There’s a secret lurking behind everything you’re reading about the upcoming election, a secret that all political insiders know—or should—but few are talking about, most likely because it takes the drama out of the whole business. The secret is the electoral college, and the fact is that the more you look at it, the more you come to conclude that Mitt Romney has to draw an inside straight like you’ve never ever seen in a movie to win this thing. This is especially true now that it seems as if Pennsylvania isn’t really up for grabs. Romney’s paths to 270 are few.
Sure, something big could happen to alter the dynamic completely. But we’ve watched these guys go, what, six or seven rounds now (out of 15). After seven rounds, you can pretty well tell some things. All the supposedly game-changing events of the last few weeks haven’t changed much of anything. This is a paradoxical situation that has little or no modern precedent, which makes it hard for people to accept. Liberals are too nervous to think it, reporters too intent on a “down to the wire” narrative, and conservatives too furious and disbelieving, but it’s shaping up to be true: An extremely close election that on election night itself stands a surprisingly good chance of being not that close at all.I will say that the level of vitriol, and outright lies, coming from the Romney folks, and the Republicans generally, have started to make me wonder if the GOP isn't already in panic mode about November election.