|Don't you worry, I got this.|
David Rothschild:If you want a quick and meaningful rubric for understanding the likelihood of an election, one way to think about it is take every state and the District of Columbia -- the 51 Electoral College districts -- and rank them from the most likely for Romney to the most likely for Obama. Rank them all, number them 1 to 51. You have a bunch of states that are bunched up near 100 [percent likelihood] for Obama and a bunch of states bunched up near 100 [percent likelihood] for Romney. Then you have this whole middle ground from leaners [to the Democrat ticket], to tossups, to leaners [toward the Republican ticket]. And what happens is that, barring a major event, any given state is just going to start drifting, over time, towards the candidate they're most likely [to vote] for. So every day that goes by on which that state does not flip [to the other party], it's going to slowly drift in the direction of the candidate that it favors in terms of probabilities. And that's what we're seeing happen.
Paul Solman: So a state like Ohio has simply become more and more Obama friendly?
DR: No. What I would say is that a state like Ohio has maintained its Obama friendliness but as it gets closer and closer to Election Day, it becomes more and more likely that it will actually vote for Obama come Election Day. So it's not a shifting of opinion as much as it's saying, "Romney is running out of time to shift that opinion." And as that happens, you see very few states cross each other, in essence, and so that ranking holds. We've had one state that's really cut across and that's North Carolina. Though it went for Obama in 2008, it was a heavy leaner towards Romney in the beginning of the cycle and drifted to the point where it was slightly in Obama's category and is now slightly in Romney's category. But for the most part this order has maintained.
So take that order, start adding up electoral votes until you hit 270. You're going to find a pivot state: a state that if Obama holds he wins and that if Romney can reach he wins, and that state has been Ohio for virtually the entire election cycle. It means that if Romney can get all the states up to that point, he can win this election. But that includes Florida and Virginia on top of Ohio and those are three big hurdles and that means on the flip [side] that all Obama has had to do is hold one of those states. Just one of those main three states, and that's what's been giving him that edge this entire time.
The ranking method is not 100 percent. It is possible that Obama could win the state of Ohio and that Romney could capture everything and then somehow lightning strikes and there's a massive economic issue, or something that somehow flips another state past Ohio that gives him the election.
PS: What's the likelihood that that could happen?
DR: It's extremely low at this point because there just aren't that many states in play. ... There aren't that many swing states left.
Good news right? And let's not forget that Nate Silver STILL has the President pretty far out in the lead:
President Obama halted an 8-day winning streak for Mitt Romney in the FiveThirtyEight forecast on Saturday, with his chances of winning the Electoral College ticking up to 62.9 percent from 61.1 percent on Friday.
And a poll taken late last night has Obama up 51 to 46 in Ohio.
Now there is NO reason for any democrat to get complacent, and after Romney's latest surge I think that is much less likely to happen, but it IS nice to get a little perspective on things with so many Right Wing assholes trying to harsh our mellow.
Turn out is still the name of the game, and just because people poll one way, it does not mean they will follow that up by heading out to pull that lever for the candidate they claim to support. None of it means a thing until the night of November 6th, when the numbers can finally be counted.
They keep trying to say that Democrats are not excited this time around, but speaking for myself I have eight days to go before early voting starts in Alaska, and you can bet your ass I will be there on day one ready to cast my vote. (And yes I realize that Alaska always goes Red, but that does not deter my enthusiasm to have my voice heard one little bit.)
Update: It appears that Obama is also WAY out ahead with early voters:
Obama leads Romney by 59 percent to 31 percent among early voters, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled in recent weeks.
And the good news this Sunday just keeps rolling in.