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September 2012
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@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-30 (UTC)

  • Reading – New design factors for Robot Cars (Brad Templeton) http://t.co/Qp80Vr1v #
  • Reading – Lessons From The Dramatic Slow-Motion Death Of Wikitravel (Jon Evans) http://t.co/mOnpR8hp #
  • Reading – Charlie Cook – skeptical of a House switch (Sam Wang) http://t.co/vVV5cF5W #
  • Reading – Did a Computer Bug Help Deep Blue Beat Kasparov? (Klint Finley) http://t.co/adqUYOpO #
  • Reading – Daily Breakdown: A Light Polling Day Without Terrible News For Romney (Nate Cohn) http://t.co/qK8Xwa1X #
  • Reading – Hotter than Paul Ryan (Elizabeth Kolbert) http://t.co/XeeFBwux #
  • Readint – Mitt Romney Will Rescue America’s Yacht … From Indeterminate Peril, Apparently (Jason Linkins) http://t.co/SiDPe7LL #
  • Reading – EP update for September 28 – Feeling Carolina blue as GOP Senate gains fade away (Scott Elliott) http://t.co/Zs3AG30q #
  • Reading – The Bottom Line on Party ID (Josh Marshall) http://t.co/LK6eYh6z #
  • Reading – Aircraft Carriers in Space (Michael Peck) http://t.co/ACTZMdnZ #
  • Reading – Obama set precedent with Drone Killings for Romney to become Terminator-in-Chief (Alice K. Ross) http://t.co/OVQVKOqs #
  • Update on fun kidney stone. Pain getting worse. Doc says may need lithotripsy this time. Sending me to urologist if don’t end up @ ER 1st. #
  • Reading – Double-tap drone attacks are truly shameful (Gwynne Dyer) http://t.co/nZTlUTD8 #
  • Reading – The Newest Romney Model Is Coming Pre-Loaded with Zingers (Paul Constant) http://t.co/PTOMZrNw #
  • Reading – The FeedBurner Deathwatch Continues: Google Kills AdSense For Feeds (Frederic Lardinois) http://t.co/o1h36bul #
  • Reading – The Settling Electorate (Matthew Yglesias) http://t.co/AI6M78bk #
  • Reading – My Thoughts on Mitt Romney, Person (John Scalzi) http://t.co/b7oEFdmL #
  • Reading – Debate! Where The Gaffes Are Made Up & The Points Don’t Matter (Oliver Willis) http://t.co/Bxxoir04 #
  • EC Update for Sun Sep 30 done. Polls added in 5 states. No category changes. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Reading – Fusion Project Faces a Frugal Congress (William J. Broad) http://t.co/Q2njm0eH #
  • Reading – Poll: Inslee leads McKenna, 46% to 45% (Darryl, HorsesAss) http://t.co/zT8bi8Zs #
  • Reading – A Conversation With Randall Munroe, the Creator of XKCD (Megan Garber) http://t.co/h2kUyATc #
  • Oh yeah, forgot to tweet about five hours ago when Ivan & I finished recording CC. But we did. I will try to have it out before the debate. #
  • MT @BenjySarlin: interesting RT @fivethirtyeight: We would have had Bush @ about 80% PV fav @ this point in 2004. Gore 70% to win PV in 2000 #

Kids at Dinner

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-29 (UTC)

  • CT Scan today confirmed my pain from last 2 weeks is a kidney stone. Currently blocking a ureter. Rx pain killers make it tolerable. #Fun #
  • RT @TonyFratto: The more I study up on driverless cars, the more I’m convinced its the biggest of next big things. #
  • Reading – Perspective (John Moltz) http://t.co/2f3mXuq3 #
  • Reading – Exposed: U.S. May Have Designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks an “Enemy of the State” (DemocracyNow) http://t.co/1vgyfpOM #
  • Reading – Life Keeps Making Lemonade (Michael Tomasky) http://t.co/IChOYbsN #
  • Reading – Could Mitt Romney be a Billionaire? (Ben Cohen) http://t.co/uXtQTxXg #
  • EC Update for Sat Sep 29 done. Polls added in 7 states. No Category changes. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Reading – The Case for Abolishing Patents (Yes, All of Them) [Jordan Weissmann] http://t.co/jNt3mLU2 #
  • Reading – John Quincy Adams, Neglected President: Five Questions for Biographer Harlow Unger (Britannica Editors) http://t.co/AUd9wZba #
  • Reading – The short-term presidential predictor (Sam Wang) http://t.co/RyUlFwJp #
  • Reading – Defense: Bradley Manning’s Speedy Trial Rights Have Been ‘Trampled Upon’ (Kevin Gosztola) http://t.co/HpovEKgy #
  • Reading – Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, A New Crew Went Boldly, Where No One Had Gone Before. (Wil Wheaton) http://t.co/ffNofUXy #

