We’re a long way from November 6 (145 days for those who are keeping score at home), but Rasmussen’s latest polling of likely voters in states across the land shows Mitt Romney currently leading President Barack Obama in the quest for electoral votes. In fact, if the 9 key swing states were each to go according to Rasmussen’s latest polling, and if the 41 other states (plus Washington, D.C.) were each to go as they would be expected to go in a tight race, Obama would have 243 electoral votes and Romney 269 — enough for a tie (and an almost inevitable victory in the House of Representatives, where the 50 state delegations would each cast one vote to determine the president).
Among the 9 key swing states, Rasmussen’s polling shows Romney winning in Florida (46 to 45 percent), Ohio (46-44), Wisconsin (47-44), and Iowa (47-46). It shows Obama winning in Pennsylvania (47-41) and Nevada (52-44). It shows ties in Virginia (47-47) and Colorado (45-45). (Rasmussen hasn’t yet released any polling from New Hampshire.)
Romney leads by very narrow margins in some of these states, and some of Rasmussen’s statewide polls are more current than others. Still, it’s interesting to see how the candidates stack up in the latest tallies from the only national polling outfit that’s currently screening for likely voters.
Aside from the obvious importance of Florida and Ohio, the thing that stands out in these tallies is the importance of Wisconsin. It’s the only Democratic-leaning state in which Romney is currently leading, and it pushes his tally to 269 despite merely being tied with Obama in GOP-leaning Virginia.
Over the years, the Badger State has been far more volatile than Pennsylvania, and hence far more likely to swing to the right of the national popular vote (something Pennsylvania has never done in the TV era). In a tight race, Wisconsin is clearly Romney’s best bet to swing a state with double-digit electoral votes from Obama’s column into his own. As such, it’s the state that can most likely ease the pressure of his otherwise pretty much having to hold every single GOP-leaning state.