The latest Real Clear Politics Electoral Map has President Obama leading Mitt Romney 253-170 in electoral votes, the 2012 presidential race is Obama’s to win -- notwithstanding the fact that two candidates are currently neck-and-neck among the electorate overall, and in key battleground swing states.
To be sure, the latest swing state polling shows President Obama virtually tied with Mitt Romney – who has significantly improved his standing among swing state voters since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.
On Monday, USA Today/Gallup released a poll of voters in 12 battleground states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin) -- the first USA Today/Gallup swing-state poll since the March survey which found Obama leading by nine percentage points among swing-state voters.
The latest USA Today/Gallup swing-state poll shows the President and Romney virtually tied (47%-45%) – with the president’s two point lead over Mr. Romney falling within the margin of error.
Similarly, last week’s Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll found the two candidates in a statistical tie in key toss-up states Ohio and Florida -- with Romney leading 44 percent to 43 percent in Florida and Obama leading 44 percent to 42 percent in Ohio.
But all one needs to do is look at the Electoral Map and see that the president is a mere 18 electoral votes shy of the 270 needed to win.
Put simply, all President Obama needs to do is win either Ohio (18 Electoral College votes) or Florida (29 Electoral College votes) – or a combination of two or more states including Virginia (13), New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6), Missouri (10), Colorado (9), North Carolina (15), or Arizona (11).
This seems like a very achievable proposition in light of the findings from the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, which found that for the first time, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting – with more than half of Obama supporters (55%) saying they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in this year's presidential election, compared to only 46% of Romney supporters
The bottom line is that President Obama’s path to electoral victory seems clear.
Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist, Fox News contributor, author of the new book, “Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What it Means for 2012 and Beyond” (Rowman and Littlefield). Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.