Monday, October 22, 2012
The main reason that Silver feels Obama is still an overwhelming favorite is that while Romney has surged in the polls to tie (or lead) Obama nationally, the challenger is still, in Silver’s opinion, a long shot to pull together enough battleground states to get to 270 electoral votes. This is the real problem with Silver’s model in the eyes of many Romney backers — the “weighting” he puts into state polls gives an edge to Obama, and the distribution of that weighting is highly subjective. For example, Silver currently gives Obama a 70 percent chance of winning Ohio. A component of this is a weighted “polling average” of Obama’s support at 48.2 percent to Romney’s at 45.2. The current Real Clear Politics average is nearly a full point more favorable to Romney: It has Obama at 48.1 and Romney at 46.0. The difference comes from the fact that Real Clear Politics gives equal weight to all of the polls it includes and uses only the most recent polls from each polling organization in a given timeframe.