Few pollsters are predicting an electoral landslide for Romney, but two academics from the University of Colorado have run the numbers through a statistical model they built and found Mitt Romney to be the clear winner in November.
Campaign 2012 may have spent weeks stuck on discussions of Mitt Romney's taxes, Joe Biden's rant on putting "y'all in chains" and "legitimate rape" and abortion, but a pair of Colorado political scientists believe the struggling economy will still be the dominant issue and will pave the way for a Romney victory.
Using a state-by-state analysis of unemployment and per-capita income, academics Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry of the University of Colorado project that Romney will win 52.9% of the popular vote and 320 electoral votes. The political scientists discuss their findings here.
Their forecast suggests that President Obama will lose in almost all of the swing states, including North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.
The Obama camp might note that the president leads, if narrowly, in most of those states. Pennsylvania is considered solidly enough in the Democrat's column that both sides have stopped television advertising there.
But Bickers said much of the polling thus far means relatively little, with much of the electorate still not focused on the race. The academics said their model focuses on the preeminent issue of the economy. Applied retrospectively, the model predicts the correct winner in every presidential contest going back to 1980, they said.
No doubt if the election turns on how the economy is doing, Romney has a chance for a clear victory. Romney's problem has been and will be how to focus the attention of the voter on the economic failures of this president when Obama refuses to play along and constantly tries to change the subject.
It is likely that eventually, Obama will run out of distractions and in the last 10 days of the race, the economy will move front and center. If that happens, we should see a swing toward Romney. Whether it will be enough no one knows.