3 paths to electoral victory for Mitt Romney

The Electoral College math currently favors President Obama. But there's hope for GOPers: Romney still has a few plausible winning formulas

Supporters cheer for Mitt Romney during a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nev.
(Image credit: David Becker/Getty Images)

Over the last several weeks, President Obama has widened his polling lead over Mitt Romney in several key battleground states, surging for example in in once-waffling Michigan and Pennsylvania, which now appear to be out of reach for the GOP. As a result, even though the rival candidates are neck-and-neck in most national polls, Romney's path to electoral victory is getting narrower. According to Real Clear Politics' polling map, Obama has a clear advantage in 20 states with a total of 247 Electoral College votes. If he wins those, he'll only need one or two of the eight true toss-up states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, and New Hampshire — to get to the 270 votes needed to win a second term. Of course, with six weeks till Election Day, Romney still has time to turn things around, especially with three debates still to come, says Edward J. Rollins in the New York Daily News. Romney can win over doubters by appearing "presidential, calm and knowledgeable." He also has to stamp out infighting in his campaign, stay on message, and focus on must-win states. And something big, such as a new economic crisis or trouble in the Middle East, could still trip up Obama. But in the end, winning the presidency comes down to electoral math, and at the moment New York Times statistical guru Nate Silver gives Obama roughly a 75 percent chance of victory. What are the equations that would put Romney in the White House? Here are three:

1. Follow George W. Bush's roadmap

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