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-28 (UTC)

  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme It was Jill Stein then Obama… I’m too much a hard ass on the death penalty I guess. #
  • Won’t do my update until later, but quick scan of Thu’s polls looks like Fri’s update will move some states Romneyward again in my model. #
  • RT @greg_ip: Incorporating today’s BLS revision, net payroll growth over Obama’s term would move from -261K to +125K. #
  • Reading – Romney’s tongue-tied eloquence (Fareed Zakaria) http://t.co/yK9VTUnX #
  • Reading – NDAA Plaintiffs Say Obama Flipped When A Judge Blocked Act Because Was Already Detaining People (Abby Rogers) http://t.co/5zCwt4wA #
  • Reading – Quick sites tell you if Obama or Romney are president (Nathan Yau) http://t.co/p4MK4bQk #
  • RT @daveweigel: I step into something for two hours and all of a sudden Netanyahu is Ross Perot? #
  • Reading – Iran’s Nuclear Timeline (Joe Cirinvione) http://t.co/dbhknh1r #
  • Reading – Apple Apologizes for Its Maps Problem (Rebecca J. Rosen) http://t.co/irGKJ2Io #
  • Reading – Poll Analysis: Romney slips a bit (Darryl, HorsesAss) http://t.co/D93VjDYx #
  • EC Update for Fri Sep 28 done. Polls added in 11 states. IA and VA change categories. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Reading – Is Alzheimer’s Type 3 Diabetes? (Mark Bittman) http://t.co/7n7PC7Aw #
  • Reading – Sept. 27: The Impact of the ‘47 Percent’ (Nate Silver) http://t.co/HyM0quTW #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: MT @jbarro: Sign the L is confident of O win: complaining more loudly about drone strikes. Pressure on O in 2nd term.” #
  • Reading – Obama is on track to win, but backers shouldn’t get overconfident. Here’s why. (Jonathan Bernstein) http://t.co/FfzcqdFj #

Electoral College: Romney Bottoms, Starts to Recover

Two states change status today, and for a change, they are moves in Romney’s direction:

First up, Iowa, with six electoral votes.  A new poll came in “out of order” which erases yesterday’s peak that got Iowa to a 5% Obama lead.  The chart above looks at the five poll average as of the end dates of each poll given all polls known today.  The trend chart at the top of this post shows the state of the race as of what was known on each day.*  So even though the peak gets erased on the state trend, it still shows up for that one day on the summary chart since as of yesterday that was the best estimate.  A bit confusing, sorry about that.

In any case, Iowa now drops back into being a competitive state.  Obama now has a 3.6% lead…  Romney coming back and winning the state seems very possible.  3.6% is not a big lead.  Two of the last five polls in the state actually show Romney ahead in the state.  The five poll average has never shown Romney ahead here, but Iowa once again goes into the “close state” pool.  Romney winning the state is quite possible.

Next is Virginia with 13 electoral votes.  On September 23rd Obama’s five poll average lead in Virginia topped 5%.  Today he dips back below that threshold.  Obama’s lead now stands at 4.3%.  Virginia has bounced around quite a bit over the past few months.  In the last three months it has ranged from a 5.8% Obama lead to a 0.3% Romney lead.  Most frequently the state has shown an Obama lead, but a small one that could easily disappear.  Virginia is once again in that situation.

So where does that leave us?

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 244 294
Current Status 191 347
Obama Best Case 191 347

Romney’s best case is still to lose, but if he wins all the close states it will not be quite as bad a loss now that Virginia and Iowa look like they may be in play again.

