Thursday, November 15, 2012

Romney's Zero-Vote Precincts in Oklahoma: There are Actually Three!

If you've been poking around the right-wing media looking for some of their excuses for why Republicans lost the election (or if, like me, it was brought to your attention by reading this Dave Weigel article), you would have stumbled across this fact nugget: 59 precincts in Philadelphia and 16 precincts in Cleveland tallied zero votes for Mitt Romney.  Zero!  How is it possible that not a single Romney voter lived in any of those 75 precincts?  You could come to one of two conclusions: that the votes recorded are an accurate count of the will of the electorate reflecting the popularity of the current president and/or the deep unpopularity of Mitt Romney specifically and Republican policies generally; or, FRAUD!!!!!11!!

It's not hard to see that these are likely legitimate totals.  Black people make up somewhere close to 100% of the population in these precincts, and 96% of black people went for Obama in Ohio.  There isn't a comparable monolithic voting group on the right, so one wouldn't expect to find as many precincts recording zero votes for Obama as there are precincts that record zero votes for Romney.  Even the reddest county in Oklahoma (Cimarron County, way up in the panhandle) recorded some votes for Obama (9.4%).  So this got me thinking, did Oklahoma have any zero vote precincts for either candidate?  Yes!

Using data from the Oklahoma State Election Board, I made a spreadsheet and some charts.  This was the distribution of precincts in Oklahoma that voted for Obama.  The largest block of precincts (725) gave Obama between 20% and 30% of the vote. 

This is Romney's distribution.  As you'd expect from a state that allows no write-in candidates and no third-party ballot access, it is basically a mirror image of the Obama chart.

But as you can see, four non-empty precincts recorded no Obama votes, and three recorded no Romney votes. Where are these precincts?

Here are the precincts with 100% Romney support (maps adapted from OU's Center for Spatial Analysis).

Kay County, precinct 407 - Romney 34, Obama 0 - wedged between Newkirk and Ponca City on Hwy. 77.

Wagoner County, precinct 105 - Romney 6, Obama 0 - A couple of farmhouses northeast of Broken Arrow

Woodward County, precinct 104 - Romney 6, Obama 0 - Northwest Oklahoma, rural precinct not near anything

Woodward County, precinct 303 - Romney 2, Obama 0 - Northwest Oklahoma, rural precinct not near anything

For those four precincts, it's Romney 48, Obama 0.

Oklahoma County, precinct 237 (near the boathouses) - Obama 4, Romney 0 - There's maybe one house left in this precinct since the new crosstown expressway, the boathouses, Lincoln Blvd.'s realignment and the Boulevard's construction has taken every other property.

Oklahoma County, precinct 188 (the state fairgrounds) - Obama 3, Romney 0 - I guess the three homeless people living on the fairgrounds all like Obama.

Cleveland County, precinct 90 (Moore, north of NE 27th, between I-35 and Eastern) - Obama 1, Romney 0 -  It could have gone either way.

For those three precincts, it's Obama 8, Romney 0.

But this all doesn't tell us much.  Besides that Kay County precinct, these are all fringey precincts with very few people that all have a pretty good chance of voting unanimously just by random chance. What about precincts where the candidates get 95% of the vote or more?

Beaver County, Precinct 13 (way up in the panhandle northeast of the town of Beaver, north of Slapout) - Romney 119 (95.2%), Obama 6 (4.8%) - Over 250 square miles, and only 6 people voted for Obama.

Harper County, precinct 303 (the next county over from Beaver County, east of Buffalo) - An even bigger precinct, even fewer Obama voters. Romney 107 (98.2%), Obama 2 (1.8%)

Kingfisher County, Precinct 303 (between Kingfisher and Okarche, northwest of Oklahoma City) - Romney 110 (95.7%), Obama 5 (4.3%)

Kingfisher County, Precinct 106 (between Kingfisher and Crescent, but near nothing at all) - Romney 79 (95.2%), Obama 4 (4.8%)

Logan County, Precinct 301 (next to Kingfisher precinct 106) - Romney 167 (96.0%), Obama 7 (4.0%)

That's it for Romney's 95% precincts.  They're all rural precincts in the northwestern part of the state that happen to be just a couple of percentage points redder than their surroundings.

Obama has more 95% precincts than Romney, and they are all more populated and all in Oklahoma City or Tulsa (with one exception).

