By Michael Bryan
I always enjoy going out a limb and proving myself a terrible electoral prognosticator. In that spirit, here are my predictions for Tuesdays Presidential Election.
Electoral maps generated by RealClearPolitics dandy Create Your Own Map tool. Play with it at peril of your afternoon disappearing in a clatter of obsessive clicking. You've been warned...
Squeaker Obama Scenario (15% likelihood):
In this scenario, nearly every swing state in which the polling is arguably close other than Ohio goes for Romney: Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Iowa all defy polling predictions. Obama still wins so long as he holds in Ohio. That's how very difficult it is for Romney to win the Presidency at this point.
Slightly More Comfortable Obama Scenario (15% likelihood):
Blowout Obama (likelihood 69.9%):
I consider this to be the most likely final map for this election. Obama wins all the close swing states and blows Romney away decisively. I can forsee the possibility that Romney will take Florida through voter access manipulation and the sort of electoral corruption in close races that the GOP excels in, which takes Obama down to Nate Silver's predicted outcome of Obama at just over 300 electoral votes. I'm a little more optimistic than Nate. If it were legal to bet on election outcomes, my money would be on Obama with a 300 electoral vote floor. The race can be called as soon as the polls close on the East Coast.
The Nightmare for America's Furture Scenario (likelihood 0.1%):
The world is an unpredictable place and even solid predictions may go awry. Suppose that Romney wins Ohio and sweeps nearly all the other swing states, including Florida and Virginia. Then he might be able to sweak out a victory in the electoral college. In which case, the Mayans were right: the world effectively ends in 2012 - at least for America.