Some analysts still claim Obama has a lock on the Electoral College. They look at his 365–173 margin in the Electoral College in 2008 and argue that Romney will have trouble peeling enough states away.
The reapportionment of House seats following the 2010 census has whittled Obama’s 2008 margin down to 359–179, and Obama does not own all those electoral votes. No one expects him to carry Indiana again. In “swing states,” he must win in a political climate where voters know much more about him than last time.
In 2008, Obama won 53 percent of the vote, the highest percentage for any Democratic nominee in history except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. Now he’s averaging 46 percent in recent polls.
That’s much closer to the 45 percent that Democratic candidates won in elections to the House in 2010. And in the last three presidential elections, the winning candidate has won the same percentage (or within 1 percent) as his party’s percentage in House elections two years before.