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That limp-wristed mathematician is at it again. Giving us those boring old numbers which just happen to usually correctly predict elections.

This article focuses on Pennsylvania, and why Romney is "making a play" there.


Nov. 3: Romney’s Reason to Play for Pennsylvania
By NATE SILVER

Because President Obama leads in the polling average in most of the swing states, this means that most of the polls there on Saturday showed him ahead as well. Among the 21 polls in battleground states on Saturday, 16 had Mr. Obama ahead as compared with just two leads for Mr. Romney; three other battleground state polls had the race tied.


How accurate are polling averages?

Of the 77 states with at least three late polls, the winner was called correctly in 74 cases. (I exclude Missouri in 2000, where the polling average showed an exact tie.) There has been little tendency for the state polling averages to overrate either Democrats or Republicans, or either incumbents or challengers. The state polls also performed fairly well in two years, 1996 and 2000, when the national polls were somewhat off the mark.


That's an over 96% accuracy rate.

Yes, 96%.

Take THAT Dean Chambers.

So, what's this all got to do with Mitt Romney and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?


That brings us to Pennsylvania — where the forecast model puts Mr. Obama’s chances at better than 95 percent.

[...]

[Going for PA] is probably a reasonable strategy, even though Mr. Romney’s chances of pulling out a victory in Pennsylvania are slim. What makes it reasonable is that Mr. Romney’s alternative paths to an Electoral College victory are not looking all that much stronger.



His next best paths of WI, IA and NV have been closed.  And two other avenues are quickly closing. VA, where Obama leads by a point and a half, and FL which is truly a toss-up at this point (but heading Obama's direction).

When your last BEST chance to win isn't even considered a battleground state any longer, you've GOT to be sweating bricks.

As, I'm sure, Romney/Ryan are.



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