It’s that bi-monthly Thursday again: Karl Rove is out with a new electoral map!
Now that more state polls are starting to ramp up as we advance into the general election season, Mitt Romney is making some big gains in Rove’s latest map.
In the first two editions of Rove’s map, President Barack Obama held a sizable advantage over Romney, both in sure electoral college votes and states that were “leaning” toward him in November.
The new map shows a distinct shift toward Romney. Romney has added more states as virtual “locks,” while some state polls have shifted away from Obama into toss-ups.
Right now, it’s Obama 204, Romney 106. If you add in all the “lean” states, however, Obama still captures enough to win the election.
The most pronounced shift in this poll came in Wisconsin, which was a certain Obama victory in the last map. A couple of recent polls — from Public Policy Polling and Marquette University have thrust that into question. Those polls had Obama up one point and tied with Romney, respectively. In the last map, Obama was up 9 points there.
Also moving against Obama was Oregon, mostly because a shocking recent Survey USA poll that showed him only up 4 points there. He’s still up 7 points on average. But with Oregon and Wisconsin, Obama lost 17 electoral votes from his “lock” total.
He did, however, secure New Hampshire as a lock, which only leaned toward him previously.
Romney gained Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, which was the only direct electoral-vote change in this map for him. But the crucial gains come in Wisconsin and in North Carolina, where he swung 6 points to a what is now a 3-point lead there.
Things could get even closer in the next map. Romney is set to pick up 63 probable electoral votes, when and if new polling is done, in South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, Montana and South Dakota.
With the leans in this poll, Obama leads 280-161, so he’s still safe for now even if Romney wins all the toss-ups. As it stands, Romney still needs to pick up one of Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan.
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