So this morning we have major state newspaper polls reporting from OH and PA. At the end of the day, we know that if Romney carries one of those two states, he has a good chance of winning—but no lock. If he carries them both, he will lock it down. If he loses them both, you have to be a wizard from another planet to find Romney’s “path to victory.”
Romney is down two in OH. That’s within the margin of error, but likely means (especially combined with other polls) that Obama has two chances out of three of carrying the state.
Let’s say PA is 50-50.
Then we might be able to say—with those two pieces of data alone—that Obama has about a 60% chance of winning the election. Any critic might say I’m being unduly optimistic on PA. I might respond that the final polls from major state newspapers tend to be at least as accurate as any other. That’s why I can add, of course, that, based on what Des Moines has registered, Romney has virtually no chance in Iowa.
The national polls, of course, remain tied. You could still cling to the fantasy (together with your God and your guns) that they’ll be a last-minute break of undecideds to Romney. But my view is that opinion is pretty darn solidified, and all that remains to argue about is turnout issues.
I’ve said all along that the most natural result of the election is a tie. America really is evenly divided.
One piece of evidence among many for the tie thesis is that the approval rating for Romney and Obama are almost exactly the same now.
REASONS FOR HOPE UPDATE: There’s a poll on RCP conducted by Democrats that show Romney up 1 in Michigan. Putting Michigan in play changes the dynamic somehow in Romney’s favor, but I don’t have time to figure out how.