NBC News’ Chuck Todd is out with an interesting bit of electoral college scenario-making this morning.

The quick read:

  • Ohio is the President’s firewall. If he can win there, the path to victory for Romney gets super tricky.
  • Unfortunately for Obama, and fortunately for America’s future, Romney is surging in Ohio. An Obama win there is anything but a certainty.
  • If Romney can jerk Ohio out of the Obama column, the President’s second-tier firewall becomes the states of Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Colorado. Win them all, and Obama gets 272 electoral votes.
  • Of the 4 states in his second-tier firewall, Colorado is the most problematic for Obama. He is trailing by most accounts here.

Thus, if the trends hold and Obama loses Ohio, the election will more than likely come down to Colorado.

Now the long read from Chuck Todd’s morning update to your electronic ears:

Between now and election day, we’re going to delve into the various scenarios which are semi-realistic. Today’s: Obama could still lose Ohio and get to 270 electoral votes, and the path is not a nutty path. He does it by winning Wisconsin (a state that hasn’t gone GOP since 84), Iowa (a state Gore carried), New Hampshire (a state Kerry carried), and Colorado. That gets him to 272. Sorta stunning that with all of our focus on FL-OH-VA that they all three could get rendered meaningless by the Rodney Dangerfield of the battleground: Colorado. And this is why, despite some national polls showing Romney either tied or slightly ahead, the narrative has never held that Obama is behind – due to all of his different paths to 270. And isn’t it inevitable that it’s a NEW state that keeps us up, not an old one? In the last three presidential campaign cycles, we in the media have looked backwards at an old battle for a swing state, and it ends up being a new state that becomes THE story. In 2000, it was Florida (which no one believed before October). In 2004, it was Ohio (again, no one believed it until October). In 2008, it was Virginia (which ended up reflecting the national vote). So why not Colorado in 2012?

For those doing their own scenario-making, there is a quickbooks interpretation of Todd’s analysis…if Romney wins Ohio and Colorado, he wins the presidency.

One more upshot…expect more Obama/Romney visits and even more campaign commercials.