Oklahoma County:
Precinct 115 - Obama 987 (96.7%), Romney 34 (3.3%)
Precinct 240 - Obama 829 (97.0%), Romney 26 (3.0%)
Precinct 242 - Obama 542 (98.0%), Romney 11 (2.0%)
Precinct 243 - Obama 864 (97.8%), Romney 19 (2.2%)
Precinct 244 - Obama 807 (98.4%), Romney 13 (1.6%)
Precinct 245 - Obama 895 (99.6%), Romney 4 (0.4%)

These are all the precincts around M.L. King south of Remington Park and north of I-40 in Oklahoma City, the traditionally black neighborhoods.  Out of the 5000 voters in this section of the city, only 100 of them voted for Mitt Romney.  But see precinct 30 and 31 down there in Del City? 1198 Mitt Romney voters live there. I'm just amazed at the sharp contrast in the Obama electorate from its surroundings.

Here's an awesome map from Eric Fischer showing 2010 census race and ethnicity data for Oklahoma City.  Each dot represents 25 people, red dots are white people, blue dots are black people, orange dots are Hispanic, and teal dots are Asian.  Not surprisingly, those blue areas are where Obama's 95% precincts are.


Tulsa County:
Precinct 1 - Obama 877 (96.9%), Romney 28 (3.1%)
Precinct 4 - Obama 910 (95.1%), Romney 47 (4.9%)
Precinct 6 - Obama 956 (97.0%), Romney 30 (3.0%)
Precinct 10 - Obama 565 (95.3%), Romney 28 (4.7%)
Precinct 13 - Obama 913 (97.0%), Romney 28 (3.0%)

 Basically this is all of the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa and everything north of it.  Here's Tulsa's dot map.

Logan County, Precinct 310 (Langston University) - Obama 606 (99.5%), Romney 3 (0.5%) - Langston University is Oklahoma's only historically black university.

Friday, November 09, 2012

State Poll Results: Mason-Dixon, Rasmussen Duke it Out for Last Place

So which pollsters were the best and which were the worst? That depends on how you want to analyze things. 

I'm not a statistician or anything, so my analysis can only be very rudimentary. But here it is.

I took only the final state polls from every pollster I had in my database*.  The most recent final poll was from the day before election, the oldest from September 13 (Quinnipiac poll of New York), but most were from October and November.  I used the pollster's spread as the metric by which to measure it against the actual election's percentage spread as of Friday morning.  I calculated a house effect for each poll (predicted minus actual) and an error for each poll (absolute value of predicted minus actual); averages were the sum of each poll's house effect / error divided by the number of final polls that pollster did.

I analyzed every pollster's final poll, but I focus on the eleven pollsters with five or more states in this analysis. 

By the lowest average error metric, Marist won, with PPP second.  Mason-Dixon was by far the worst, with Rasmussen being the second worst.

The most centrist national pollster ended up being Pharos.  Pharos was also the only pollster with a left-leaning house effect on average over all presidential and senate polls.  Everyone else tilted right of actual results, even PPP.  The most partisan pollster on the right?  ARG (4 points).


You could also say a quality pollster is the one which has the most number of guesses within some given number of points. 

The spread in every single final Marist poll was within 5 points of the actual result in both the presidential race and the senate race, which is a pretty amazing accomplishment.  By contrast, fewer than half of Mason-Dixon's polls were within five, also an amazing accomplishment really.

Quinnipiac had the best senate poll on-the-nose mark (3 of 8 within a point), Gravis (amazingly) had the best presidential on-the-nose mark (3 of 11 within a point), but PPP had the best combined on-the-nose mark (9 of 35).  Mason-Dixon was not within a point in any of its 15 final polls (president or senate), though Rasmussen's 2-for-38 mark deserves some special scorn as well just because they had so many more chances than the rest. 

Pharos was within three points of the final margin 9 out of 14 times.  For comparison, Mason-Dixon was within three points only 2 out of 15 times.


Another way you can take the measure of the best and the worst pollsters is by the number of battleground races that they call better than anyone else, because really it's the battleground races that most people focus on.  So I looked at the presidential races in the battleground 9 states plus the expanded map 3 states of Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  I also looked at the 14 closest senate races plus Nebraska. 

The overwhelming winner by this standard: PPP.

(1 * indicates a pollster was the best or tied for the best national pollster in the given race, but not the best pollster. 2 ** indicate the best or tied for the best pollster. 1 ? indicates a pollster was the worst or tied for the worst national pollster in a given race, but not the worst pollster. 2 ?? indicate the worst or tied for the worst pollster.)

