It's 5:30am on the East Coast (don't worry, I scheduled this post to show up on delay. I'm not awake at 2:30 blogging about the election). The first shift of campaign staffers and volunteers are probably just now getting into the office, prepping for the final get-out-the-vote push. Journalists are checking their RSS readers and Twitter feeds.
If you are spending the whole day refreshing your browser, just stop. If you're at work, just close your browser, and hit yourself every time you type "fivethi.." or "huffingto" or whatever. If you're not at work, go to the movies, where you'll be lest tempted to check the web on your phone/laptop than on your couch watching TV. At this point we are on the dark side of the moon, waiting for the election results to begin rolling in at 6pm EST. That's the time that polls start to close, with Eastern Kentucky and most of Indiana begining to report (sidenote: WTF, Eastern Kentucky and Indiana?!? Can't we join the real world and keep polls open a few hours later?).
At this point in the election, I stop looking at margin of victory, and just start counting the number of polls where each candidate leads, excluding online polls. Which leaves us with only one state that's a true tossup. Obama leads in 12 of the last 15 polls in Colorado and 12 of the last 15 in Virginia, while almost all polls have shown Mitt Romney with a lead in North Carolina (though the state is lightly polled, and recent polls have shown some real tightening). That leaves Florida, where the polls seem genuinely split. One factor in play here is that, according to Drew Linzer, Gravis Marketing, Rasmussen, and ARG seem be modeling a more conservative electorate than everyone else. So rather than leave Florida as "Toss-up", I'm going to project that the "everybody else" electorate model plus Obama's superior field operation will push the President to victory.
I really want Obama to win North Carolina. Compared to 2008, the early voting favors Obama in some ways--it's more African-American and has fewer registered Republicans--but favors Romney in others--it's much older than the electorate from the first campaign. And the polling all tilts in Romney's favor. So I'll be watching the Tarheel state, hoping for the best, but assuming the worst.
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