As the campaigns wound down on Monday night, the picture of the polls is almost complete. Republican candidate Mitt Romney appears to be slightly behind President Barack Obama to the point where Obama could garner enough of the electoral votes needed to win. Polls released Monday show that Obama has leads in Ohio and Nevada and that there are no signs of Romney being able to take the lead in those states.
Despite all of the polls released over the past couple of weeks and more recently this past weekend, the race for Electoral College votes in the 50 states and the District of Columbia will matter the most. Obama holds a slight advantage in that area so far. Since Friday there have been 10 surveys released in Ohio. Out of the 10 surveys, nine of them show single-digit leads for Obama.
In the state of Iowa, Obama holds a lead over Romney by a score of 47 to 42 percent. Obama has a lead in the Electoral College based on his lead in Iowa and his three to four percentage point leads in Nevada, Wisconsin and Ohio. Should Obama win these states plus the ones he holds leads in already he would garner 277 electoral votes. That would give him seven more votes than the 270 needed to win the presidency.
Polls also show Obama with very slight leads over Romney in New Hampshire (2 points), Virginia (1.7 points) and Colorado (less than one point). Should Obama win these states he would garner 303 electoral votes. The statistical confidence of Obama leading in these states comes in at 90 percent and sometimes higher than that. In the three states listed above, the percentage of Obama winning drops to 80 percent when factoring in the potential for polling error.
In the state of Florida, Romney holds a slight edge over Obama. The lead for Romney in Florida is 48.2 to 48 percent as of Monday night. In the state of North Carolina, Romney holds a two point lead over Obama, 49 to 47 percent. If you take these estimates into consideration, Obama would win the election with 303 electoral votes and Romney would have collected 235 electoral votes. When you factor in the polling error, many polls released Monday give Obama a 90 percent chance of winning a second term in the White House.
Some of the errors in polls that could conceal a Romney victory include a late break of voters who are undecided who vote against the incumbent, polls are overstating Democratic voters in battleground states in the country and the problems with reaching cell phone only voters.