Moody's: Obama still on track to beat RomneyOctober 2, 2012: 8:24 AM ET
Despite a wave of disappointing economic reports, President Obama is still likely to top Mitt Romney on Election Day, according to the latest forecast from Moody's Analytics.
According to the model, which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data, Obama is on track to capture 303 electoral votes. (270 are required for victory.)
Moody's is predicting that Obama will win several important battleground states, including Virginia, Colorado and Ohio.
The latest round of data would appear to suggest bad news for Obama. The economy added only 96,000 jobs in August, below the rate needed to merely keep pace with population growth. But Moody's model already assumed a slowdown in the second half of the year, and the bad news did not move any states into Romney's column. Still, things could change over the next month.
"A high national unemployment rate looms as a threat to Obama's reelection," Moody's economist Xu Cheng wrote. "In the 19 states, plus the District of Columbia, where the jobless rate tops 8%, the Moody's Analytics model expects a 'grumpy voter' effect to lower the incumbent's total as citizens express their lingering frustration with the economy despite recent progress."
The effect could have a "measurable impact" in the key swing states of North Carolina, Indiana, Florida and Nevada, according to Moody's.
Users of online futures market Intrade are increasingly betting on Obama retaining the White House as well. Intrade, which allows investors to wager on events such as the presidential election and whether Israel or the United States will launch a strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, placed the odds of an Obama victory at 74.5% as of Tuesday morning.
National polls show Obama with a narrow lead. According to a CNN survey released Monday, 50% of likely voters say that if the election were held today they would vote for the president, with 47% saying they would support Romney. The president's three point margin is within the poll's sampling error.