PPP was tops among national firms in 15 races: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Nevada senate, Virginia, Virginia senate, Wisconsin senate, Arizona senate, Connecticut senate, Montana senate, New Mexico senate and Pennsylvania senate.  They were the worst only in the Ohio senate race (showing a 10 point Sherrod Brown win when it was only 5.2 points).

Conversely, Rasmussen was the worst national firm in 10 races, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wisconsin senate, Arizona senate, Massachusetts senate, New Mexico senate, North Dakota senate and Pennsylvania senate.  They were the best in only three races (New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Indiana senate) (interesting that they were both the best and the worst in Pennsylvania: Rasmussen's 5-point Obama win was almost dead on, but the 1-point Casey win was 8 points lower than reality).

So you can pick your own best and worst from this info.  It's pretty clear to me that the best pollsters were PPP and Marist, and the worst were Rasmussen and Mason-Dixon. 

I look forward to seeing Nate Silver's pollster ratings.

*my database excluded a few polls for reasons of methodology that in hindsight I wish I had included, including Mellman polls. 


Thursday, November 08, 2012

My Election Prediction Report Card

I know you all are wondering how my predictions stacked up against reality.  No? Well, I'm going to tell you anyways: not that great.  Certainly not Nate Silverish.  Here's a graph of my prediction of the margin versus the actual margin in each state.

The worst prediction in terms of margin was Hawaii (the topmost dot), where two polls led me to guess an Obama margin of 27 points that was actually 15.8 points too Republican. 

Here's the same graph zoomed in on the battleground states.

My prediction for every battleground state except Ohio was too Republican.  The median poll spread method I chose called Michigan a 3 point state (ludicrously).  The real margin was 8.5 points.  Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada -- all these states went more than 3.5 points more for Obama than I had predicted using the median poll spread.  The model got the call on Florida wrong, and it predicted only a tie for Colorado, which wasn't even the next closest state (Ohio was). 

On average, my guesses had a 1.6 point Republican house effect overall, but a 3.3 point Republican shift in states that went for Barack Obama.   

The worst prediction in terms of margin was Hawaii, where two polls led me to guess an Obama margin of 27 points that was actually 15.8 points too Republican (the real margin was 42.8). 

As bad as my results were in the presidential race, my results in the 33 senate races were worse.

There is a systemic leftward shift in that data, which means the actual results were more Democratic than I had predicted.

Here's the same graph zoomed in on the battleground states.

 I predicted a 6 point race in Missouri (that dot way at the top of the zoomed in map) that was actually a 15.5 point walloping by Sen. Claire McCaskill.  The model only missed on Heidi Heitkamp; I had predicted a 4 point loss.  But my average error more than makes up for the fact that it correctly called 32 of 33 races: I had a house effect of 4 points towards Republicans.  The only Democrats who won by less than my prediction were Sens. Sherrod Brown, Martin Heinrich and Tom Carper, and I was too kind to Bob Kerrey, who lost to Sen.-elect Deb Fischer by a huge margin.  But that's it. Only four races out of 33 were redder than I expected, and 29 were bluer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

It's Election Day!

Well, Dixville Notch already voted, so I guess I'd better make official predictions.  My method predicts 303 electoral votes for Obama (actually 294 with a tie in Colorado, but I'll wager that Colorado goes blue) and 54 senate seats for Democrats.

  • I didn't add polling data from the states shaded gray in my database -- either due to no polls, no credible polls, me being lazy and not adding in uncompetitive states, or not wanting to deal with three-way senate races (MD, ME) -- so the spread I'm forecasting in those states is just my best guess. 
  • I'm predicting Oklahoma will not be the most conservative presidential-voting state this year.  I predict those "honors" will belong to Utah this year. 
  • My official guess will be based on spread, not Obama's total or Romney's total.

And the senate races.  There's a huge gap between the 58th senate seat (Nebraska) and the 59th (Texas).  If Democrats manage to upend polling convention by 20 points, opening up holes to long-established mathematical laws and basically breaking the entire field of statistics, they still will only get 58 seats. Also, no way do I think Ted Cruz will only get 52% of the vote, and even a 20.5% victory seems low.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Senate Polls - The Final Weekend

As we head into the final polling days before election day (48 hours!), the senate races have mostly only gotten better for the Democrats.  Before this election cycle, the consensus was that the Republicans would take over the senate due to Obama's negative favorability rating combined with a stacked deck of blue seats on the line.  But Republican candidates have totally screwed the pooch this year due to their rape gaffes basically. That recent large uptick in the average median poll spread graph was due entirely to Richard Mourdock.

