Why Today May Be Barack Obama’s Best Day

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Nov. 6 2012 3:25 PM

A Ray of Hope

Why today may be Barack Obama’s best day.

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Every day until the election, Slate will offer up one reason to be optimistic for your candidate.

Today is Election Day.

Today’s Good News for Obama: As voters finally head to the polls, the Obama campaign’s vital signs are looking good. Obama is up another 0.7 percent today in national polls, he still leads in critical swing states, and Nate Silver puts his odds of winning at a jaw-dropping 91 percent. Still not reassured? Then look at it this way—for Romney to have the edge, polls would need to be statistically biased in Obama’s favor by 4 percentage points, according to a study by Columbia political science professor Robert Erikson. If the pollsters are that wrong, Obama won’t be the only one out of a job tomorrow. Even if polls statistically favor Obama by 2 percent, Erikson gives Obama a 65.9 percent chance of winning. But if the polls are basically right, Erikson gives Obama a 99.9 percent chance of winning—making Nate Silver look downright pessimistic.

Kara Brandeisky is a Slate intern and student at Georgetown University

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