Mitt Romney got some especially poor news in two new polls of Ohio and Florida this morning. That’s because his plausible path to electoral college victory in November runs straight through the two swing states.
Here’s what one victorious electoral map could look like for Romney in the path to 270:
That map gives Romney both Florida and Ohio, which account for a crucial 47 electoral votes that Romney is hoping to swing back into the Republican column.
But even if he wins Ohio and Florida, Romney would have pick up a at least a couple more swing states in which he’s currently trailing — here, he gets victories in Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire, which barely push him over the edge.
That’s why losing even one of Ohio and Florida would make Romney’s path so difficult. Since Romney is trailing by an astounding 8 points in Ohio, let’s look at where he would stand without the Buckeye State:
Without Ohio, Virginia becomes almost a must-win for Romney. He’s currently trailing there by an average of 4.5 points in Real Clear Politics’ poll tracking. And then Romney would have to flip another swing state. Here, hypothetically, he gets Wisconsin to push him over 270.
What would happen if Romney were to lose both Florida and Ohio? He would have to flip Pennsylvania and Michigan, two states in which the RCP average is at least 8 points. Or he’d have to swing one of those states and Nevada, which leans 3.4 points toward Obama.
Here’s a look at the implausible path: