Jonathan Chait has a compelling read at NYMag.com about how Romney's team is semi-successfully duping the media into going along with the idea that his election—considered nearly impossible before the first debate—is now a fait accompli. It's a bluff, but it's one that could work because when the media buys into something, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I was particularly struck by Chait's comparison to George W. Bush. He was slightly ahead in all the polls in 2000 and behaved very much like his election was a foregone conclusion. However, it was not. In fact, Al Gore bested him in the final popular vote and the only reason Bush won the electoral college was by Supreme Court intervention. He was projecting confidence, and it probably took him as far as he wound up going.
Now, Romney is trying the same tactic. However, there's a problem—Romney is not ahead in all of the polls. He's ahead in some, way ahead in one widely laughed at (Gallup) poll, but overall the president has retained a razor-slim lead in the polls of polls.
More importantly, President Obama has a more solid lead in the electoral college, and has more paths to victory there should any states peel off. Any except for Ohio—it seems now more than ever that as Ohio goes, so goes the country.
The important thing to take away from all of this is that the president is winning. Not by a lot, not comfortably—who would be comfortable with a 1% lead 14 days out with 4% undecided?—but he is ahead.
The next 14 days are going to be a thrill ride, but most signs are pointing to America calling Romney's bluff. That is, unless too many Democrats get psyched out.
Further point of discussion: The always reliable Cook says that right now, Obama is all but guaranteed 253 EVs and Romney's got 248. If that seems superclose, it's supernot: The unallocated states are OH, WI, CO, IA, NH and FL. Obama is ahead in all of these or tied (FL).
The president is very likely to win WI. If he wins WI, all he needs next is OH. Both are likely. Failing OH, the president could sweep the others and win. But Romney could not. Romney absolutely, 100% needs to win OH.
Roughly a third of all votes that will be cast in OH have already been cast, and the president is so far ahead Romney would probably need to win the remaining votes by a resounding percentage.
I say it's not going to happen. What do you think?