Obama likely to win electoral college: path to 270 electoral votes

Obama on Track To Win Electoral College

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Oct. 28 2012 1:40 PM

Obama Continues To Have Clear Advantage in Race for 270 Electoral Votes

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President Obama has more options to reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to stay in the White House

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Even though the race for the White House remains very close with a little more than a week to go before Election Day, the advantage is still with President Obama. The latest Associated Press analysis of the race points out that Mitt Romney has many fewer paths to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. For now, it seems likely Obama will win with at least 271 electoral votes from 21 states, including Ohio, while Romney would win 206 votes from 23 states, including North Carolina. The five states that could go either way, according to the AP, are Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

The New York Times’ Nate Silver agrees Obama is still the overall favorite in the election, noting his chances have increased with the latest batch of polls from battleground states that favor the president. In his analysis, Silver points out that a two- to three-point lead in state polling averages translates into a win in that state 82 percent of the time. Nationally though, it still looks like a dead heat with the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll giving Romney a one point lead with 49 percent.

Although Romney could technically win the White House without Ohio, it wouldn’t be easy.

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“For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Obama ends up holding onto Ohio. Does that mean Romney is out of it? Not completely,” writes The New Yorker’s John Cassidy. “But to reach two hundred and seventy votes, he would need to turn around three or four blue states, which doesn’t seem likely without another swing in his direction nationally.”

In order to win without the Buckeye State, the former governor would have to take not only Florida and Virginia, but also either Wisconsin, where Obama has a clear lead, or Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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