An interesting website, NerdWallet, founded by Tim Chen and Jacob Gibson in 2009, has just published its most recent outcome prediction for the 2012 Presidential election. I realize that everyone and their dog has an analysis that predicts a November winner but I found this one intriguing. Here is a summary of Joanna Pratt's analysis.
Let's start out with what the analysis uses as its baseline.
1.) President Obama has 201 safe electoral votes.
2.) Mitt Romney has 181 safe electoral votes.
3.) The winner needs 270 electoral votes out of 538 total.
There are 12 states with a total of 156 electoral votes that could go to either candidate. To get the 270 votes, Mitt Romney needs at least 89 of those 156 electoral votes or 57 percent of the total to win. Here is a chart showing the 12 states in play, the current polling numbers and the statistical odds of winning each state:
Right now, the margin of error in polling is 5.5 percent according to NerdWallet, a margin of error that was statistically gleaned from the 2004 and 2008 elections.
The computer simulations run using the current polling results and polling accuracy suggests that, at this point in time, Mitt Romney will win only 250 electoral votes, a number that is short of what is needed to win the Presidency. Note, as well, that this is well down from 257 electoral votes just two days ago.
To summarize, here is a pie chart showing the odds of winning the election based on NerdWallet's analysis:
Basically, Mitt Romney's chances of getting the 89 electoral votes that he needs to win is only 19.7percent, compared to 79.5 percent for the incumbent President. Keep in mind, however, that on November 1st, the odds of Mr. Romney taking the necessary votes was 31.3 percent so, it would appear that the momentum has swung in favour of the incumbent.
Tuesday November 6th will tell whether Ms. Pratt's analysis is correct.