Dylan Matthews, writing at WaPo's Wonkblog, covers 5 "models." "Models" are constructs of criteria prognosticating political scientists use to predict election winners and losers.
In this case, Matthews uses the 4 models that would have been discussed in a panel at the meeting of the American Political Science Association at its meeting in New Orleans the other day.... except it was rained out. So Matthews includes Nate Silver's (NYT) predictions as he presents the results of the models and brief explanations about how each was constructed.
Here are the results of predictions based on the 4 models:
Norpoth/Bednarczuk: "The model forecasts Obama will get 53.2 percent of the two-party vote and Romney will get 46.8 percent. This gives Obama an 88 percent chance of winning."
Lewis-Beck/Tien: "... Obama will get 48.2 percent of the two-party vote share and Romney will get 51.8 percent, an estimate of which they have, coincidentally, 48.2 percent certainty."
Erikson/Wlezien: "Obama will get a 52.6 percent share of the two-party vote and that Romney will get 47.4 percent. It gives Obama an 80 percent chance of winning, overall."
Abramowitz: "Obama will get 50.6 percent of the two-party vote and Romney will get 49.4 percent. That’s a very close election, and gives Romney a one third chance of winning, Abramowitz says. What’s more, it’s close enough that it’s possible a candidate could win the popular vote without winning the electoral college."
Nate Silver: "Obama will win, 50.8 percent to 48 percent, and has a 71.6 percent overall chance of winning ..."
Where the money is going: InTrade is showing Obama with 57.7% to Romney's 42.3%.
These models don't, I betcha, take account of a new discovering along the campaign trail: Americans are showing that they aren't troubled by lies.
... Incredibly, 45 percent of those surveyed didn’t think that a candidate delivering a speech littered with fibs would do any harm to Romney and Ryan’s chances. Maybe those surveyed don’t believe their fellow Americans will be able to discern fact from fiction. Or maybe they just think the average citizen doesn’t care what’s true. (By contrast, 27 percent of survey takers suspected the speech would hurt Romney-Ryan, and 28 percent weren’t sure.) In an article Tuesday on the Atlantic’s site, James Bennet imagined a world in which the electorate turned a deaf ear to the press as it continually pointed out lawmakers’ lies. Have our politics entered a post-factual age—can political campaigns no longer be shamed? If true, this race will get a lot uglier before it’s done. ...Katy Waldman, Slate
That's complicated by the fact (and yes, I do think this is a fact) that Democrats don't lie as easily or as often as Republicans and Republicans don't think the lies they tell are immoral. For the right, lying, like waterboarding, is what you gotta do to show 'em who's in charge.
But the night is young and we haven't danced yet...