President Obama remains on the path to win reelection next Tuesday, as polls continue to show him with narrow leads in enough swing states to carry him over the top and a new report on the economy shows a mixed picture unlikely to give Mitt Romney much fodder for new attacks.
The 7.9 percent unemployment for October remains elevated, although it is little changed from last month’s 7.8 percent. It is the highest unemployment rate that an incumbent president has carried to Election Day since Franklin Roosevelt, according to the Associated Press.
At the same time, the report showed strong job growth, and the jobless rate was little changed from the last several months, so voters who blame Obama for the sluggish growth likely have already decided to back Romney. (In fact, with early voting in states all over the country, many could have already voted for the ex-governor.)
Four days before Election Day, there is little evidence Obama’s advantages in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio or Wisconsin have slipped, keeping him on the path to at least 281 electoral votes if he wins those states. Romney has an edge in North Carolina, and the campaign is very tight in Colorado, Florida and Virginia. Romney needs to win all four of the latter states, and then either Ohio or Wisconsin and Iowa to be elected president.
The former Massachusetts governor is also making a late push into Pennsylvania, a state where Obama has long been favored. Obama aides describe that as a sign of desperation, a concession Romney can’t win in Ohio. Romney aides argue polls are tightening in the Keystone State, and they could pull off an upset.