Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

Election Countdown: Four Days To Go

Photo by: Scout Tufankjian, OFA

Following a brief ceasefire related to Hurricane Sandy, the campaign for the White House resumed on Thursday. Now, with just four days to go, the campaigns of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama enter their final stages. And though the campaign seems to never end, reducing young children to tears, it's literally just a few hours from being over. How is the race shaping up in its final days? Where are the candidates spending their time, what are the polls saying and what major developments have occurred in the last 24 hours? We try to package the most compelling information below.

The Candidate Schedules:

"The best poll these days," said NBC News Chief Washington Correspondent Chuck Todd, "is actually the candidate's schedule--this is what's telling us everything." Where Romney and Obama spend their time between now and election day gives us a look into what the campaigns are focused on or worried about.

What do their schedules make clear? Ohio remains crucial for both campaigns:

Romney Schedule

  • Yesterday (Nov. 1): Virginia—all day
  • Today (Nov. 2): Wisconsin, Ohio
  • Saturday: Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado
  • Sunday: To be determined
  • Monday: New Hampshire

Obama Schedule

  • Yesterday (Nov. 1): Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado
  • Today (Nov. 2): Ohio—all day
  • Saturday: Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia
  • Sunday: New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Colorado
  • Monday: Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa

The National Polls:

Following the Denver debate, national polling began a sharp shift toward Romney. Today, four days from the election, the average of national polls shows the race is all but tied:

Romney vs. Obama Nationally (via

Methodology: Average of 10 polls from 10/22 – 10/31

  • 47.4% - Obama (D)
  • 47.3% - Romney (R)

Advantage: Barely Obama—for all purposes, it’s a tie. 

The State Polls:

In the race to 270 electoral votes, what happens in a handful of crucial swing states is all that truly matters. It's important to remember that the presidential election isn't one large election--it's a series of 50+ elections. What's happening in the critical swing states gives us the best look at what will happen on Nov. 6.

The Projections:

Nov. 6 Forecast (via

Methodology: Statistican Nate Silver's forecast model runs simulations of the Electoral College to project the probable outcome of a particular candidate reaching, out of the 538 votes available, the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Silver's model, which was very accurate in 2008, factors in national and state-level polling in addition to economic outlook and demographics.

Projected Electoral College Votes (270 to win):

  • 300.4 – Obama (D)
  • 237.6 – Romney (R)

Projected Chances of Winning:

  • 79.0% - Obama (D)
  • 21.0% - Romney (R)

Projected Popular Vote:

  • 50.5% - Obama (D)
  • 48.6% - Romney (R)

Advantage: Obama...and lots of folks are mad about it.

Other Projections (Some come from rather dubious sources)

Electoral Calculator: Make Your Own Map!

The Latest Campaign Developments:

Bloomberg endorses Obama, with a caveat (via Bloomberg):

I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts.

If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing

Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress -- and President Obama can, too. If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.

Anything you think we should add to this election countdown? Tell us in the comments.

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.