Electoral Vote: Romney still trailing Obama in campaign’s final hours

Obama and Romney debate

We’re coming down to the final hours of this electoral cycle. By late Tuesday night or perhaps even Wednesday morning, we’ll know whether voters will trust President Barack Obama with another term in office or if they’ll elect a different direction with Mitt Romney.

National polls are showing an incredibly close race, but those polls mean little when it comes down it. And though there are are many states considered to be part of the electoral battleground, those that will determine the election — Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia — were made clear weeks ago. Early voting is considered to be a key part of success either candidate hopes to have in these states. And while it appears that Obama has a lead over Romney in early voting, Molly Ball reports that Republicans are performing better at this aspect of the election than they did four years ago.

If Romney sweeps those four states, he wins the election. But if he were to lose any one of them, Obama wins re-election. Unfortunately for Republicans, that is exactly the scenario they face headed into a election day with polls in Colorado, Ohio, and Virginia showing a slight tilt toward President Obama:

Electoral Map -- November 5, 2012

Many Republicans insist that they will win the election, taking Ohio in the process. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who was reportedly considered as a running mate on the Republican ticket, expressed optimisim about Romney’s chances in the Ohio, claiming that momentum is on his side. Kevin Holtsberry wrote last week at the National Review that he believes Romney’s closing argument was compelling enough for him to carry Ohio. Holtsberry is also banking on turnout for Democrats being down in the Buckeye State compared to 2008.

Over at The Weekly Standard, Jay Cost explains that Romney has two important factors going his way that will ultimately put him ahead of Obama — his lead with voters on economic issues and his lead among independent voters. Jonah Goldberg notes a graphic from the Washington Post e-mailed to him a by a reader explaining that 13% of Obama’s voters in 2008 are voting for Romney in 2012. The conclusion is that there is no way Romney could lose if that many 2008 Obama voters are switching teams.

Despite polls showing Obama leading in some key swing states, Ted Frank presents a hopeful case for Republicans against all indicators pointing to Obama winning, explaining that polls have a bias against Republicans on turnout and overestimate the performance of incumbents. And Michael Barone, an expert on American politics, is predicting a Romney win on Tuesday, noting that Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats and early voting numbers are down for Obama compared to 2008. However, various estimates and predictions show Obama winning anything from a close race to an electoral blowout.

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