Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.
In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.
"The Democrats start with a larger number of electoral votes in the bank," says Daron Shaw, author of The Race to 270, a book about electoral strategy. That's because while the election is still very much in the air, Obama can count on a larger store of electoral votes that are all but guaranteed to him than Romney can.
Other than Texas, states where Republicans are certain winners, such as Oklahoma, Idaho, Alabama and Alaska, simply don't offer all that many electoral votes. That's why there's been talk all year that Romney has only a "narrow path" to electoral victory, heavily contingent on his carrying Florida and Ohio.
"Really, what it comes down to, the Republicans have to win the battleground states to win the Electoral College," says Lara Brown, a political scientist at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
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