The median poll spread shows Democrats increasing their majority in the senate by one seat to 54.  The biggest caveat to that is the fact that it still shows Dems picking up Arizona, where there were only three polls released in October (and where there will be at least one new poll released today). On the other hand, it shows Heitkamp and Tester losing in North Dakota and Montana, so one could argue that it is actually not strong enough for Democrats.

(For the presidential race graphs, click here)


North Dakota (R+4) (based on 4 latest polls from Mason-Dixon, Pharos, Rasmussen and Forum/Essman) - Far too few polls to really judge what's going on.  Two polls came out last week: one showed Heitkamp up two, one showed Berg up two.

Arizona (D+1) (based on 3 latest polls from Rasmussen, BRC and PPP) - No polls came out this past week. Do Arizonans not have phones?

Montana (R+0.5) (based on 4 latest polls from Rasmussen, Pharos, PPP and Mason-Dixon) - This is another circumstance where my methodology gives a weird result.  There hasn't been a poll showing Denny Rehberg on top of Jon Tester since a September 23 Mason-Dixon poll (a new one will come out today or tomorrow).  But Tester's numbers are (45, 46, 48, 49) and Rehberg's are (44, 47, 48, 48), Rehberg is up by a half point.

Nevada (R+1) (based on 6 latest polls from Survey USA, Marist, PPP, Rasmussen, Suffolk and WeAskAmerica) - There was only one new poll last week, by Survey USA, and it showed Heller up 6 on Berkley.  Berkley hasn't been up in a poll since September 25.  I think this one point margin is too close.


Missouri (D+4.5) (based on 4 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Mason-Dixon, PPP and Rasmussen) - The grandaddy of all rape gaffers, Todd Akin continues to trail in polls including two released this week.  No poll has shown an Akin lead since that fateful day in August when he gave that interview to KTVI in St. Louis.

Indiana (D+5) (based on 3 latest polls from Rasmussen, Howey/DePauw and Pharos) - Finally two independent polls were released last week, both showing pro-lifer Joe Donnelly leading pro-lifer Richard Mourdock, but despite having the smaller lead shown for Donnelly, it was the Rasmussen poll that was the most effectual in moving the spread from Mourdock+4 to Donnelly+5.

Wisconsin (D+2) (based on 8 latest polls from PPP, WeAskAmerica, St. Norbert, Marist, Rasmussen, Marquette, Mason-Dixon and Quinnipiac) - Seven new polls were released in Wisconsin this past week, and Tammy Baldwin led in all but one of them, an unusual poll from St. Norbert that showed Obama winning by 9 (4.5 points above the median) but Baldwin losing by 3.  Still unexplained, at least to me, is why there was a rape-gaffe-like plummet in Tommy Thompson's numbers in September.  

Nebraska (R+7.5) (based on 4 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Gravis, Pharos and the Omaha World-Herald) - The Omaha World-Herald poll from October 27 showing Deb Fischer up by only 3 is single-handedly responsible for WeAskAmerica and Gravis's entrance into Nebraska's polling universe.  Predictably these polling firms showed Fischer way up (by 12 and 13).


Pennsylvania (D+6) (based on 9 latest polls from PPP, Susquehanna, Franklin & Marshall, Philadelphia Inquirer, Rasmussen, Pharos, Muhlenberg, Quinnipiac and Siena) - Pennsylvania recovered enough from the power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy to have two polls released today, but unfortunately one of them was from Susquehanna, the worst, most partisan independent polling firm in my database.  But the one-point lead they showed for Casey was actually an improvement from an earlier more outlandish poll.  Other than that earlier Susquehanna poll, no poll has shown Tom Smith with a lead since ... ever.

Connecticut (D+4) (based on 7 latest polls from PPP, Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, UConn and Siena) - One post hurricane poll was released this week showing Chris Murphy with the largest lead of any independent poll this cycle, 9 points.  Interestingly, Linda McMahon's median line looks like the southern border of Oklahoma.  This is only bad news for her, as she is now in the part of the Red River that starts to turn south towards Shreveport.

Massachusetts (D+3.5) (based on 8 polls from PPP, Kimball, Suffolk, Boston Globe, Rasmussen, MassINC, Western New England U., and UMass) - There were four polls that came out last week, and they were a mixed bag.  Probably the most surprising was a Boston Globe poll that showed a tied race when they had shown Elizabeth Warren up 5 a month before.  Still, the other non-partisan polls looked good for Warren, and Rasmussen's latest even showed her up 5.


