Of all the controversies in a frenzied final week of a tense presidential election campaign, none has been more fraught than the small matter of who is most likely to win.
One view, shared by statistical forecasters, betting markets and state-level opinion polls, has Barack Obama as a strong favourite — perhaps something more than that. The highest profile of the forecasters, FiveThirtyEight wunderkind Nate Silver, gives Obama an 86.3% chance of victory at the time of writing. An even more bullish view of Obama’s prospects is offered by Silver’s equally credible rival Sam Wang, a neurologist who has been putting his powers of analysis to work for the Princeton Election Consortium. Wang has two models on offer, one of which puts Obama’s chances at 98.3%, the other at 99.9%.