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Mitt Romney’s Electoral College Advantage
City Journal ^ | 5 July 2012 | Tim Groseclose

Posted on 07/06/2012 8:03:33 PM PDT by neverdem

Why the GOP nominee has a slight edge in the one poll that counts

Suppose that this November’s presidential election is so close that one candidate wins the popular vote and the other wins the Electoral College (and thus the election). Which candidate, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, or neither, holds an edge in the Electoral College system for choosing U.S. presidents? Though his advantage is small, I believe it belongs to Romney.

My analysis begins with what I call a “political quotient.” I’ve constructed this device to measure a person’s political views quantitatively. Higher PQs correspond to more liberal views, with “100” indicating an outlook approximately as liberal as Nancy Pelosi’s or Barney Frank’s, while “0” indicates positions approximately as conservative as Jim DeMint’s or Michele Bachmann’s. According to my estimates, the PQ of the average American voter is 50.4.

In my book, Left Turn, and on my website, I estimate the PQ of the average voter in each of the 50 states and find that Iowa is the most moderate state in the nation: its average PQ, 50.7, is closest of all states to the national PQ of 50.4. In 2008, Iowa was also the median state in the Electoral College. That is, suppose you ordered all the representatives of the 2008 Electoral College according to the PQ of the representative’s state, starting with the lowest. In such an ordering, the first six members would be the representatives from Utah (the nation’s most conservative state), the next three members would be the representatives from Wyoming (the nation’s second-most conservative state), and so on. Such a list would contain 538 members, and the 270th member (the number necessary to win a majority of the Electoral College) would be a representative from Iowa.

In 2012, however, the median PQ state shifted to Colorado, a slightly more conservative state than Iowa, with a PQ of 48.2. The reason: conservative states (those with PQs lower than Iowa’s) gained six electoral votes in the last census. Thus, if the nation votes exactly 50–50, then Iowa would also be likely to vote almost exactly 50–50 (since its PQ is nearly the same as the nation’s PQ). But Colorado would tilt toward Romney, and with increased conservative electoral representation, so would the Electoral College.

One PQ point translates into about a half percentage point in terms of votes in a national election. For instance, Colorado is about 2.2 PQ points more conservative than the national average (50.4 minus 48.2). Accordingly, in a national election, we can expect Colorado to vote for the more conservative candidate by about 1.1 percentage points (one-half of 2.2) higher than the nation. If in the upcoming election the nation splits its vote 50–50 between Obama and Romney, then Colorado would vote 1.1 percent higher—or 51.1 to 48.9—for Romney.

Thus, according to my analysis, if the election produces a split decision, with a majority of the electorate picking one candidate and the Electoral College picking the other, Romney would win the Electoral College and become president.

Some recent polls support this forecast. Currently, the RealClearPolitics average poll, which surveys voters across the nation, gives Obama a 2.6 percent lead over Romney. Meanwhile, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which surveys voters in twelve swing states, gives Romney an 8-point lead over Obama. The average PQ of the 12 swing states is 48.7—almost exactly the PQ of Colorado. The 12 states should therefore predict very well the outcome of the Electoral College. These polls, like my PQ analysis, suggest that the Electoral College tilts slightly toward Romney, compared with a pure popular-vote system. Expect soon for liberals to renew their complaints about the unfairness of the Electoral College.

Tim Groseclose is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA and the author of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.



TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: 2012election; election2012; electoralcollege; etchasketch; rino; romney
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I doubt that the popular vote is close.

1 posted on 07/06/2012 8:03:42 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Shades of Bush/Gore, Kennedy/Nixon. Not good. The Dems will kick scream get violent.


2 posted on 07/06/2012 8:07:39 PM PDT by Clock King
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To: neverdem

Rasmussen is the one I trust most. And right now, he’s got Romney up +2 nationally and either tied or ahead in almost all of the major battleground states.


3 posted on 07/06/2012 8:10:30 PM PDT by MrChips (MrChips)
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To: neverdem

If that happens we’ll have race warfare for Christmas.


4 posted on 07/06/2012 8:12:01 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
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To: neverdem

If we have another 2000 election I’ll probably suffer a heart attack. I barely made it through that one.


5 posted on 07/06/2012 8:13:02 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (In honor of my late father, GunnerySgt/Commo Chief, USMC 1943-65)
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To: Clock King

hmm ~ did you realize that when the Democrats ran the more Conservative candidate immediately after the Eisenhower years THEY WON!


