The United States presidential election is only two weeks away and we have just had the third and final of the debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Romney certainly won the first debate, but Obama came back fighting and probably won the second and third on points. So, how does the election stand now?
Real Clear Politics is an independent and informed web site which tracks American politics in forensic detail. Their average of all the polls currently puts Obama and Romney as effectively tied at 47.2% and 47.6% respectively – a mere half a percentage point separating them. But it’s not the overall vote that will determine the outcome; it’s the result in the Electoral College.
According to the latest assessment by Real Clear Politics, Obama is pretty sure of 201 Electoral College votes, while Romney is fairly certain of 206 votes, with the rest still to play for. That’s a significantly worse position for Obama than a week ago which in turn was worse than the week before. If we look at the best guess of Real Clear Politics on how the uncertain states will break, their estimate is that Obama will win 281 Electoral College votes to Romney’s 257.
That’s a worsening of Obama’s position compared to a week ago, but would still be a win for Obama. If Obama was to lose Ohio, that would be it.
So I’m still hopeful – but even more anxious.