Is this the beginning of a more general move back toward Romney?  It is obviously too early to tell.  But it is not unreasonable to think that while Romney had a few bad weeks, if he manages to avoid any more major missteps, people who reacted negatively recently may start to come back to him. We’ll see how big this move over the next few days.

After that, we start seeing what effect, if any, come out of the Presidential debates.

* The exception is when an old poll comes in so late that is is not within the five poll average at all.  If that happens, and if it changes the trend lines, I will retroactively adjust the historical trends.  But if polls come in “out of order” but still within the “last five” they are considered a current poll and are just added in normally with no retroactive adjustments.

Note: Chart and map from the Abulsme.com 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Both assume Obama vs Romney with no strong third party candidate and show polling as it currently exists. Things will change before election day. On the map red is Romney, blue is Obama, gold states are too close to call. Lines on the chart represent how many more electoral votes a candidate would have than is needed to tie under several different scenarios. Up is good for Obama, Down is good for Romney.

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-27 (UTC)

  • Reading – Republicans are losing ground up and down the ballot. But why? (Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake) http://t.co/T1zTP4e2 #
  • Reading – Site improvements (and Bayesian jealousy) [Sam Wang] http://t.co/wqEed642 #
  • Reading – Sept. 25: Romney’s Narrow Path Without Ohio (Nate Silver) http://t.co/2NVmjlMt #
  • Reading – Why don't Iranians wear ties? (BBC) http://t.co/Soj8nRJa #
  • Reading – The Coming Romney Comeback Narrative (Robert Wright) http://t.co/o9VdFIpM #
  • Reading – Obama Mulls Competing for Arizona (Taegan Goddard) http://t.co/ceKOw0vK #
  • Reading – Is Paul Ryan right that Obama’s Foreign Policy is Blowing up in Our Faces? (Juan Cole) http://t.co/YDAGkqAe #
  • EC Update for Thu Sep 27 Done. New polls added in OH FL MD MA PA CO IA MO. FL and IA change categories. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Reading – Conservative Polling Alternative Plans Expansion (Ruby Cramer) http://t.co/uRCdD6Dh #
  • Reading – New Obama Ad Simply Replays Romney's '47 Percent' Comments (Pema Levy) http://t.co/Pxb082vF #
  • Important stuff. I think I am here too. This -> Reading – Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama (Conor Friedersdorf) http://t.co/h7tg68be #
  • Yes. Not sure much more downside though. RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Is it safe to say that the #MittRomney campaign is in free fall? #
  • Have not looked in detail, but willing to trust the pollsters know their craft. RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Wha’d u think of his methods? #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Interesting article. I’m not there but this country needs to have a frank disc abt war powers & the role of gov #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign I've been wanting to do a long post on the issues that are most important to me & where that leaves my vote. No time yet. #
  • Reading – When 'Everyone Is Qualified' (Ta-Nehisi Coates) http://t.co/bDHtQ7dk #
  • Reading – Is the GOP Still a National Party? (Daniel McCarthy) http://t.co/eiE5UU4T #
  • Reading – ACLU documents show increasing phone and internet surveillance by Department of Justice (Adi Robertson) http://t.co/RvmMEyHG #
  • MT @RBReich: Ds must not be complacent. Tween now & Election: 2 unemployment reps, 3 prez debates, huge $$ from Rs, and voter suppression. #
  • Reading – Iran Close to Making a Bomb, Netanyahu Says (Rick Gladstone) http://t.co/wXMHAFbK #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: 1/2 @abulsme I look forward to reading it and perhaps, making a few rebuttals. #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: 2/2 @abulsme I've always maintained that there are some real arguments to be made against our President. #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme However, the opp party seams unwilling or unable to make these args, but instead offer shameless demagoguery. #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign What I would write would not be argument against Pres. Just outline of which issues most important to me & view on those. #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign From there one could naturally move toward "Which candidate is closest to my own views in the areas most important to me?" #
  • .@thoughtndesign I suspect result would not be Obama. Or Romney. Probably Johnson. See quiz I posted last month: http://t.co/oNFAG9VD #
  • .@thoughtndesign I have not yet set aside time to do a deep dive on Johnson though. Would need to do so before ACTUALLY voting for him. #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme I took that quiz. Wouldn't it be a Hell of a country if elections were determined by quiz? #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign I actually think that might be a good idea. :-) #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign And your results were… #

