Early, early signs on election day

It is very early on election day and I leave to get some volunteers started at our polling place.  It is going to be a long day.  But there are some signs:

Dixville Notch has voted:  It is a tie:  5 to 5.  In 2008 they voted for Obama 15 to 6.  The population is down, but this is still New Hampshire and which is very close.   Read this any way you want to.

Nate Silver’s final numbers:

Electoral College –  Obama 314.6    Romney 223.4

Change of winning – Obama 91.6     Romney 8.4

Popular vote –  Obama 50.9     Romney 48.3

Mother Jones managed to catch up with 5 of the 11 people who asked questions at the town hall debate.  (Remember they are in the Hurricane Sandy zone.)

At the second presidential debate, a town hall forum held at Hofstra University, 11 undecided voters from Long Island asked President Obama and Mitt Romney questions on a range of issues, including unemployment, gun control, and equal pay for women. Mother Jones caught up with five of them, all of whom are still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, and asked if they finally have decided. Results? Four of the five say they’re voting for Obama.

The one who isn’t for Obama is “Leaning Romney”.  The reasons are interesting.

What does this all mean?  We will know late tonight.  In the meanwhile I’ll leave the last word to Nate Silver

But Mr. Romney’s chances of winning the Electoral College have slipped, and are now only about 8 percent according to the forecast model — down from about 30 percent 10 days ago.

The most notable recent case of a candidate substantially beating his polls on Election Day came in 1980, when national surveys had Ronald Reagan only two or three points ahead of Jimmy Carter, and he won in a landslide instead. That year is not comparable to this one in many respects: the economy is much better now, there is not a major third-party candidate in the race, and Mr. Obama’s approval ratings are about 50 percent rather than 35 percent for Mr. Carter. And in 1980, Mr. Reagan had late momentum following the presidential debate that year, whereas this year the momentum seems to favor Mr. Obama.

All of this leaves Mr. Romney drawing to an inside straight. I hope you’ll excuse the cliche, but it’s appropriate here: in poker, making an inside straight requires you to catch one of 4 cards out of 48 remaining in the deck, the chances of which are about 8 percent. Those are now about Mr. Romney’s chances of winning the Electoral College, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast

As any poker player knows, those 8 percent chances do come up once in a while. If it happens this year, then a lot of polling firms will have to re-examine their assumptions — and we will have to re-examine ours about how trustworthy the polls are. But the odds are that Mr. Obama will win another term.

Voters wait in lines for absentee ballots in Doral, Fla. on Sunday. (AP)

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