Moody's: Jobs data boosts Obama's chancesAugust 23, 2012: 12:14 PM ET
President Obama's re-election chances rose in July on stronger employment data, according to an election forecasting model created by Moody's Analytics.
The group's model -- which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data -- currently predicts that Obama will capture 303 electoral votes and another term.
Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, is projected to win 25 states and 235 electoral votes. Romney's chances had improved in recent months on weak employment data, but that trend reversed in July as the economy picked up 163,000 new jobs.
The Moody's map -- reproduced above -- currently shows Romney victories in Florida, North Carolina and Indiana. All are key swing states that John McCain lost in 2008. But it's still not enough. In order to win, Romney will need to pick up additional wins in states like Ohio, Colorado or Pennsylvania.
Moody's rates Ohio as one of the states, along with Virginia, that are closest to turning red. But Xu Cheng, the Moody's economist who produces the estimate, notes that Obama's chances have improved in Ohio in recent months due to a strengthening automotive sector.
The Moody's map -- which is just one of many forecasts produced by interested parties -- largely aligns with current polling and prediction markets. The popular prediction market Intrade, for example, currently shows a 57% chance that Obama wins a second term.