Intrade at 60 percent
There is no question that Romney changed his fortunes with his debate performance (and Obama's listless performance). The national polls have shifted by about 5 points toward Romney. As a result, there are a lot of Dems who are panicking that the sky is falling.
The race is still a race of battleground states. While Romney has closed some of the leads and passed Obama in some of the latest polls in battleground states, he still faces a major uphill battle. This is why Intrade still gives Obama a 60 percent chance at re-election. Nate Silver puts his re-election at 71 percent. Frankly, anything over 53 percent on the Intrade market is pretty much a lock of happening.
The President needs to show some fight in the remaining debates because people want to feel that he is engaged. He is fine in the campaign-trail speeches, and his ads will continue to run. But he has to do better in the debates because this is a chance to face Romney face-to-face. I fully expect him to do better in coming debates and take a more aggressive approach. As that happens, he will solidify his position and win. If he is tentative, we could see further erosion in his chances. It is in his hands.