Two quotes from Nate Silver blow conventional wisdom out of the water. What you think you know about the race is probably wrong on these two points.
What you think you know: Barack Obama has a huge problem with women voters.
Reality: "If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election, equaling or exceeding his margin of victory over John McCain in 2008. Mr. Obama would be an overwhelming favorite in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and most every other place that is conventionally considered a swing state. The only question would be whether he could forge ahead into traditionally red states, like Georgia, Montana and Arizona."
What you think you know: Mitt Romney has all the momentum.
Reality: "The FiveThirtyEight forecast was essentially unchanged again on Sunday, with Mr. Obama retaining a 67.6 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, little different from his 67.9 percent odds on Friday and Saturday."
According to Silver, the race "may have settled into a period of relative stability." Pollster.com's Mark Blumenthal comes to a similar conclusion.
So why are these memes so prevelant among the punditry? My guess would be fear. These guys are in the business of "cutting through" the trivia and telling you what's really happening. But what's really happening is that nothing is really happening. That's not a very satisfying answer when people are invested in some sort of change one way or another. So they cherrypick polls and take numbers out of context, to create a narrative that shows that something is going on out there. How do we know something's going on? Simple, we've got an explanation for it. Right here. Stay tuned and we'll tell you what it is right after this commercial for dishwashing detergent.
The fact is that Obama is leading by a margin without comfort. And Mitt Romney is trailing in the electoral college tally -- barely. That's where it's been for a few days now. It's not a satisfying answer, but it is the truth.