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Initial speculation spells doom for Republicans in November


There are a couple of new electoral maps out today tracking the Romney-Obama match-up this November and none of them look good for the GOP.

First and foremost there's Karl Rove, the architect of George W. Bush's two-term sweep.  Why is this map important?  In 2008, Rove's week-to-week predictions of the electoral college map were spot-on, and expertly calculated the margin John McCain would eventually lose by. If the election were held today, Rove predicts a likely second term for Obama, with 284 electoral votes either solidly- or leaning-Obama. (270 to win)

There are a few notable things to point out about Rove's early projection.  You'll notice that key swing states -- including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada -- are all leaning toward Obama with Florida too close to call.  Other states that should at least lean Republican -- like North and South Carolina -- are also considered by Rove to be toss-ups at this point.  And PS -- When did Texas become a state that "leans" Republican?

Huffington Post's Mark Blumenthal also released his own map today, but awarded Florida's electoral votes to Obama and sees toss-up potential in Nevada:

Blumenthal's map is much friendlier to the Obama camp and awards votes from most swing states to the president, including Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  Oddly enough, however, Blumenthal sees zero states "leaning" toward Romney at this point. Still, he warns Obama fans not to get too comfortable in the lead:

While this early Electoral College result will cheer Obama partisans, take it with a huge grain of salt. The polls driving the estimates for the battleground states are sparse, and all but a handful of the most recent surveys were fielded in the midst of the Republican primary contest, when the president enjoyed a bigger lead in national polling.

Not only is battleground polling sparse, all polling is pretty sparse at this point compared to what it will be like this fall.  Expect both sides of this race to dig in for the long haul.

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