6 posted on 07/06/2012 8:14:00 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: MrChips
Its Mitt's to lose

He does have more money than Obama unlike Mc Cain and his losers

Sarah Palin could have won it they would have given her real power

7 posted on 07/06/2012 8:14:20 PM PDT by scooby321 (h tones)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Fear not. I think they have done away with hanging chads.


8 posted on 07/06/2012 8:14:49 PM PDT by MrChips (MrChips)
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To: neverdem

Additionally, if the electoral college did not have a majority of votes for one candidate, then it goes to the house where each state delegation gets one vote: more state delegations are majority republican than majority democrat, so the republicans would win.


9 posted on 07/06/2012 8:15:17 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: scooby321

Hope he has the sense to get a VP with the quality of Sarah.


10 posted on 07/06/2012 8:16:54 PM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then.)
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To: MrChips

I’ve read Tim’s book and strongly recommend it. He is a scientist who tests his hypotheses and who deliberately weights his model against his hypotheses to compensate for how own bias.


11 posted on 07/06/2012 8:28:29 PM PDT by LS ("Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually (Hendrix))
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To: scooby321

Romney is losing it right now before our very eyes.

He has let Obama define him as an “outsourcer” all summer long without responding, and it has stuck. Most polls, save Rasmussen, now show Obama with a lead outside the margin of error.

Obama got a huge assist from John Roberts as well. His ridiculous rulings on immigration and healthcare caught Romney off-guard, and Mitt’s responses were very uninspiring.

He is definitely playing catch-up now.


12 posted on 07/06/2012 8:29:11 PM PDT by comebacknewt (Newt (sigh) what could have been . . .)
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To: neverdem

Obama won’t win the electoral or the popular vote.


13 posted on 07/06/2012 8:37:44 PM PDT by pallis
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To: comebacknewt

Yeah, that’s why Romney has set records fund raising...he’s uninspiring and losing.


14 posted on 07/06/2012 8:38:33 PM PDT by MissouriConservative (Voting Anyone but Obama in 2012.)
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To: neverdem

I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt Mittens has a snowball’s chance in hell.

Right now, his campaign is making McCain’s look mean and vicious by comparison. I don’t think he’ll be able to articulate a conservative message or deliver a political killing blow.


15 posted on 07/06/2012 8:41:52 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: LS

I will read anything that gives me hope. The thought of Obama’s re-election truly scares me to death.


16 posted on 07/06/2012 8:42:18 PM PDT by MrChips (MrChips)
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To: KoRn
Right now, his campaign is making McCain’s look mean and vicious by comparison.

I guess you missed Pawlenty's speech on CSPAN from Pennsylvania... "...Reading from his teleprompter... flapping his jaws..." Yeowch!
17 posted on 07/06/2012 8:50:38 PM PDT by BigEdLB (Now there ARE 1,000,000 regrets - but it may be too late.)
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To: comebacknewt
He is definitely playing catch-up now.

By taking vacation while Bambi basks in the glow of his SCOTUS victory?

18 posted on 07/06/2012 8:54:30 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
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To: MrChips

Given the Roberts Dependence Day decision, it’s best to plan for Zer0 to get a second bite of the apple.


19 posted on 07/06/2012 8:58:03 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Clock King

My thoughts exactly.


20 posted on 07/06/2012 9:00:25 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: scooby321

So true.

Anointings set aside are not neccessarily lost forever.

Samson comes to mind, for example.


21 posted on 07/06/2012 9:10:01 PM PDT by One Name (Go to the enemy's home court and smoke his ass.)
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To: comebacknewt
It's vacation time for those that can afford to vacation. Those that can not are stewing over that fact and chomping at the bit to punish Obama anyway.

The important thing is that he gets a cohesive and biting campaign in August and September he roars out of the convention ready to kick but. He needs a 3 point plan and easy to digest message.

There are less than 10% of all people who are undecided and are going to vote. I doubt that more than 10% of those break for Obama. He is below 50% in all the polls. He is in trouble.

22 posted on 07/06/2012 9:16:32 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: lightman

Mark my words, Mark ‘em!!! The doomsayers are not only tiresome, they are irrational.

Romney by 3 to 7 points in the popular vote ... or more, not less.

North of 290 electoral, likely to be revised up.

I would also prefer Newt or Sarah or many others, but the reality is they are unelectable precisely because they are better than Romney. Palin and Newt are too much for the undecided’s. The undecided’s are the reason it’s not going to be a chad festival. Also, much as I love them both, and may marry them when the next iteration of marry-whomever-you-want is ratified (OK not Newt,) neither is qualified to lead this particular economy.

It is correct that Rasmussen is most accurate both historically and methodologically. And he also knows Romney will win. Mark those words.


