"Barack Obama is on the verge of a victory," said Nate Silver in The New Republic online, "perhaps a decisive victory, in the race for the White House." As polls opened on Election Day, national polls consolidated in the range of a 7-percentage-point lead for Obama. State polling shows him almost certain to win all the states won by fellow Democrats John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000, which would make victory in the Electoral College nearly automatic.

Most pundits have already written John McCain's "political obituary," said Kenneth Blackwell in National Review Online, but the latest FOX News/Rasmussen Reports battleground poll "presents a plausible scenario for a narrow" McCain victory. McCain could sweep several crucial states—Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, and Virginia—where the vote will be tight, with McCain picking up late momentum. And if he pulls an upset in Pennsylvania he'll have "a lifesaving electoral firewall," so "this election is far from over."

McCain has a chance, said The Washington Times in an editorial, but keep your eye on the eight battleground states. If Obama wins just one of those states—Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, or North Carolina—he wins the presidency. He's leading in all but North Carolina and Missouri, although the gaps closed as the vote neared, and he'll have help from the nation's 9 million newly registered voters, most of them Democratic, to put him over the top.