Curmudgeon’s Corner: A Bizarre Person who is not Mainstream

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Dumb Phones / iPhone 5
  • iOS 6 / Apple Maps / YouTube App / Podcast App
  • Child Wrangling / Election Update / 47% / Romney Taxes

Recorded on 23 Sep 2012

Length this week – 1:16:02

 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes Download MP3 File
 View Podcast in iTunes  View Raw XML Feed

Electoral College: Romney Implosion Continues… He’s Done, Obama Wins, Lets All Go Home!

The title on this post is perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but only a little bit.  Romney is way behind in the Electoral College race.  He has been all year.  He has NEVER been in the lead.  As of yesterday’s update even if Romney won every close state he would still lose.  With today’s update two more previously close states move toward Obama, making Romney’s best case an even bigger loss and putting him in the worst position he has ever been in… by far.

Both changes today just barely take states out of my competitive zone, so new polls in the next few days could easily reverse today’s changes.  But even if that happens, the picture for Romney remains bleak.

He needs a massive turn around in his fortunes to make this race competitive again, let alone to win.  Impossible?  No.  But increasingly unlikely?  Yes.  To come back and win at this point Romney needs something huge that turns everything on its head.  Could a big black swan event happen?  Maybe.  But aside from that, he is done.  This is over.

Lets look at the details.  From lower electoral college weight to higher:

Iowa (6 electoral votes) had consistently shown a small Obama lead in the five poll average.  Always close.  Always a state Romney could potentially flip.  But then the convention happened, and 4 out of the 5 polls since then have shown Obama with a lead of more than 5%.  (The one outlier is a poll actually showing Romney ahead by 3%.)  Today the five poll average hits 5% (exactly) and so I move the state from “Lean Obama” to “Weak Obama”.  If the election was held today, this isn’t a state where you would think Romney had a chance.  It is now out of reach.

As usual, I must say this is “for the moment”.  The five poll average now sits at exactly 5%.  The next poll could move the state back into competitive territory.

And now the big one…

Florida, with 29 electoral votes, was by far the largest of the close states.  It has gone back and forth between a Romney lead and an Obama lead in the five poll average, although most of the time there has been a small Obama lead.  But it has been close and competitive nearly all year.  With today’s update Obama’s lead hits (exactly) 5%.  So the state moves from Lean Obama to Weak Obama.  As with Iowa, Florida is just barely in this category.  The very next poll could make things look more competitive.  And we probably should expect some “reversion to the mean” as we go forward.   For the moment though, this means that even in Romney’s best case where he wins all the close states, he still loses Florida.

Without Iowa and Florida as Romney possibilities, where do things stand?

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 225 313
Current Status 191 347
Obama Best Case 191 347

Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.

Yesterday I said:

So how lopsided does this matchup need to look at this stage in the game to start just saying outright that absent an event of cosmic proportions the race is over and Obama will certainly win?  We are very very close.  It is tempting to just say so right now. But I will hold off a little bit.

But if Romney’s best case gets ANY worse…  or if there is no major move in Romney’s direction starting in the next week or two…  then it will be very difficult to construct Romney win scenarios with a straight face…

I still feel a little hesitant about outright saying this is over.  There is still after all more than a month for Romney to turn things around.

But Romney’s best case DID get worse.  Yesterday Romney already would lose even if he won all of the close states.  Today, with Iowa and Florida also moving out of reach, Romney’s best case is starting to look like not just a loss, but a very comfortable Obama win.

Iowa and Florida today, and Ohio from yesterday, and maybe some of the other “Weak Obama” states, could move back and get closer before the election.  This would not be surprising at all.  In fact it would be surprising if Romney slipped too much further behind.  At some point he has to rebound a bit, right?  But even if he starts closing the gap and stops the free fall, it looks like a really tall order to actually pull ahead.

Even at his best point this year the most Romney could say was that if he flipped a few more states from Leaning Obama to Leaning Romney he could win.  He was never actually ahead.  Even if he does well in the next few weeks, is there anything that indicates he could improve on his position from the beginning of September when he last peaked?  Because even then, he was losing.  Just by less.

