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First presidential debate increases Romney’s election odds to 14%

October 8, 2012
Personal Finance
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The first of the post-presidential debate polls are in and Mitt Romney’s odds of winning the election have almost doubled to 14%!

The NerdWallet election model uses current polling and historical accuracy of polls to calculate the statistical odds of the presidential election outcome.  The model is completely free from human input.

Why are Romney’s chances so low?

  1. Obama has 201 safe electoral votes. Romney has only 181. Only 12 states (156 electoral votes) could go to either candidate.
  2. Therefore, Romney needs at least 89 of those 156 electoral votes to win (57%).
  3. Given current polling in those states & historical polling accuracy, Romney’s statistical chance of getting those 89 votes is only 14%.
Current Polling Probability of Romney’s Votes
State Electoral Votes Romney Obama Romney Winning Expectation Binary
Colorado 9 47% 47% 49% 4.4 0
Florida 29 47% 47% 51% 14.8 29
Iowa 6 45% 49% 35% 2.1 0
Michigan 16 40% 52% 15% 2.4 0
Missouri 10 49% 45% 64% 6.4 10
Nevada 6 45% 51% 30% 1.8 0
New Hampshire 4 45% 51% 31% 1.2 0
North Carolina 15 49% 47% 57% 8.6 15
Ohio 18 45% 49% 35% 6.3 0
Pennsylvania 20 42% 49% 27% 5.4 0
Virginia 13 46% 48% 43% 5.6 0
Wisconsin 10 45% 51% 28% 2.8 0
Safe Romney 181 100% 181 181
Safe Obama 201 0% 0 0
*Polling data last updated on October 8, 2012 TOTAL ROMNEY 243 235
NEEDED TO WIN:      270