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Polls show a dead heat. So why so many predictions of an Obama win? (+video)

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(Read caption) Liz Marlantes explains the candidates' focus at the end of the campaign.
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Is it just us, or does it seem like some of the suspense has leaked out of this campaign? In the final hours before Election Day, the mindset among the chattering class seems to have shifted from: "This thing is too close to call, it’s right down to the wire, a real nailbiter," to something more along the lines of: "It's close, but looks like President Obama’s got this."

Or as media-watcher Howie Kurtz put it in The Daily Beast: “The pundits have spoken: It’s Obama.”

Sure, plenty of caveats are still being thrown around: Mitt Romney could win, the polls are tight, yadda yadda yadda. But everywhere you look, the predictions are piling up in Mr. Obama’s favor.

In The Washington Post’s “Crystal Ball” contest on Sunday, only two participants out of 13 predicted Mr. Romney would win on Tuesday. For the record, that was the exact same number that predicted John McCain would win in 2008 – an election that was clearly heading for a more lopsided outcome than this one.

Now, some of the “predictions” being offered out there are clearly colored by partisanship. As in every election, there are strident voices on both sides of the aisle forecasting big wins for their guy (Fox News’s Dick Morris, for example, is predicting Romney will win with 325 electoral votes).

But most of the nonpartisan prognosticators seem to be calling it for Obama.

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