Silver considers the evidence:
Mr. Romney continues to rocket forward in our projections. The forecast model now gives him about a one-in-three chance of winning the Electoral College (more specifically, a 32.1 percent chance), his highest figure since Aug. 22 and more than double his chances from before the debate. Mr. Romney may have increased his chances of becoming president by 15 or 20 percent based on one night in Denver.
The more troubling sign for Mr. Romney, however, is that although he’s made gains, he does not seem to have taken the lead in very many state polls. That trend, if anything, has become more entrenched.
Along those lines, Blumenthal, who provides the Ohio chart above, rounds up the latest swing state polls. I think we can parse out the details but essentially, the race is now neck-and-neck. The entire reason, so far as I can see, is Obama’s disastrous debate performance. So I know I’m a hysteric at times, but my hysteria was in that case rational.
One tiny meta-point: live-blogging is always going to be the most emotional kind of writing; live-blogging a debate is a little like being a sports announcer during a game. It’s all but impossible not to get excited or downcast or revved up. During the Palin-Biden debate, I lost my shit as well, but calmed down toward the end, and focused on the actual impact: most liked her performance but altered their position not an inch. I don’t wait even till after the debate to sum up my reaction, while looking around at others. I seal myself off from outside influence and just write my instant reaction. Sometimes, that distorts, and I make sure the Dish corrects. But sometimes, since politics is about the emotions as well as reason, it tells the truth. However scary that may be.