That is the current “now-cast” in Nate Silver’s model if the election were held today. Romney’s odds in late August peaked at 37 percent. So his odds of winning have been reduced by 90 percent in less than a month. We wait for Obama’s convention bounce to subside – and it bounces up once again. Now, Silver knows that there will be – surely – a regression to the polarized meme. His November 6 forecast gives Romney a 20.3 percent chance of winning. But the latest data from Florida and Ohio are just devastating. Ohio has probably gone for good, barring some dramatic shift. Here’s the poll of polls for Florida since June:
That’s with heightened sensitivity and includes Rasmussen. But even if you smooth it out as much as you can, Obama’s lead is solid. In Florida he is now polling higher than at any point this year and is well past the 50 percent mark. And this:
In the Florida poll, among the those who say they are “definitely” going to vote, more respondents identified themselves as Democrats (36 percent) than those who identified themselves as Republicans (27 percent); independents were 33 percent. The Florida poll found that Mr. Obama holds nearly a 20-point lead among women, while Mr. Romney’s edge among men is about 3 points.
I don’t think that Romney can buy this kind of shift back with casino money or Rovian slanders against a more popular man. He has to persuade those voters back. The debates are his last chance. But if Obama is seen as winning them – and the argument he has to make is simply more popular in specifics than Romney’s – I can see this race breaking even more open.
We have found that Romney in general loses votes the more he opens his mouth in public and private (two categories fast merging). He’s lost the core terms of this campaign (it’s now a choice, not a referendum), he has lost the specifics (the vagueness of his tax plan is indeed a red flag), he is insisting you can cut the debt by cutting taxes for the very rich like him, then calls half the country deadbeats, leading to ads like this:
This might be getting close to over, mightn’t it?