Check out Sean Trende’s analysis of why Mitt Romney will win the presidential election. It boils down to a) no incumbent has ever won with as small a lead at this point as Obama has, b) Romney hasn’t started spending yet and he’s got a lot to spend, and c) everything else is just smoke:
Had pollsters turned on their likely-voter screens throughout, Romney and Obama probably would have been trading leads throughout the spring and summer. After all, Romney’s poll numbers would have been two-to-three points higher (given the average movement we saw when pollsters activated their likely-voter screens), and Obama’s lead fluctuated between 0.2 points and 3.8 points.
As I have been saying for some time, it’s going to be very, very close and I honestly think that’s what both campaigns believe as well. That’s why we’re seeing the hyperbolic reports of voter fraud and voter suppression from the Republicans and Democrats, respectively. Both are real but both represent very, very small numbers of votes, only significant when the outcome is too close to call.