First, this morning Nate Silver has the President’s chances of winning the election up to 79 percent, which is 8 points higher than a week ago. It would appear the late deciders are going in his direction. See also “Oct. 31: Obama’s Electoral College ‘Firewall’ Holding in Polls.”
(And I just noticed the lights are on in the hallway, which I hope means all the power is restored to the building. Maybe I’ll have heat and hot water pretty soon.)
George Will spins a column entirely out of straw men to argue that the Obama campaign has become “empty” and “strident.”
Seems to me the Romney campaign is, like, stoned. They think they’ve got Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota — all solid blue, Nate says. They think they have a shot at Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Nate says, not likely. Paler blue, but still blue.
I gather that the Romney camp thinks Obama voters in these states won’t be enthusiastic enough to vote (or will be prevented from voting). Only Romney supporters are enthusiastic enough to vote. That’s how they are figuring it. Also Karl “I have THE math” Rove has some theory about why the polls are wrong, which Sam Wang shoots down.
Update: I’ve been playing with this interactive map. Going by Nate Silver’s numbers, if President Obama only wins states that are solid blue, meaning that he has at least a 90 percent chance of winning, then Romney wins. But if Obama wins just the states in which he has at least a 75 percent chance of winning, then he’s got 281 electoral votes, and Obama wins.
Obama can lose all of the tossup states — Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado — and still win the electoral college vote. Romney has to win all of the tossup states plus Ohio, or if not Ohio at least two other states Obama is likely to win. If Romney loses either Florida or Virginia, the odds that he will pick off enough upsets to make up the difference grow very long.
For example, if Romney loses Virginia, he’s got to pick off all three of the states in which Obama’s chances of winning are above 75 but less than 80 percent — Ohio, Iowa, and New Hampshire — to get to 272.
So, while a Romney win is possible, he’s got to pull off some upsets to do it.