the math

Ballots are being in mailed out in Washington state this very morning. Early voting has already started in several states. This is the proverbial wire, and we are down to it.

I thought about altering the criteria for the "true toss-up" category to a margin of less than 1 point in either direction, but I decided to keep this thing consistent. (It is worth pointing out that both CO and VA would be in that category, were such a change to be made, though.)

At this point we can maybe say what the most significant effect of the first debate was: Obama may have lost Florida. And as I mentioned in the very first in this series of posts, Florida likely signifies the difference between Obama walking away with the election before polls close on the west coast (which seems very unlikely at this point) and a nail-biter.

Romney has narrowed the margins in the states leaning Obama's way, but he has yet to consolidate any of this into moving a single state into his "likely" category, leaving his baseline of 191 electoral votes exactly where it was when we started tracking this 6 weeks ago. He may be able to do so with NC.

Regardless of whether you think Obama "won" last night's debate or not, there's no question that he did much, much better than in the first. It is unlikely that we are going to see the any other swings like we did with Florida after the first one (in either direction) as a result of the second debate.

Where I'm sitting, Romney still has to do something extraordinary (or benefit from some extraordinary inaccuracies in polling) to win the Electoral College, or Obama has to really step in it.

I can't wait for this shit to be over with.

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