Obama’s Lead Is Starting to Look Insurmountable

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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!

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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