Florida (D+6) (based on 13 latest polls from Marist, Mason-Dixon, WeAskAmerica, Gravis, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, PPP, Rasmussen, Susquehanna (VSS), Pharos, Fox News, Suffolk, and the Washington Post) - This race is over and has been for a long time.  But the chart looks like a left-facing alligator, or maybe a sparkplug, so it's still interesting.

Ohio (D+6) (based on 13 latest polls from Columbus Dispatch, Marist, Rasmussen, U. of Cincinnati, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, Pharos, PPP, Gravis, Suffolk, Fox News, WeAskAmerica and the Washington Post) - 11 new polls came out this week and none of them showed Josh Mandel with a lead, though a Rasmussen poll went full-on Republican and called the race a tie.  More intriguingly, a Marist poll put Sherrod Brown up by only 5, still not exactly a toss-up but much closer than expected (the same poll had Obama up 6, making this one of only four polls in my database showing Obama polling ahead of Brown.  There are 62 Ohio polls in my database).  It still looks like Brown will win comfortably, but it is less of a slam dunk than in prior weeks.

Virginia (D+3) (based on 9 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Roanoke College, Quinnipiac, Gravis, Washington Post, Rasmussen, PPP, Marist and Suffolk) - It actually was not a good polling week for Tim Kaine.  There were three polls released: up 4, down 5 and tied.  The movement in the median spread reflected undecideds finally choosing one way or another more than anything else.  Overall neither Kaine nor Allen really has any polling momentum going into the final three days of the campaign. 

But even the Unskewed Polls guy is apparently saying Democrats will win a majority.  

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Presidential Polls - Weekend Before Election Day

I wrote a couple weeks ago a couple days after the third presidential debate about momentum and how Mitt Romney's momentum from the first debate was very much real and very much continuing in his direction.  The margin for Barack Obama in swing state polls had slipped from an average of 4% to about 1%.

As if to prove me wrong, that week Romney's momentum stopped. Ever since the third debate, there has been no movement towards Romney in the swing state polls: Ohio has held firm for Obama, and the Great Lakes states have all shown constant or improving poll trends for Obama (except for my weird Michigan numbers). Still, the fact that Obama is still only up 1% in the swing states means that it will still be a close election despite the fact that it is clear Obama has the advantage.

The following are the median poll spreads in the nine battleground states plus Romney's "extended map" states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, in order of how they would swing right now.

(I'll have more on the U.S. Senate races in a separate post).

Mitt Romney starts with a baseline of 191 electoral votes including Montana, Arizona and Georgia, states where Obama has a good shot at being within single digits.  His likeliest battleground state pickup is ...

North Carolina (R+3) (based on 9 latest polls from PPP, Survey USA, Elon, Rasmussen, Civitas, Gravis, ARG, Marist, and Purple Strategies) - The Survey USA poll that showed Romney up by 5 was the most effectual poll of the week, and while PPP and Elon call the race tied, no polling outfit has shown a result with Obama on top since the previous Survey USA poll one month ago.  

Florida (R+1) (based on 15 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Gravis, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, CNN/ORC, PPP, Rasmussen, Susquehanna (VSS), Pharos, ARG, Fox News, Mason-Dixon, Marist, Suffolk and WaPo) - There were 9 polls this week, and Mitt Romney was at or above 50% in 6 of them.  Florida still could go either way though; every single poll published in the last two weeks by firms that have house effects less than R+2 has shown the margin no more than 1% either way. 

As of right now, this is all my model shows Romney getting, 235 electoral votes.  But there are ties.

Colorado (tied) (based on 12 latest polls from PPP, Survey USA, CallFire, CNN/ORC, Rasmussen, WeAskAmerica, ARG, Purple Strategies, Marist, Gravis, Quinnipiac and the University of Denver) - Prior to today my model had shown Colorado in Romney's tally for 11 straight days, but in the past three days six polls were released, and five of them showed leads for Obama.  The most meaningful may be the poll from Wednesday from the conservative firm WeAskAmerica that showed Obama up by three.  The polling results from Colorado this week are what one could expect from a candidate with momentum, and that candidate is not Mitt Romney.

