Polls show President Barack Obama heading into Election Day with an advantage in several key swing states, but still engaged in a tight race with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Although national polls continue to show a neck-in-neck race – with Romney in some polls slightly leading Obama – state polling, which is often more accurate than broader national polls, paints a different picture.
Numbers-cruncher Nate Silver of The New York Times posted a final update to his blog, FiveThirtyEight, giving Obama an 86 percent chance of winning tomorrow's presidential election. According to Silver, Romney has a 13 percent chance.
Moreover, Silver's forecast predicts Obama securing 307 electoral votes, pushing him over the 270 needed to win the presidency. Silver's methodology shows Romney winning 230 electoral voters.
Silver is not alone in his predictions. RealClearPolitics.com, a bipartisan website that collects polling data from numerous polling agencies, forecasts Obama winning 303 electoral voters and Romney winning 235.
A graphic released by The New York Times on Monday also shows Obama's strategic advantage. Considering the nine battleground states, Obama has 431 different ways to win the election. On the other hand, Romney has just 76 ways to win.
Romney's success depends heavily on winning Florida, where he is polling ahead of Obama. If Romney loses Florida, he would need to win in every other battleground state, which appears nearly impossible.
Obama's success depends heavily on Ohio, where he is polling ahead of Romney. Although Romney could win the presidency without carrying Ohio, it would also be a struggle. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.
With just hours to go until the first polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, both campaigns are engaged in a mad dash to the finish line.
This afternoon Obama traveled to Wisconsin and Ohio, and made his final campaign stop in Iowa, where he was joined by rocker Bruce Springsteen. Over the weekend, Obama also held a rally in New Hampshire that attracted 14,000 people, according to local officials.
Vice President Joe Biden expressed optimism, telling reporters in Virginia he was feeling good about Election Day.
"I think we're going to win," Biden said. "I think we'll win Ohio. I think we'll win Wisconsin. I think we'll win Iowa. I think we'll win Nevada. I think we'll win New Hampshire. I think Florida will be close but I think we have a real shot at winning. And this state, we've got a clear shot at winning," Biden said of Virginia.
Romney also campaigned in Virginia today and is expected to campaign into Election Day, visiting Ohio and Pennsylvania before returning to Boston in the evening to watch the returns. Obama will spend election night in Chicago.
UPDATE @ 10P: Silver has increased Obama's chance of winning reelection to 92.2 percent. According to Silver's calculations, Romney has a 7.8 percent chance of winning the presidency. Silver now predicts Obama will secure 315.3 electoral votes compared to Romney's 222.7.
[Photo: RealClearPolitics electoral prediction (Courtesy of RealClearPolitics.com).]