Yes, there could be more bad economic news.  Yes, Obama could start making huge mistakes and somehow screw this up.  But the magnitude of what would be necessary to reverse this gets larger by the day and the scenarios less likely.

At this point Romney needs Obama to catastrophically implode.  That is unlikely.

This is done.  Obama wins.

Uh…  umm….  unless Obama himself screws it up, or something completely unexpected of epic proportions happens.

Gotta always add the caveats.  :-)

Note: Chart and map from the Abulsme.com 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Both assume Obama vs Romney with no strong third party candidate and show polling as it currently exists. Things will change before election day. On the map red is Romney, blue is Obama, gold states are too close to call. Lines on the chart represent how many more electoral votes a candidate would have than is needed to tie under several different scenarios. Up is good for Obama, Down is good for Romney.

@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-26 (UTC)

  • MT @creynoldsnc: Reminder to Romney team that someone has done it worse: 1 year ago today McCain suspended campaign 2 do nothing for economy #
  • Reading – Poll Analysis: Romney drops below 200 EVs (Darryl, HorsesAss) http://t.co/2VyBzemT #
  • EC Update for Wed Sep 26 done. Polls added in OH FL NV AR. OH changes category. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • If the new NYT poll in FL this morning isn’t matched by a weaker poll for Obama, FL will go blue in my model tomorrow. http://t.co/UmRkRV7B #
  • That’s blue as in “big enough O lead it can’t be considered ‘close’ any more”. Florida was already clearly leaning Obama. But it was close. #
  • Reading – Romney Returns to Form … Briefly (Jonathan Cohn) http://t.co/9rlhIHWb #
  • Reading – Rating Romney at CGI (Heather Hurlburt) http://t.co/7QGft4XH #
  • Reading – David Corn, Romney-Slayer? (Josh Marshall) http://t.co/9s7sTJBr #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme “Bad convention, self-inflicted wound, devastating revelation…” Sounds a bit Shakespearean, don’t it? #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign Perhaps we can look forward to sword play at the debates? #
  • Reading – What Did The White House Know About Libya? (Andrew Sullivan) http://t.co/3VFqvlbc #
  • Reading – Amazon’s New Shopping Site Is Tailor Made for Hippies (Mario Aguilar) http://t.co/1K6kg9Gf #
  • Reading – The Emerging Republican Minority
    (Andrew Sullivan) http://t.co/T5h2wIg7 #
  • Reading – Almost Presidents: Sons of presidents who almost won the White House themselves
    (Doug Wead) http://t.co/7CaRKOrk #
  • Reading – Will Mitt Romney Ever Provide a Real Tax Plan? (Paul Constant) http://t.co/ON0i5EjE #
  • Reading – The Deafening Silence on America’s Most Important Foreign Policy Issue (James Joyner) http://t.co/a1ZKNCN7 #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Great post! What r the chances the #Romney offers the President a $10,000 bet?: http://t.co/VIo52WNc #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign Don’t think he will do THAT again… But I am sure there will be at least one big “He said WHAT?” moment. #
  • Reading – The Apple iOS 6 Maps Fiasco Explained In 3 Minutes (Jordan Crook) http://t.co/IBmwzOT6 #

Electoral College: Ohio Turns Blue – Romney’s Paths to Victory Disappear

Only one state changes category today, but it is an important one, as Obama’s lead in Ohio hits 5%:

With the additions today, the five poll average in Ohio is an Obama lead of EXACTLY 5.0%.  I define the “Weak Obama” category as 5% and above though, so this is enough to move the state to the new category.  It is right on the edge though.  The next day of polls could easily reverse this change.  The trend in the last couple weeks has been the opposite, but this could change at any time.  For the moment though, it looks like Ohio is moving away from Romney.  Obama’s lead is now big enough that my models no longer include the possibility of Romney winning Ohio.

This leaves Romney in a very bad spot:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 260 278
Current Status 191 347
Obama Best Case 191 347

So, even if Romney wins EVERY CLOSE STATE (all of which he is currently behind in), he would still lose to Obama 260 to 278.