23 posted on 07/06/2012 9:20:28 PM PDT by skeama (On what day did God create Barack Obama, and couldn't He have rested on that day.)
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To: neverdem

I have been lurking for an extremely long time, and I do apologize for posting a response before posting an article. But this is interesting. I received news at dinner tonight from a reliable source that Obama has all the electoral votes he needs to be re-elected. He will not win by popular vote, but electoral. This, according to my source, is a done deal.


24 posted on 07/06/2012 9:23:04 PM PDT by Uncommoner
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“...I’ll probably suffer a heart attack. I barely made it through that one.”

Same here.


25 posted on 07/06/2012 9:26:38 PM PDT by MplsSteve (General Mills is pro-gay marriage! Boycott their products!)
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To: Uncommoner
Welcome, Bienvenidos, Wilkommen to Free Republic "I received news at dinner tonight from a reliable source that Obama has all the electoral votes he needs to be re-elected."
26 posted on 07/06/2012 9:30:50 PM PDT by tumblindice (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: neverdem

The left wins, with, either Barack Obama, or Mitt Romney! Conservatives and conservatism has, already, lost the race for ‘12 POTUS!


27 posted on 07/06/2012 9:31:16 PM PDT by johnthebaptistmoore (The world continues to be stuck in a "all leftist, all of the time" funk. BUNK THE FUNK!)
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To: Clock King
The Dems will kick scream get violent.

I thought about that in the past. Initially I thought the same. I still think it's possible. But I also remember thinking the same thing during the Bush vs Kerry campaign. In the end, the day after the election was quiet - just another day. I got the feeling that the Kerry loss was not so drastic to the dems after all. I suppose it could work out the same with Obama. Just a guess.

There would be two exceptions:

1) If the election results are too close.

or

2) Obama refuses to concede (even after an obvious defeat) and somehow tries to stay in power.

Then things could get violent.

28 posted on 07/06/2012 9:35:39 PM PDT by tsowellfan (http://www.cafenetamerica.com/)
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To: Uncommoner
But this is interesting. I received news at dinner tonight from a reliable source that Obama has all the electoral votes he needs to be re-elected. He will not win by popular vote, but electoral. This, according to my source, is a done deal.

Welcome newbie. The GOP got 60 percent of the white vote for the first time in 2010. The Jacksonian Democrats are probably going to leave the rats for good because of their energy and environmental policies.

29 posted on 07/06/2012 9:38:52 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: KoRn

Anybody who is still acting like Mr. Milquetoast at this stage is toast and I don’t care WHO he picks for VP .


30 posted on 07/06/2012 9:39:08 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: Paladin2

I believe the opposite.


31 posted on 07/06/2012 9:43:34 PM PDT by Big Horn (Rebuild the GOP to a conservative party)
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To: LS

With your connections, do you know if there is a current list of which red states have opted to use Soros’s Spanish vote counting company?


32 posted on 07/06/2012 9:44:18 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Uncommoner
I received news at dinner tonight from a reliable source that Obama has all the electoral votes he needs to be re-elected. He will not win by popular vote, but electoral. This, according to my source, is a done deal.

Oh, really? And how is that possible to know before any votes are cast and any Electors have been appointed?

33 posted on 07/06/2012 9:45:25 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: tumblindice

I wouldn’t expect less from a fellow Hoosier.


34 posted on 07/06/2012 9:48:07 PM PDT by Uncommoner
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To: Uncommoner

You’ve been duly christened with a bottle of bubbly broken over your bill.
I mean, bow.
We won’t survive four more years of the thing in the WH.
Looks like you’ve got tough hide. Again, welcome.


35 posted on 07/06/2012 9:55:48 PM PDT by tumblindice (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: comebacknewt
I am voting for Mitt.

That's right. Even though I don't like plain vanilla. Which is what this namby-pamby zombie milquetoast is. I can't quite figure out if he's even alive.

Yo Mitt, vanilla is GOOD. Just put some syrup and jimmies on it. Get the crushed nuts from your opponent. Wake up, boy! Gimme a sign.

Here, give me that mirror, hold it up to his nostrils! Mitt, talk to me!

36 posted on 07/06/2012 10:10:22 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (So, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and FU Roberts can't figure out if Obama is a Natural Born Citizen?)
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To: Uncommoner
Gee, a done deal because someone told you at dinner five months before the election......LOL!


37 posted on 07/06/2012 10:21:44 PM PDT by HerrBlucher ("The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers." GK Chesterton)
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To: Kenny Bunk

I can’t figure out why Mitt is raising all that money if he is just going to sit on it and not respond to the non-stop attacks from the Kenyan and his MSM lackeys.

