Today's numbers bring back something we had discussed extensively prior to the first debate—Romney's likability ceiling. Obama is at 48 percent or better in every state except for North Carolina. Romney is at 48 percent or better in just two of these nine states.Other than a brief period post-first debate, Romney's numbers in the battleground states were consistently mired in the mid-40s. It was one of the reasons I was so confident going into Election Day. He was simply too far away from 50 percent in too many key states to truly threaten President Barack Obama's re-election.
The vote count isn't 100 percent final, but we're close enough to make some broad general points, like the fact that Romney really couldn't get out of the mid-40s in most battleground states. Look at the (almost) final results:
Obama hit 48 percent in every battleground state. Mitt Romney managed it in just two of them. In fact, he got out of the mid-40s (47 percent or better) in just four of these nine states. That's woeful.
Romney also underperformed his national popular vote in six of the battlegrounds, while Obama overperformed his in six of the nine. In other words, the Obama team got their vote out where it mattered.
For fun, let's see how many of these states Romney would have to flip to win:
So Obama could've lost every state he won by less than 5.4 points (Florida, Ohio, and Virginia), and he still would've won 272-266.
Obama could've also lost every state that he won by seven or fewer points, and he still wouldn't have lost (217 EVs) as badly as Romney did (206 EVs).
Seriously, the more we dig into the numbers, the more dominant Obama's victory looks.