Tight presidential election enters August

The last two weeks has been relatively quiet in regard to the race for the presidency, but expect some more noise soon. The two most serious events of the last two weeks have been the mass shooting in Colorado and Romney’s foreign adventure. Neither candidate appears prepared to make gun control an issue in the election. It is also unlikely that foreign policy will be an issue in the election, as domestic social and economic policy routinely dominates foreign policy for most Americans. Currently Obama is 59.2 percent likely to win reelection.

Sources: Betfair, Intrade, HuffPost Pollster, RealClearPolitics, etc., (all noted here on PredictWise)

Romney’s path to victory includes picking up Ohio and Virginia, currently leaning towards Obama, and one additional state; that assumes he holds Florida where he is currently 70.8 percent likely to win. First, both Ohio and Virginia are razor tight races and, if anything, have closed slightly since we released our state-by-state model two weeks ago. Second, the most likely extra state for Romney continues to be Iowa, where Obama is 56.6 percent likely to win, after New Hampshire briefly flirted with the title early this week.

Movements will be more frequent in the coming weeks. First, despite the declining marginal value of economic indicators as we approach the election, there will still be a lot of noise around the July job numbers that will be released on Friday morning. The current expectation is somewhere around 100,000 new jobs. Second, the Republican national convention kicks off less than four weeks, if Romney chooses to release the vice-presidential pick prior to the formal nomination, it will be soon. Despite recent talk of Marco Rubio (9.2 percent likely) and Condoleezza Rice (5.9 percent likely), we continue to provide over 50 percent likelihood that the vice-presidential pick will be a more conservative choice of either freshmen Ohio Senator Rob Portman (29.1 percent likely) or two term Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (23.7 percent likely). Second term South Dakota Senator John Thune, with similar credentials and demographics as Portman and Pawlenty rounds out the top five with 6.7 percent likelihood.

Follow the state-by-state and national presidential predictions in real-time here on PredictWise.