September 26, 2008

Every day, Nate Silver uses his polling data to simulate the election 10,000 times. He then puts up a graph of the number of simulations that showed each possible electoral vote tally. Here is today’s:

Obama’s overall chances of winning have been holding fairly steady in the 70-75% range, but, as you can see here, the likely margins are becoming absurd. Look, for instance, at the spike just shy of 390 electoral votes for Obama. That tally is almost twice as likely as any individual scenario in which McCain wins. Silver doesn’t give detailed information about the results of his simulations, but it’s fairly easy to reconstruct based on polling data and elementary electoral math. Here is what that result – which, again, is twice as likely as the most plausible McCain victory – would look like:

That’s still a far cry from Dukakis country, and he probably won’t ever get there, but remember that today’s polls have barely begun to register the McCain Gambit and the Couric-Palin fiasco. If there were any doubt that McCain needed to knock it out of the park tonight, consider this: if the election were held today, McCain would have a better chance of turning in a Bob Dole performance than a George W. Bush.


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