlook approximately as liberal as Nancy Pelosis or Barney Franks, while 0 indicates positions approximately as conservative as Jim DeMints or Michele Bachmanns. According to my estimates, the PQ of the average American voter is 50.4.
In my book, Left Turn, and on my website, I estimate the PQ of the average voter in each of the 50 states and find that Iowa is the most moderate state in the nation: its average PQ, 50.7, is closest of all states to the national PQ of 50.4. In 2008, Iowa was also the median state in the Electoral College. That is, suppose you ordered all the representatives of the 2008 Electoral College according to the PQ of the representatives state, starting with the lowest. In such an ordering, the first six members would be the representatives from Utah (the nations most conservative state), the next three members would be the representatives from Wyoming (the nations second-most conservative state), and so on. Such a list would contain 538 members, and the 270th member (the number necessary to win a majority of the Electoral College) would be a representative from Iowa.
In 2012, however, the median PQ state shifted to Colorado, a slightly more conservative state than Iowa, with a PQ of 48.2. The reason: conservative states (those with PQs lower than Iowas) gained six electoral votes in the last census. Thus, if the nation votes exactly 5050, then Iowa would also be likely to vote almost exactly 5050 (since its PQ is nearly the same as the nations PQ). But Colorado would tilt toward Romney, and with increased conservative electoral representation, so would the Electoral College.
One PQ point translates into about a half percentage point in terms of votes in a national election. For instance, Colorado is about 2.2 PQ points more conservative than the national average (50.4 minus 48.2). Accordingly, in a national election, we can expect Colorado to vote for the more conservative candidate by about 1.1 percentage points (one-half of 2.2) higher than the nation. If in the upcoming election the nation splits its vote 5050 between Obama and Romney, then Colorado would vote 1.1 percent higher—or 51.1 to 48.9—for Romney.
Thus, according to my analysis, if the election produces a split decision, with a majority of the electorate picking one candidate and the Electoral College picking the other, Romney would win the Electoral College and become president.
Some recent polls support this forecast. Currently, the RealClearPolitics average poll, which surveys voters across the nation, gives Obama a 2.6 percent lead over Romney. Meanwhile, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which surveys voters in twelve swing states, gives Romney an 8-point lead over Obama. The average PQ of the 12 swing states is 48.7—almost exactly the PQ of Colorado. The 12 states should therefore predict very well the outcome of the Electoral College. These polls, like my PQ analysis, suggest that the Electoral College tilts slightly toward Romney, compared with a pure popular-vote system. Expect soon for liberals to renew their complaints about the unfairness of the Electoral College.
Tim Groseclose is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA and the author of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.
Right Direction 30.2 Wrong Track 61.3
I doubt that the popular vote is close.
Shades of Bush/Gore, Kennedy/Nixon. Not good. The Dems will kick scream get violent.
Rasmussen is the one I trust most. And right now, he’s got Romney up +2 nationally and either tied or ahead in almost all of the major battleground states.
If that happens we’ll have race warfare for Christmas.
If we have another 2000 election I’ll probably suffer a heart attack. I barely made it through that one.
hmm ~ did you realize that when the Democrats ran the more Conservative candidate immediately after the Eisenhower years THEY WON!
He does have more money than Obama unlike Mc Cain and his losers
Sarah Palin could have won it they would have given her real power
Fear not. I think they have done away with hanging chads.
Additionally, if the electoral college did not have a majority of votes for one candidate, then it goes to the house where each state delegation gets one vote: more state delegations are majority republican than majority democrat, so the republicans would win.
Hope he has the sense to get a VP with the quality of Sarah.
I’ve read Tim’s book and strongly recommend it. He is a scientist who tests his hypotheses and who deliberately weights his model against his hypotheses to compensate for how own bias.
Romney is losing it right now before our very eyes.
He has let Obama define him as an “outsourcer” all summer long without responding, and it has stuck. Most polls, save Rasmussen, now show Obama with a lead outside the margin of error.
Obama got a huge assist from John Roberts as well. His ridiculous rulings on immigration and healthcare caught Romney off-guard, and Mitt’s responses were very uninspiring.
He is definitely playing catch-up now.
Obama won’t win the electoral or the popular vote.
Yeah, that’s why Romney has set records fund raising...he’s uninspiring and losing.
I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt Mittens has a snowball’s chance in hell.
Right now, his campaign is making McCain’s look mean and vicious by comparison. I don’t think he’ll be able to articulate a conservative message or deliver a political killing blow.
I will read anything that gives me hope. The thought of Obama’s re-election truly scares me to death.
By taking vacation while Bambi basks in the glow of his SCOTUS victory?
Given the Roberts Dependence Day decision, it’s best to plan for Zer0 to get a second bite of the apple.
My thoughts exactly.