William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE ONLY ELECTION THAT COUNTS – AT 10:45 A.M. ET:  And that's the one in the Electoral College, where the major number is 270. 

There are some late polls, and they sizzle:

In Pennsylvania, Susquehanna has the race a dead heat at 49-49.  Now, it is true that the same poll, Pennsylvania's most respected, had Romney up four points two weeks ago, but that was considered a bit of an exaggeration.  In addition, this last poll has a time lag.  It was completed as Hurricane Sandy was striking, and Obama was "swinging into action," giving the president a slight boost.  But opinion has turned as the sheer incompetence of the handling of the storm has become clear, and the anger is growing.  That will affect eastern Pennsylvania, where there are storm effects.  Romney needs to boost his vote in the Philly suburbs, and that's exactly where he's holding a rally today.

In Ohio, Obama maintains a stubborn two-point lead in a final poll, but Rasmussen has it even.  There are indications of a substantial boost in the Republican vote on election day, which can easily overtake a tiny lead.  We'll know more tonight as advance voting in Ohio on the Sunday before election – church day – will give an indication of the African-American vote total.

Incredibly a new poll in Minnesota has the race essentially a dead heat.  Even more incredibly, a last-minute poll in Michigan also shows a dead heat.  We stress, though, that these are single polls.  Other polling organizations may produce a different result.

Florida looks good for Romney.  Iowa looks good for Obama.

In the swing state of New Hampshire, a last-minute poll shows a dead heat.

We have no last-minute polling in Wisconsin, but that will come.

It's ethnic makeup and turnout.  The election is, based on polls, still too close to call. 

November 4, 2012