A group of West Virginia Wesleyan College students predict a close victory for President Barack Obama next week, but said the race for the White House could be even closer depending on the results in Ohio.
The "Parties and Elections" class, an upper-level political science and history course at the college, predicted an Obama win, with 290 electoral votes for the president compared to Republican challenger Mitt Romney's 248. In the nine "swing states," the class believed Obama would take New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado.
It gave the edge to Romney in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
Students in the ‘Parties and Elections’ class at West Virginia Wesleyan College are making predictions about the upcoming general election.
"Ohio, they have going for Obama," Dr. Robert Rupp said. "But even if you take Ohio away from Obama, that would still make it 272-266."
Rupp, the course instructor, said this class in 2004 correctly predicted the presidential winner in 49 of the 50 states. The students studied everything from polling statistics to grassroots efforts.
"What they found is that Romney has momentum, but Obama has the mobilization," Rupp said. "Obama has a ground gain that started very early. Is Romney's momentum going to be enough?"
Rupp said West Virginia has been for the Republican candidate from the beginning, so much so that both candidates combined spent a mere $7,000 in the state. That ranks 50th in the nation.
"Someone quipped that it was because somebody must have stopped in Wheeling on their way to Ohio," the professor said about the campaign spending.
Rupp said it could be possible that Romney wins the popular vote, but loses the election because of the electoral college. He said that could spur change in the process in which the country picks the president, since both parties would have lost a race because of that, the last time being Al Gore to George Bush.
But he said the prediction emphasizes how divided the country has become in recent years.
"Basically, 41 states were left out of the entire election," Rupp said. "They (the candidates) didn't visit a lot of those (non-swing) states."