Because I possess a thick hide and so small an ego that I don't mind making public predictions that carry excellent chances of going down in snickering flames, I hereby predict that Mitt Romney is about to do unspeakable injury to Nate Silver's statistically derived hypothesis that Romney "is more likely than not to see his standing improve at least some," after tonight's debate.
Yes, I know, Silver has nifty impressive numbers and historical data and computer crunches and all such manner of the highfalutin analytical. But I have the American voter, who, once having pre-judged any given situation, more commonly than not sticks to his or her story.
And what's the electorate's pre-judgment of the debates? Based on recent polling I've seen, likely voters in the mid-to-upper 50 percent range believe Obama will win, while Romney captures the confidence of about one-third. Assuming--and there's no valid reason not to assume it--that voters' confirmation bias kicks in as psychologically scheduled, Obama will walk away with a win (already) in his pocket. If voters' confirmation statistically matches their bias, Romney cannot reasonably expect "to see his standing improve," not even some.