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As I have emphasized before, Virginia, Colorado and Ohio are the three crucial players in this election. As long as Obama wins one of them, he will be the next president. If he loses all three, then he probably won’t.

Nate Silver gives the precise numbers:

Colorado, Virgina and Ohio remain the three principal focal points of Obama’s offense. Our model makes Obama a very slight favorite in Colorado with a 53.0% probability of winning. Obama wins the election 95.9% of the time that he wins Colorado in our simulations.

Obama remains a small underdog in Virginia, winning that state 43.1% of the time. But he wins the electoral vote 99.3% of the time that he does win Virginia.

And Obama is a slightly longer underdog in Ohio, winning there 39.6% of the time. However, it is nearly impossible for him to lose the election when he wins Ohio, as he takes the election 99.8% of the time that Ohio swings his way.

By the way, Nate’s site, Five Thirty Eight, is far and away the best place to get the precise trends for this election. There are many websites which aggregate opinion polls but Nate beats them all. He uses a sophisticated model, whereby he ranks different polling agencies and uses this to assign weights to the various available opinion polls. He also takes into account underlying demographics of each state. Using these, he assigns probabilities for each of the candidates winning each state and runs 10000 random simulations that take these probabilities into account. The result is a day-by-day update of the state of the nation. If you are obsessed with knowing how these race is behaving, Five Thirty Eight is what you need to watch.

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