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Five Thirty Eight blog: Florida’s fundamentals favor Mitt Romney in Florida

By on June 7, 2012

I’ve been saying this since last September, but Barack Obama is not going to win Florida.  At least, not as it stands now.

The New York Times‘ blogger Nate Silver appears to agree:

… Taken by itself, however, Florida may be a less valuable prize than usual. Right now, the polls there show almost an exact tie. But the model views Florida as leaning toward Mr. Romney, for several reasons.

First, the polls showing a tie there were mostly conducted among registered voters rather than likely voters. Republicans typically improve their standing by a point or two when polling firms switch from registered voter to likely voter polls, probably because Republican voters are older, wealthier, and otherwise have demographic characteristics that make them more reliable bets to turn out. The model anticipates this pattern and adjusts for it, bolstering Mr. Romney’s standing by a point or two whenever it evaluates a registered-voter poll.

In addition, the fundamentals somewhat favor Mr. Romney in Florida. The state has been somewhat Republican-leaning in the past, and its economy is quite poor. Mr. Romney has raised more money than Mr. Obama there, and its demographics are not especially strong for Mr. Obama. The model considers these factors in addition to the polls in each state. In the case of Florida, they equate to Mr. Romney having about a 60 or 65 percent chance of winning it, and Mr. Obama probably has easier paths to 270 electoral votes …

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