And another big winner Tuesday night: the polls

On Monday, looking at the latest probabilities at FiveThirtyEight and considering the increasing evidence that likely voter models had been too selective, I predicted a 332 electoral vote tally for Obama. When I made that post, Nate Silver’s model was still showing Romney as a tiny favorite in Florida, but by late that night he was giving the edge to Obama there too.

As I write this late on Tuesday night, Obama sits at 303 — after a very narrow victory — but Florida is still likely to go his way.

And if Florida goes his way, then I was right on the money. I wish I could take lots of credit for that, but for months I’ve just been following FiveThirtyEight’s lead. And FiveThirtyEight was taking its data from dozens of polling companies’ work.

And that work, taken together, turned out to be excellent. In an increasingly complex world of cell phones and low response rates, the pollsters are making solid moves.

I wonder how the race might have played out differently if Romney supporters and right-wing pundits had simply accepted the simple facts of the polling and spent their energy trying to understand why Romney was losing instead of insisting over and over and over that he was winning.

By the way, I felt quite certain how things would play out tonight when Pew’s Andrew Kohut said on All Things Considered this afternoon that the electorate looked almost just like 2008 — same percentage of whites, of blacks, and of voters under 30.

Here was the map I picked on Monday:

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