NOW with Alex Wagner | October 02, 2012
>>> governor romney 's path to victory is becoming increasingly maze like with only a few right turns remaining. according to nbc news al nall sis of the all-important electoral map at this moment, president obama can count on 243 electoral votes , just 27 shy of the 270 needed to win. romney meanwhile can bank on 191, that leaves 104 votes up for grabs in just eight states, florida, nevada, colorado, wisconsin , ohio , virginia , north carolina , and new hampshire. to win romney would need to win a majority of those battlegrounds and according to recent opinion polls in those states the president is leading or statistically tied with romney , one reason why nate silver 's trustee ma mathematical models are predicting november 6th could be a good night for team op puts the president's chances of winning at 86% and mitt romney 's a meager 14%. insert romney frowny face here. it is really this buttoned up? i want to go deep into the nate silver mind chamber on this block. it is -- i mean that's a pretty big gap there, 86 to 14. let's speak electorally here.
>> you're pegging obama with 320.1 electoral votes , up nearly 11 in the last couple weeks or last week, romney at 217.9. 320 is a lot of electoral votes . that would be i think a mandate.
>> so -- well i don't know if i would call ate mandate necessarily. if you have a small advantage in the popular vote and then if the swing states behave accordingly, obama 's polling is stronger in the swing states it would look impressive on the map, it would be a below average margin for the incumbent. romney does have his work cut out for him. of the six we talked about before, the two biggest problems are probably ohio where he hasn't led in the poll by a long time and, in fact, his best polls put him down three or four points. the worst put him down nine or ten points. ohio is a huge problem for romney right now and wisconsin where he seemed to get a bounce often due when he named paul ryan has faded and see how single digits, a couple double-digit leads for obama in that state as well. without those two romney would have to sweep almost everything else including nevada, iowa, virginia , florida, you know it's possible but he's going to need a shift back in the overall climate, too much work for him just to win all these coin flips in a row if he drops ohio and wisconsin .
>> statistically the case that no republican has won the presidential without ohio ?
>> in 70 years.
>> why it's special. ohio is normally a bit republican leaning relative to the consensus.
>> so a democrat usually has more paths without ohio than republican would. ohio 's population is not growing as fast so it has fewer electoral votes than it used to. some paths available to romney without ohio but it's not how you would draw it up if you're in boston trying to plan for how would your election night go.
>> you actually isolate the tipping point states and say ohio has a 36.5 chance of providing the decisive electoral vote and we talked about that. wisconsin you put at a 9.8% chance of providing the decisive vote. that is interesting to me given everything that's gone on in wisconsin . talking in the break about the scott walker factor, labor discussion. people that voted to keep scott walker in office that are supporters of the president. the other complicating factor paul ryan is from wisconsin .
>> right. if you look at the detail of the polls there, then paul ryan will give romney a boost maybe in his district in downstate wisconsin but maybe not statewide so much where paul ryan is not a statewide office holder. he is from the house. he's not going to be that much more familiar to a voter say in green bay , which is outside of his district, than to a voter in richmond, virginia , or something, right? it's that local connection you have that seems to help and it's a very local connection for paul ryan . but wisconsin is a state that can be quite volatile. although in those -- in the same exit polls that had correctly -- that had walker winning the recall, the same voters majority said i want to vote for obama anyway. and so wisconsin , he won it by 14 or 15 points some large margin in 2008 . you can have the tide shift against you and have a big cushion there.
>> wisconsin is this wonderful state, the state of robert, the great populist, joe mccarthy , not to draw connections between paul ryan and joe mccarthy and mitt romney . it was the recall that people didn't understand or feel was the right expression of protest against scott walker but the great occupation of the state house in support of workers, teachers, nurses, police, of wisconsin i think is going to play a role in this election where people came out to support a different kind of politics.
>> i think we're reminding of the fairness of the american electorate, the fact they have more nuanced views than we ascribe them as having. in your book "the signal and the noise" you talk about the difference between hedgehogs, people who know one big thing and foxes, people who are more nuanced and know many things. i'm probably a hedge hog just declaring things you say hedge hogs tend to be wrong, foxies tend to be your fox hedge hog analysis of the campaigns. i would say team obama tend to be fox like they're data given. where would you square the romney folks?
>> i think the romney folks are maybe more date ta driven than they let on potentially. if you're trying to apply points view of it can become problem at fick they conflict. the need to please the republican base and a primary where he had to do work to win certainly. you have to play the independent voters and center of the electorate. the wedge issues on which republicans did well like immigration, now it's democrats who want to talk about them more or women's issues in general or even gay marriage , to an extent. the fact that romney kind of -- here's how he's being more of a hedge hog , banking on the economy so bad obama will get elected out of office no matter what. it will work and might get you to 45 or 47% or 48% of the vote but seems like he's been stuck there even after his convention he was down or not down but only tied with obama , which is hard for a candidate to win he can't pull ahead.
>> i think we expected more fox like behavior we thought there was going to be more tailored message to hispanics or women, losing by double digits and yet, hedge hog he remains. nate silver , thank you again. political forecaster extraordinary and now author of the signal and the noise. almost a foxnerian call to arms . an enlightening book. pot meet kettle . republicans sound the alarm over potential voter fraud but the most glaring scandal of the election cycle is the firm that was fired by the republican party for questionable registration practices. sound familiar? reverend al sharpton thinks so.
>> this is exactly what started the phony acorn scandal. phony voter registrations. the same thing. so where's the right wing outrage today? they were horrified by those acorn employees in 2008 . so guys what do you have to say?
>> we're going to rev up our engines when the great reverend al joins the panel,