rarely, nay, never have shown themselves to be game-changers. Well, there is a first now.
Romney's win in the first presidential debate has changed the course of this election. What was rapidly moving to a rout after the DNC, especially in light of Romney's "47% remarks" has reversed course, and so far has shown no signs of slowing down.
To be sure, Obama is still leading in the electoral college polls, and Romney is trailing in key battleground states, but the lead is wafer thin and eroding. To use various sports metaphors, if this were football, Obama was trouncing Romney 35-14 at the 12:00 mark in the fourth. With little over 7:00 left in the game, Romney has cut the lead to 35-27 and has the ball. If this was basketball, Obama was leading 85-61 with nine minutes left in the game. With a little over five minutes left, Romney has cut the lead to 90-83, and Obama's team has two starters with five fouls each.
To put it in Nate Silver's perspective, Romney's chances went from about 13% just before the debate to about 32% today.
So where do I think the race is headed? I'll still stay with my guess made a few months ago. Here, see if it still looks likely.
[Update 10/13/2012: In case it was not clear, I attribute the main reason for the game change to what I mentioned in my forecast in June: The Romney cash machine is working overtime following the debate. There was nothing revealed in the debate that people did not already know, it simply gave an opportunity for the SuperPACs to go all in.]