Mitt Romney experienced a powerful surge after the first debate, picked up 1-2 points after the second debate (so far). The third debate mirrors the style of the first debate in which Romney destroyed Obama, and it isn’t unreasonable to expect Romney can pick up and additional 1-2 points on debates along.
But while I referred to the “erosion effect” in my previous, and I feel conservative model that indicates a steady and constant shift towards Romney, that steady shifting simply does not take into account what is know as a preference cascade, where a surging candidate demoralizes the other’s supporters like an athletic team having their spirits broken. Instead of a shift, there is a surge, and that sort of surge is what saw the previous recession President, Jimmy Carter, ousted in 1980 in 489-49 Electoral College victory won by Ronald Reagan.
Taking the preference cascade into account, I had a little fun last night, looking at the latest polling averages for the swing states in the Real Clear Politics electoral college maps, and gave the swing states where Obama had a 5.1-point advantage Obama, and those states where the lead was smaller to Romney, as the cascade suggest they will overcome Obama.
For ease of use, I used the interactive map at 270 to Win to keep track of the score.
Our starting point is BO 201 EV | MR 191 EV
Romney is ahead in Florida (29 EV) with a +2.6 advantage. BO 201 | MR 220
Romney is ahead in North Carolina (15 EV) with +5.6 advantage. BO 201 | MR 235
The race in Virginia (13 EV) is tied, but trending solidly toward Romney. BO 201 | MR 248
Romney is ahead in New Hampshire (4 EV) with a +1.0 advantage. BO 201 | MR 252
Obama has a +5.0 in Pennsylvania (20 EV). Romney overcomes. BO 201 | MR 272 and the Presidency
The remaining states are just margin of victory.
Obama is currently at +2.4 in Ohio (18 EV), which he cannot sustain. BO 201 | MR 290
Obama has a +5.0 in Michigan (16 EV) that Romney overcomes. BO 201 | MR 306
Obama has a +2.8 in Wisconsin (10 EV) that will likely collapse. BO 201 | MR 316
Obama has a +3.3 in Iowa (6 EV) that will likely collapse. BO 201 | MR 322
Romney is already up +0.2 in Colorado (9 EV) and can pull away. BO 201 | MR 331
Obama has a +3.0 in Nevada (6 EV) that he cannot sustain. BO 201 | MR 337
If the cascade is even more pronounced, Obama could even conceivable lose his “leaners,” leaving us with an even more brutal result.
Obama has a lead in Oregon (7 EV) that if he cannot sustain, yields. BO 194 | MR 334
Obama has a lead in Minnesota (10 EV) that if he cannot sustain, yields. BO 184 | MR 347
Obama has a lean in New Jersey (14 EV) that if he cannot sustain, yields. BO 170 | MR 368
Make of this intellectual exercise what you will.