Nate Silver has an epic post today about late September polls from past years and how well they predict the eventual winner of a presidential race. Here are the highlights:
- Obama is currently up by 3.7 percent. No candidate in the past 50 years has lost a lead that big.
- No candidate with more than 47 percent of the vote in late September has ever lost. Obama is currently at 48.3 percent.
- Big changes in the final month aren't impossible, but they've gotten rarer in the past 20 years.
- It's not true that undecided voters tend to break for the challenger in the last few weeks of a race.
Read the whole thing for more. At the moment, though, the race is pretty clearly Obama's to lose. And Sam Wang agrees: his latest electoral vote forecast has Obama winning 347-191. Given all this, I'll make two predictions of my own:
- The mudslinging from the Romney campaign is going to get really, really nasty and desperate over the next few weeks.
- The smart money is shortly going to start deserting Romney and focusing downballot instead. The conservative base never liked Romney all that much to begin with, and I don't think it will take much for them to abandon him.
Make your own predictions in comments!