Virginia (tied) (based on 12 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, PPP, Roanoke College, Quinnipiac, Gravis, WaPo, Purple Strategies, Fox News, Rasmussen, ARG, Marist and Suffolk) - 7 new polls this week, and only one of them showed a Romney lead (that crazy Roanoke College poll).  For Obama the best poll might have been the WeAskAmerica poll today that showed him up by 1 despite having an unusually rightward tilt shown by the senate race numbers (George Allen up on Tim Kaine by 0.8).    

Even if you assume Romney stops the Obama momentum and wins these ties, he only has 257 electoral votes, 12 shy of victory.  But it is not looking good for him anywhere else.

New Hampshire (O+2) (based on 8 latest polls from New England College, Gravis, Marist, PPP, Rasmussen, ARG, UNH and Suffolk) - Four new polls this week all showed Obama with leads, including today's poll from New England College showing Obama up 6, the largest lead a non-UNH poll has shown since a Marist poll on September 25th had him up 7.  There were two days last week when my model showed Romney tied with Obama in New Hampshire, but now the polls are indicating that the momentum is with Obama.

Michigan (O+2) (based on 7 latest polls from PPP, Rasmussen, Epic-MRA, Detroit News, Baydoun/Foster, Gravis and MRG) - The biggest numerical anomaly.  Despite having only one poll show the race any tighter than 3 points, the median Obama number (47, 48, 48, 48, 50, 52, 52) minus the median Romney number (42, 42, 45, 46, 46, 47, 47) gives a result of O+2.

Nevada (O+3) (based on 9 latest polls from Survey USA, CallFire, Gravis, Marist, PPP, Rasmussen, ARG, Suffolk, WeAskAmerica) - There were only three new polls this week, and they've shown the same results as every other Nevada poll I have in my database: Romney not leading, but Obama not pulling huge numbers.  Nevada is a state with a tight race, but it is not a swing state.

Iowa (O+3) (based on 8 latest polls from Gravis, CallFire, Rasmussen, Marist, WeAskAmerica, PPP, ARG and the Des Moines Register) - There were six polls that came out in Iowa in the last three days and only one of them (Rasmussen) showed a Romney lead.  Gravis is the Republican-leaning pollster showing the largest margin for Obama right now, 4 points.  This is another state where Obama seems to have momentum.

Ohio (O+4) (based on 17 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, Rasmussen, CNN/ORC, U. of Cincinnati, PPP, Quinnipiac, Survey USA, Pharos, Gravis, Purple Strategies, ARG, SBSI, Suffolk, Fox News, Marist, Columbus Dispatch and WaPo) - Ohio gets the most attention from pollsters this year, but it is not swinging right now.  12 new polls came out this week, and Romney was only up in one of them, a Rasmussen poll on Monday that showed him up 2 points.  On Friday Rasmussen showed the race tied.  Obama doesn't have momentum here only because he's been leading by the same 3-5 point margin for the last two or three weeks.

Pennsylvania (O+4) (based on 10 latest polls from Franklin & Marshall, Philadelphia Inquirer, Rasmussen, Pharos, Gravis, Muhlenberg, Susquehanna, Quinnipiac, PPP and Siena) - There was only one poll released this week after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, and it used data from before the disaster.  Still, prior to the hurricane Pennsylvania was like Nevada; a close-ish state but definitely not a swing state.

Wisconsin (O+4.5) (based on 8 latest polls from WeAskAmerica, St. Norbert, Marist, Rasmussen, Marquette, PPP, Mason-Dixon and Quinnipiac) - Six polls released in the past three days, and none of them showed Romney with a lead. Wisconsin had looked like a possible non-Ohio alternative route to 270 electoral votes for Mitt Romney at one time, but Wisconsin provided Obama with arguably his best results from any state this week.  With maybe the exception of the Marist poll that only showed Obama up 3, every single poll this week was a pleasant surprise for Obama fans.  First PPP showed Obama up 5, then Marquette showed him up 8, then Rasmussen couldn't even tweak the numbers enough to show a Romney lead, then the NPR station showed Obama up 9, and finally the Republican WeAskAmerica showed an amazingly large 7 point lead. 

Minnesota (O+7) (based on 5 latest polls from PPP, Survey USA, Mason-Dixon, Rasmussen and St. Cloud St.) - I only started charting Minnesota because the Romney campaign has claimed it can win there based on Mason-Dixon's polling. But Mason-Dixon is the only firm that has shown Obama with less than 50%.  This state has been in the bag for Obama since the time Minnesota let Mondale supporters into the electoral college.

There are other states where Romney will keep it in single digits (Oregon, possibly New Mexico, possibly Connecticut).