During the summer, I posted a 100 days map of how I thought the presidential race would go, based on that data. We're a month away. Here is another map.
First, a lot has changed since then. President Obama had a disastrous debate performance; Mitt Romney was recorded on hidden camera making derogatory comments about the 47 percent percent of people who don't pay taxes.
But at the same time, not a lot has changed on the map. I've added some toss up states to mess around a bit. I think these states could go either way.
Figuring the scenario I have now, with Obama losing a few of the normally red states he gained in 2008, it could come down to this: If Romney can win Florida and Wisconsin, he wins the presidency and doesn't need Ohio. If he can win New Hampshire, Florida, and New Mexico, he doesn't need Ohio or Wisconsin.
I think Florida will go red. I think New Mexico stays blue. That means Romney needs either Wisconsin or Ohio, not both. It's the only route to the White House. The campaign seems to be spending a lot of time in Ohio. Maybe they know something everyone else doesn't. Bush won Ohio in 2000 and 2004 but didn't win Wisconsin. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, is from Wisconsin.
I suspect, barring a major disaster, another botched debate, a bomb going off, or some other major incident, the presidential election will go right down to the wire. It will be 2000 redux, with Gary Johnson possibly playing "Nader spoiler" (I hate that term but I have to use it) against Romney. I'll also take a look at all the numbers again a week or two out and see what they say.