TODAY | November 03, 2012
>> chuck todd is nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent. chuck, good morning. good to see you.
>> good morning, lester .
>> 50 states , but this campaign is dunn to just a handful of them. read the map for me. tell me where they're going.
>> you know, i think the map is a better way to look at this campaign than the numbers. look at president obama 's map here, and look at the state of ohio . these are all the states, he's going to visit seven of them in the next three days. ohio looks like an airline hub for air force one. it's as if he's got to change planes before he goes to virginia or florida or iowa or wisconsin . he's got multiple stops that will take him to iowa and wisconsin . i'll explain that in a few minutes, but it's all part of his midwest firewall. mitt romney 's schedule also as busy. yes, you see two stops in ohio over the next three days. but look at this one here, lester . pennsylvania. it depends on who you talk to. some say it's an insurance policy for the romney campaign because they're worried they can't win ohio . others say it is him trying to get his 300 electoral votes , show that he's got momentum, show that he has got something in this race that could take him much farther than this narrow path to 270.
>> polls start closing at 7:00 on the east coast time. what will you be looking at as a bellwether?
>> half the battleground has polls closed at 7:00. this is all the polls that close before 9:00 p.m . a couple of things. i look at virginia , 7:00 p.m ., and florida . if you believe mitt romney is narrowly ahead in both of those states, how quickly do we call them? does he win virginia by two or three points, florida by two or three points? if that's the case, it's likely we're close to calling those states by 9:00. now, look at ohio . a poll closing at 7:30. if the president has a three, four, five-point lead like these polls show, that's a state we'll be calling a lot earlier. but then i say keep an eye on pennsylvania. if we haven't called it by 9:00, if we're still in a too close to call mode, lester , that tells you maybe romney 's having a pretty good night.
>> and as we watch these swing states come together here, each candidate really has a legitimate path to victory, correct?
>> they do. and i wanted the show you sort of what i would call the easiest paths, if you will, for the two of them. for the president, it's pretty simple. if you look at his campaign schedule, it shows you they believe it's simple. ohio three times. and he goes to wisconsin twice. if he just wins those two states, look at his number there. he's sitting at 271. that would mean he could lose florida . he could lose virginia . he could lose colorado, which, by the way,ic is goi i think is going to be the closest of all the states on election night . he could win new hampshire and iowa . if romney did all this, by the way, that's the one piece of good news for mitt romney . this is his path without ohio . look at this. if he wins paul ryan 's home state, he has a way to get to 270 without ohio . they don't think that's going to be easy because they think wisconsin is going to be very difficult. they think iowa is going to be very difficult. and there's still some question about new hampshire. and if that's the case, and you look at those numbers this way, then ohio becomes incredibly crucial to mitt romney . he would need florida , virginia , ohio , and colorado to get to 275.
>> what i read in all that stuff, is that those of us who will be working election night will need to get some sleep. it's going to be a long night.