The site for baseball-style statistical analysis applied to polling, FiveThirtyEight.com, finds:
Obama has developed a structural advantage in the Electoral College that is understated by the popular vote margin. If we break the election down into its four fundamental scenarios, it looks like this:
- 62.5% Obama wins Popular Vote and Electoral College
- 0.7% Obama wins Popular Vote, loses Electoral College
- 27.8% Obama loses Popular Vote and Electoral College
- 9.0% Obama loses Popular Vote, wins Electoral College
Obama is roughly a 63/37 favorite to win the popular vote — numbers that ought intuitively to look pretty reasonable for a candidate who holds a 2-point national lead fortysome days before the election. It’s that 9 percent of the time he wins the Electoral College while losing the popular vote that make his 2-point lead much more robust. If the states maintain their positioning relative to one another — and they may well not — Obama probably has about a 1-point cushion in which he’ll remain the favorite to win the Electoral College even while losing the popular vote.
[And yes, I did "borrow" Drudge's siren.]