Romney Campaign Can't Explain to Itself How It'll Win in November

In today's Poll Watch: Mitt Romney's campaign makes a big presentation on how he'll win enough swing states to get 270 electoral votes, and it doesn't add up to 270 electoral votes. Romney can't count on Wisconsin turning, either.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Mitt Romney's campaign makes a big presentation on how he'll win enough swing states to get 270 electoral votes, and it doesn't add up to 270 electoral votes. Romney can't count on Wisconsin turning, either. Both he and President Obama have more haters than fanboys, and gay marriage gets even more popular. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.

Findings: Romney's "Route to 270" doesn't actually add up to 270, The Atlantic's Molly Ball points out. Politico's James Hohmann posts a Romney campaign slideshow, shown at left, explaining how Romney will win enough electoral votes to become president. But that adds up to 260.
PollsterPublic Opinion Strategies
Why it matters: Romney's campaign thinks it must win Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia. All but Arizona were Obama states in 2008. The campaign is probably betting it'll flip North Carolina and Indiana, too, she says. Plus, "Obama won 3 of the 7 states Romney earmarked on "Route to 270" by double-digits," The Hill's Christian Heinze notes.
Caveat: Obama is not polling nearly as strongly in those states as he did in 2008. Plus, Romney thinks he can win Wisconsin (see blow).

Findings: Wisconsin voted against the recall of Republican Gov. Scott Walker Tuesday, but they say they're voting for Obama over Romney by 51 percent to 44 percent.
PollsterExit polls.
Why it matters: Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican president since 1984, but even the Obama campaign has listed it as a toss-up. Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus said the recall was a "dry run" for November. But The Daily Beasts's Michael Tomasky says there's no way Wisconsin swings red. "Folks, if ever there was a day in the history of Wisconsin polling that should have shown Romney within spitting distance of Obama--or even ahead, given the obviously massive pro-Walker turnout--it should have been yesterday, which was the biggest and most enthusiastic day for Republican politics in recent state history," he writes.
Caveat: Obama won Wisconsin by 14 points in 2008, but the race was much, much closer in 2000 and 2004.

Findings: Obama is beating Romney in Pennsylvania and Connecticut by the same margin: 12 points.
Methodology: Survey of 412 Pennsylvania registered voters from May 29 to June 4 with a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points; survey of 1,408 Connecticut registered voters from May 29 to June 3 with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.
Why it matters: Pennsylvania is traditionally a swing state; Connecticut isn't. Obama won both in 2008, but by twice as big a margin in Connecticut as in Pennsylvania. (22 points and 11 points, respectively.) So why are they closer today? Could it be that there are enough financial guys who live in Connecticut and are angry at Obama to move the poll that much? Or is he benefitting from a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in Pennsylvania, lower than the national average?
Caveat: It's early.

Findings: More Americans hold strong negative feelings about Romney and Obama than hold strong positive feelings. In other words, the haters outnumber the fanboys for both candidates.
Methodology: Tracking poll taken from June 1 to June 4. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.
Why it matters: This is a way to measure enthusiasm -- people who feel strongly go vote.
Caveat: They're both more hated on, but they're not in equal positions. "Since December, Romney's scores have trended more negative and Obama's more positive," Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones notes.

Findings: Most Americans want to legalize gay marriage. President Obama's announcement that he backs gay marriage did not make non-white voters, who opposed it in larger numbers, stop supporting Obama. It made them start supporting gay marriage.
Methodology: Survey of 1,009 adults from May 29 to May 31. The poll's margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.
Why it matters: When President Obama announced he supported same-sex marriage, some wondered whether it would hurt him among black people, who were less likely to support gay marriage. But this poll finds that 59 percent of non-white respondents support gay marriage, compared to 52 percent of whites. In an April 2011 poll by CNN, only 51 percent of non-whites backed gay marriage.
Caveat: Public opinion didn't shift fast enough to stop North Carolina voters from passing a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, even though many state Republicans opposed it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.