Skip to comments.How Likely Is an Electoral Vote/Popular Vote Split?
Posted on 10/12/2012 7:46:28 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The possibility that Mitt Romney could win the popular vote while Barack Obama wins the vote in the Electoral College has been discussed throughout this campaign. In recent days, we've seen pieces from Nate Silver, Nate Cohn, Harry Enten and RCP's Scott Conroy exploring the issue. Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina has even referenced the potential discrepancy, urging reporters to look at the state polls rather than the national surveys.
How likely is this, really? History suggests "not very," unless the race is extremely close. This is because the Electoral College and the popular vote almost always line up reasonably well.
Take a look at the following chart.
It lists presidential races going back to 1952 (prior to 1952, the ensuing exercise is difficult to apply because of the "Solid South"). The second column lists the state from which the candidate who won the popular vote received his 270th electoral vote.
That’s a bit abstract, but think of it this way: In 2008, Barack Obama won Washington, D.C., by 86 percentage points, his largest margin of victory anywhere. That gave him his first three electoral votes. The next largest margin was in his home state of Hawaii, which he won by 45 points. That gave him four more electoral votes, for a total of seven.
Continuing this exercise (Obama won Vermont by 37 points for a total of 10; he won Rhode Island by 28 for a total of 14 . . .), we come to Colorado as the state that gave him the clinching electoral vote -- number 270.
The third column is the national margin for the candidate who won the popular vote. The fourth column is that candidate’s margin of victory in the state that provided him electoral vote number 270
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
So winning the McCain states, plus Indiana, plus Nebraska’s 2nd District gives Romney 191 electoral votes. Adding the next-closest state (North Carolina) gets him to 206 electoral votes. And so forth.
Even though Romney is winning in the popular vote right now by 0.7 points (as of this writing), he trails in the state presently containing electoral vote number 270 by 1.3 points. In other words, as of Thursday afternoon the RCP Average suggests that the Electoral College is biased by two points toward Obama, which would be one of the largest biases ever.
Why might this bias persist through Election Day? The argument would go something like this: Barack Obama’s ground game and swing state spending advantage create something of a firewall in key swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Nevada. Under this theory, the outsized Obama presence in these states makes them “sticky.” In other words, at a time when the rest of the country moves heavily toward Romney, these states will be less likely to do so.
I find this hypothesis particularly persuasive for Ohio, where the auto bailout and Bain Capital air assault might have immunized blue-collar whites in northern Ohio from the same forces that have drawn similarly situated whites toward Romney nationally.
State polls typically are a lagging indicator because polls from states are updated less frequently.
Did you include ME2 in your analysis?
Have you noticed that the UC Boulder model is shaping up nicely?
Check this out: 32 combinations that election ends in a tie.
ht Dean Clancy
Maybe this will work.
I don’t see any of those scenarios falling out.
Yep. Hope they are right.
Because of the Democrat advantage in the big blue states Obama winning the EC but not the popular vote is unlikely; more likely Obama wins popular vote but loses EC like Bush 2000.
If we had a tie, we could have Pres Romney chosen by House, and VP Biden chosen by Senate .
assuming the Senate does not change hands.
Biggest nail in Zero's coffin - his intentional lying about what took place in Benghazi.
Highly unlikely in a blowout.
This would not happen unless the eventual winner wins with less than a full percentage point of the vote. If Romney wins the popular vote with a full percentage point or more I don’t see this happening.
You actually think there will even BE an election, doncha?
Unless I’m quite confused, the Congress that would decide an EC tie is the lame duck Congress that does not include the new members.
Also, voting is by majority of state delegations, which means it is theoretically quite possible for the party with a majority of the House to not be able to elect its candidate as President. Don’t think it applies this year, though. Or very often, since Democratic reps are concentrated in the larger states.
it would be the new members
Assuming Romney won FL, VA, and CO, the combination of NV, IA, and Maine’s split vote is enough even if he lost OH.
Forget Ohio — As long as CO holds; Romney needs to win 2 of NH (RR ahead 50-46 in latest poll), NV, WI, IA. personally I think they are in that order of likelyhood.
Obama is as likely to win VA, NC and FL as Romney is of winninig PA & MI
You are quite correct. I’ve been reading a lot of Civil War history recently and there’s a bunch of lame duck session covered. However, that flaw in the Constitution was settled by the 20th Amend.
Most plausible 269-269 scenario is Obama wins OH PA MI WI NH, Romney wins FL NC VA CO NV IA
I don’t think that’s quite right. NH only has 4 EVs. So giving him the 1 EV from Maine plus CO, Romney needs 12 more EVs. NH/IA or NH/NV would only get him 10. NV/IA would be exactly 12. And WI has 10, so WI plus any of the other 3 would do it.