The latest poll from NBC shows that Barack Obama has a 1 point lead (48%-47%) over Mitt Romney nationally. But the election will be decided in 9 battleground states. Therefore, the focus should be placed on those critical swing states in order to determine which one of the candidates is more likely to reach the needed 270 electoral votes that are required to win the presidency.
According to Politico, Obama has 237 electoral votes while Romney has 191 — when taking into account the non-battleground states that tend to favor each candidate. Now, the remaining 9 battleground states are worth 110 electoral votes. Politico projects which one of the candidates is more likely to win each of those swing states based on the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Romney is slightly ahead in three of those swing states: Florida (with 29 electoral votes), North Carolina (15), and Virginia (13). Winning those states will give 57 electoral votes to Romney. Adding the 191 electoral votes, that the Romney campaign starts with, to those 57 electoral votes from winning those 3 swing states will give Romney 248 electoral votes. Therefore, the Republican candidate will fall short of the 270 electoral votes that he needs to get elected.
Obama, on the other hand, has maintained a small but consistent lead in 6 of the 9 battleground states: Colorado (9 electoral votes), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18 ), Wisconsin (10). By winning those states, Obama will get 53 electoral votes. Those 53 electoral votes along with the 237 electoral votes that are already in the electoral bank of the Obama campaign will give the president a total of 290 electoral votes. Obama has, therefore, a much easier path to 270 than Romney.
Despite months of heavy campaigning and millions of dollars spent on negative ads, Romney has not been able to change the dynamics in those crucial Midwestern states. That's why Romney is making a last ditch effort to win in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State, however, has not voted for a Republican candidate since 1988. Equally important, the president has been ahead in most polls in Pennsylvania. With one day left before the election, Romney’s path to 270 has become ever so elusive.