hree new polls from The New York Times/CBS News/Quinnipiac University show President Obama with double-digit leads over his GOP rival Mitt Romney in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as a nine-point lead in Florida. Ohio and Florida are crucial states for both candidates, and many analysts say Romney simply cannot win without Ohio. What's more, Obama is leading slightly or holding up well in other swing states — such as Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada — giving the incumbent a decent shot of running the tables. Is Obama heading for a landslide?
A blowout victory is definitely possible: "There's no point putting it gently," says Nate Silver at The New York Times. "If the election were held today… it could look pretty ugly" for Romney. Obama is enjoying "euphoric" highs in swing-state polling, and he is favored in every state he won in 2008 except for Indiana and North Carolina, where Romney and Obama are tied. Obama does not yet have a "blue wall" of electoral votes that will guarantee victory, and there's still a chance that Romney could win. But it's just as probable that "things could get really out of hand, and that Mr. Obama could win in a borderline landslide."
"Could 2012 be like 2008?"
The race is going to tighten up: It's easy to "conclude that we could be witnessing an electoral blowout in the making," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. But there are "plenty of reasons — historical and financial, mainly — to believe the most likely outcome is a narrowing of the race." Obama in 2008 enjoyed "one of the best Democratic years in modern presidential history," and "no one — not even the most loyal Obama allies — would argue that the political environment in 40 days will be anywhere close to as favorable." Furthermore, Romney and the GOP have $40 million more to spend than their Democratic counterparts, a "not-insignificant sum split over six weeks."
"Why Mitt Romney isn't going to get blown out"
Obama may have already hit his ceiling: Obama may be close to hitting the ceiling of his support, while "Romney still appears to have more growth potential," says Nate Cohn at The New Republic. The polls suggest that the "remaining undecided voters are probably latent Romney supporters — voters who tend to vote for Republican candidates, disapprove of the president's performance, but dislike Romney." Don't be surprised when "these voters eventually flock to Romney's side, perhaps as soon as after the first presidential debate."
"Obama near his ceiling?"
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