Saturday, October 13, 2012

all this from one debate?

romney's debate bonus now seems more like a game changer than a bounce. for a while the consensus (on the left at least) was that obama would probably manage to pull off reelection, but it would be close. then nate silver and other models showed that obama was definitively ahead and it was not close, at least if you look at the state by state polls and the electoral votes they represent. so the expectation went from being, "obama will win but it will be close" to "romney doesn't stand a chance."

but for the last week, silver's model has been showing obama's electoral count in free fall. as i write this now, silver's model has obama with 283.1 EVs to romney's 254.9, the closest obama EV count since nate launched the model on may 31st. obama still has a 61.1% of winning, but 9 days ago it was almost 90% (with the "now cast" giving him a 97% chance of winning). so it looks like the race has gone back to "obama will win but it will be close". but after almost a month of "romney doesn't stand a chance" the downgrade feels like obama is losing. which he's not. it's just that it's now clear that he could lose, which scares the shit out of some people.

what i find so surprising is that this much of a change seemed to come from a single debate. or maybe the debate plus a solid week in which romney didn't have any really disastrous moments. from august through september he seemed to be  going from one to the other without much of a break. maybe this past week has been as much about the debate as the fact that mittens hasn't put his foot in his mouth lately.