His favorables have tanked over the past couple of months mainly because Obambi has painted him as a guy who loves outsourcing and screwing over blue collar workers.

He needs to stop the bleeding and go on the attack NOW if he wants to have a chance to win.


38 posted on 07/06/2012 10:26:35 PM PDT by comebacknewt (Newt (sigh) what could have been . . .)
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To: tumblindice
After midnight, it's Be Kind to Newbies Hour!

I also received news at dinner this evening from a reliable source that the newbie is not a troll. This source is a guy in the know. Done deal.

39 posted on 07/06/2012 10:45:58 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (So, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and FU Roberts can't figure out if Obama is a Natural Born Citizen?)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Only You Can Exploit Forest Fires

Homeland Security-Funded Study Lists People ‘Reverent of Individual Liberty’ as Terrorists

Remember Fast and Furious’s Mexican Victims

July 4th With Obama’s Communist Mentor

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

40 posted on 07/06/2012 10:46:48 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: MHGinTN
in re Soros’s Spanish vote counting company?

It's true.

Only ballots in Spanish will be counted. The only exceptions will be absentee voters who died before 1965, when Ted passed the Immigration Reform Act, holders of current EBT Cards, and those presently incarcerated.

Si es posible, comenze un curso de español imediatamente. Meet me in the Home Depot parking lot tomorrow at 7 AM. After we knock off a few lawns and a plumbing job, I'll help you with some tutoring, so your vote can count, too, amigo!

41 posted on 07/06/2012 10:57:20 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (So, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and FU Roberts can't figure out if Obama is a Natural Born Citizen?)
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To: Uncommoner

“He will not win by popular vote, but electoral. This, according to my source, is a done deal.”

The DNC and 0bama’s handlers would spend an enormous amount of money and gravitas to have that rumor spread wide.


42 posted on 07/06/2012 10:58:11 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: comebacknewt

The left is continuing to use the tactic of painting Mittens as rich, elite, cold-hearted and out of touch, and the rats are lapping it up. It’s so crazy, because that’s exactly the personificationof zero!


43 posted on 07/06/2012 11:23:10 PM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: neverdem

its the cnn poll that has romney up 8 in swing states.....if the guy cant get his facts right...how can i trust his #’s


44 posted on 07/06/2012 11:50:54 PM PDT by lifeisagame
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To: Republican Wildcat

The details were few, but that is the word he gave to me. He is a very wealthy DC businessman who plays both sides of the fence and his info has been accurate in past BO’s trapsing around OH, MI, PA are to pick up what small town votes he can to cammoflage his electoral totals. Just who will appoint the electoral reps? The Chicago way lives; it worked on Roberts.


45 posted on 07/06/2012 11:51:05 PM PDT by Uncommoner
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To: Uncommoner
there is no way obama wins the electoral without the popular..if anyone does it then it will be romney...where is romney gonna pile up votes enough to overcome Cali? New york? New jersey?...Illinois?..Pennsylvania?...and if he gets the ev then that most likely means he gets either Florida or Ohio too...most likely both....oh ya i know...romney is gonna win Wyoming and Utah by 3 million votes each..has Kansas and Montana had a population explosion?...no way obama can win ec without winning the popular
46 posted on 07/06/2012 11:51:22 PM PDT by lifeisagame
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To: Republican Wildcat

and of course he falls to mention how romney is gonna win the popular but lose the ev...which is pretty much...impossible...where is romney gonna run up votes enough to overcome cali,new york and such?.....nebraska and north dakota?..hell obama has pretty much 7 or 8 million votes just from cali and new york...and if he wins the ev then that means obama would have to win ohio or florida or virginia or north carolina in some combo...so once again..where is romney running up these votes?....


47 posted on 07/06/2012 11:51:42 PM PDT by lifeisagame
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To: skeama

if romney wins by 3 or more...he will get more than 290..3 or more means most likely pa,wi,mn,or,mi...one or more of them will fall to us


48 posted on 07/06/2012 11:51:55 PM PDT by lifeisagame
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To: Republican Wildcat

The details were few. My source was frightenly confident in his comments. He is a very wealthy DC businessman who plays both sides of the fence. BO’s trapsing around OH, MI, PA are to garner (or appear to) as many small town votes as possible to cammoflage the electoral award. Who will appoint the electoral voters? It’s the Chicago way, once again.


49 posted on 07/06/2012 11:52:16 PM PDT by Uncommoner
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To: Uncommoner

EN double OH BEE
What’s that spell boys, and girls?


50 posted on 07/06/2012 11:59:00 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (We have met the enemy and he is us.)
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