Well thus far, the stuff I called in my last thread is pretty much spot on. Especially this one. Anyhow, enough of the gloating. Where are we today? Well pretty much exactly where I said we would be and pretty much for the exact reasons why. Romney now leads in the overall RCP average, but now I have to be fair. A lot of his lead is boosted by TIPP and Pew (both of which are God awful rotten). In reality it's probably Romney +1 right now. Let's have a look at the key states: Florida Ignore the Marist poll. They suck and the poll was taken before the debate. I would also ignore the UNF poll. With the exception of Quinnapiac, university polls are usually ridiculously biased and the UNF poll seems to be following the same path. WeAskAmerica (WAA) I am not terribly comfortable with yet. That leaves Rasmussen with Florida at Romney +2 which means it's probably Romney +1 Colorado A tricky one. McLaughlin and WAA are pre-debate. Ignore them. University of Denver is a college poll. Out it goes. That leaves Gravis, Rasmussen, and ARG. Mathematically between the three it's Romney +2 in Colorado. I'd say that's aggressive. Probably more like Romney +1.5 Iowa This is critical. The only poll since the debate is Rasmussen with Obama +2. The rest are irrelevant. But this is huge because Romney must have Iowa. Even if he takes Ohio, Virginia, and Florida he needs one more state to ice it. I thought Iowa was the most realistic but based on Rasmussen he still has work to do there. Iowa's importance just shot up significantly. Missouri RCP has it as a swing state. I find this curious since RCP usually uses a 5.0% margin as the point where they go from "toss up" to "leaner". Only with Missouri they are not doing that even though Missouri is over that 5 point spread in Romney's favor. This piques my interest. Regardless it's a fantasy to suggest that Obama will take Missouri right now. That's all Romney's to lose. Nevada Still leaning narrowly toward Obama. Throw the PPP(D) poll out the window. I think we have effectively documented their biases by now. Granted it's a statistical tie but so are a lot of the others I mentioned above. Right now I still think Obama squeaks this one out but we'll see. New Hampshire The only poll that both started and finished after the debate is the Rasmussen poll which has NH tied. I am not buying it. I am putting New Hampshire the same as Missouri right now only on different sides...Obama's to lose North Carolina Obama has been dead in this state for two months. Dream on liberals Pennsylvania RCP moved it to toss up. See notes on New Hampshire and Missouri. This is Obama's right now. Virginia Toss PPP(D) out the window for reasons already stated. Forget about Marist too. They suck and their poll was pre-debate. That leaves Romney with a two point edge. Pretty much exactly what I said. Wisconsin Throw out Marquette as a pre-debate poll and pitch out PPP(D) as well. That leaves Obama +2 by Rasmussen. Pretty much what I expected. This state may get close but I still have it going to Obama. Ohio The crown jewel. Pitch out CNN...media poll...worthless. Basically what we have is a dead on tie. So what does all this mean (except that I have thus far called this one the nose [ok maybe I am not done gloating]). Well the main thing to watch now are the number of undecided voters. The majority will break for Romney. Historically they always break for the challenger. So take a state like Ohio where Romney (on average) leads by 0.8% with 5.2% undecided. Historically 3%ish will break to Romney and that's enough to carry the state. Iowa on the other hand...if we look only at Rasmussen (since it's the only one conducted after the debate) we see Obama +2 with 4% undecided. 2.5% ought to break for Romney and that's just barely enough. So in essence it's all Romney's ballgame right now. Tomorrow's debate may swing things a point maximum but probably not even that much. Not a bunch of ground will be gained by either side but ground can surely be lost. Look for the big gaffe that will either stop the bleeding by team Obama or open up the gushing wound even larger. The real test will come in Obama/Romney II next week and Obama/Romney III the week after. Romney needs one more debate win to ice this. Obama isn't going to come unarmed again and the next debate is a town hall format. That favors Obama so Romney must at least pull a tie. The third debate favors Romney big because it's on foreign policy and if you are watching the news you can already see team Romney start to bring those issues to the forefront. I don't expect another "Disgraced in Denver" Obama performance, but I do think in the third debate Romney can put this one away. Right now it's all moving in his favor. I predict a Ryan win over Biden tomorrow (although Biden will manage to avoid a major gaffe). That will add just slight momentum toward Romney by no more than half a point at most. Obama will squeak out a narrow win In Obama/Romney II next week and that will result in stopping the Romney surge and maybe even reversing the trend by...oh...two points. Then Romney will win the third debate taking most of the undecided voters and squeaking out the presidency.