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Nate Silver has moved Florida from Tossup to Lean Obama, with a 63% chance of winning and a trend in our direction, and North Carolina from Lean Romney to Tossup (60% chance for Romney, also trending our way). North Carolina was previously the only battleground state where Romney was clearly leading in the polls. Our campaign in those states is working. So no handwringing, please. Execute the plan. GOTV.

Obama's chance of winning according to Nate's model is 77.3% as of today, up 10.3% since Aug. 21. Even better than when Nate Silverback appeared on Animal Nuz last week.

Let us review the President's mproved standing, and our improving chances to hold the Senate and retake the House, and get all fired up and ready to go.

Nate Silver lists Arizona, to take a prominent example, as a competitive state, even with Romney at an 87% chance of winning. While I would not tell Arizona Democrats to give up on the remaining 13%, nor anybody else with a chance, I am going to focus on the states that Nate lists as Lean Obama or Tossup (currently none are listed as Lean Romney), with the percentages for Obama wins and the numbers of Electoral College votes:

  • Colorado, Lean Obama, 72%, 9
  • Florida, Lean Obama, 63%, 29
  • Iowa, Lean Obama, 72%, 6
  • North Carolina, Tossup, 40%, 15
  • Ohio, Lean Obama, 72%, 18
  • Virginia, Lean Obama, 73%, 13

Thus Obama should win between two-thirds and three-quarters of these states. Most likely 4 of them. Thus Nate predicts an Electoral College result, if nothing changes, of 313-225, up 18 for Obama since Aug. 21.

The total of the Electoral College votes in the states where Obama leads is 75. Out of those, Romney needs an additional 45 votes, which most likely means having to turn four of these states in his direction. Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, and either of Ohio or Florida. The probability of taking a group of states can be loosely approximated as the product of the probabilities for the states individually. (This is accurate only when the state probabilities are independent, which is never the case in an election.) So, for CO, FL, IA, VA, we get 0.28 x 0.37 x 0.28 x 0.27, which comes to 0.0078, or less than 1%. Similarly for the other possible combinations that in aggregate, modified by factors like the economy that could affect the states in the future, give Romney a 22.7% chance of winning.

Unless, of course, we apply some factors that aren't in the model, such as GOTV. We have a 5% advantage in registered voters over Republicans, but we have to motivate that extra 5% to the polls. Which would definitely let us take back the House and hold the Senate.

The question, then, is how many of us we can get fired up and ready to go.

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