This is of course “if the election was held today”…  and the election is not being held today.  But it is still worth repeating:

Romney can win every state that is even remotely close, and it is still not enough.  HE STILL LOSES.

This is the 4th time this year that Romney’s “best case” has been this bad.  In each of the previous cases, Romney has subsequently pulled back some of the states where Obama is ahead by more than 5% and made them somewhat competitive again.  He hasn’t actually managed to pull enough of them over the line to his side to ever be in the lead in the electoral college, but he has at least managed to make enough states close that he could win if he swept those close states.

So now of course the question is: Can he do it again?  Can Romney fight back and make some more states close again?  Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), Virginia (13), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Oregon (7), New Mexico (5) and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District (1) are the areas where Obama’s lead is between 5% and 10%.  Some of those are probably permanently out of reach.  But perhaps Romney can make some of them into a battle again with a massive advertising blitz?  Perhaps with the help of a few big stumbles by Obama?

I don’t think it can happen without big stumbles by Obama.  Romney stopping his tendency to put his foot in his mouth and starting to run a disciplined and competent campaign wouldn’t be enough.  He needs Obama to screw up.

And even then, can he get past making a few more states close to actually starting to take the lead in some of these states?  Let alone enough of them to win the Presidency?

It seems unlikely.  The scenarios that result in Romney catching up and winning seem more and more far fetched by the day.  To be clear, a Romney win is NOT impossible.  It could happen.  It is just getting less and less likely as time goes on.  Obama’s lead is increasing, and Romney is running out of time to catch up.

Romney supporters seem to be pushing two main lines of thoughts on how Romney can still win:

First off, we still have the debates.  Sometimes the debates can drive big changes they say.  But everything I’ve been reading over the past couple months with regard to research on this subject says that debates very rarely move the polls any significant amount.  Certainly not by a big enough amount to make up this kind of deficit.  (Tales of a major reversal of fortune in the Carter/Reagan race after the final debate have been very effectively debunked by several people.  It is basically an urban legend driven by looking at one set of polls while ignoring all the others.)  Could Obama come out, have a nervous breakdown, start walking in circles and clucking like a chicken on live national television and thereby completely blow his lead?  Well, yes, something of that magnitude could do it.  But assuming a basically competent debate performance by Obama, even if Romney “wins” debates, it is hard to see them giving Romney the boost he would need to win.

Second of all, more and more you hear the argument that the polls must be wrong.  That there is a systematic pro-Democratic bias in the polls, and Romney is really doing much better than the polls would indicate, and because Republicans are more motivated, they will have higher turnout and therefore win.  The only thing to say here is that as long as you are looking at poll averages and not any particular pollster, the house effects leaning one direction or another basically get averaged out.  Also, for the most part even the pollsters that have a partisan alignment are actually motivated to structure their polls to produce results that match the actual outcomes in the end.  Even a highly partisan pollster would try to correct a systematic bias in their results if they found one, because it translates into lower predictive value for their polls, which makes them less valuable.  Finally, there is just the historical record.  People who have convinced themselves that the polls just must be wrong have tended to be disappointed much more often than they’ve ended up being right.

So how lopsided does this matchup need to look at this stage in the game to start just saying outright that absent an event of cosmic proportions the race is over and Obama will certainly win?  We are very very close.  It is tempting to just say so right now. But I will hold off a little bit.

But if Romney’s best case gets ANY worse…  or if there is no major move in Romney’s direction starting in the next week or two…  then it will be very difficult to construct Romney win scenarios with a straight face…

…OK, really, it is already very difficult to construct those scenarios.  Can he make it closer than it looks today?  Sure.  Can he move things enough to actually win?  That is looking pretty far fetched at the moment.  I’ll hold off saying “it is over” for a couple weeks to give Romney a chance to figure out the miracle he needs.  Maybe he’ll be able to find and execute on said miracle.  Maybe.

Note: Chart and map from the Abulsme.com 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Both assume Obama vs Romney with no strong third party candidate and show polling as it currently exists. Things will change before election day. On the map red is Romney, blue is Obama, gold states are too close to call. Lines on the chart represent how many more electoral votes a candidate would have than is needed to tie under several different scenarios. Up is good for Obama, Down is good for Romney.

(Edit 2012 Sep 27 15:28 to add final note.)