Latest Presidential Polls: The Hidden Factor That Can Break the Presidential Race Wide Open

We are now less than a week away from election day 2012. It has been a long drawn-out road and many pundits out there just want this to be over. We are starting to see the final round of polls come in now and what they show is that this race is anyone’s game and that it will largely be decided on turnout.

The gold standard that many people turn to is Real Clear Politics. RCP’s national average shows the race tied. This is a slight downward tick for Mitt Romney who was ahead in the RCP average over the last week or so, but don’t read too much into that if you are a Romney supporter. He can still win this race, provided he can win key swing states such as Florida, Ohio, and Virginia.

Currently RCP shows Florida at 49.1% for Romney, 47.9% for Obama. This is a pretty significant tightening of the race in Florida since middle October when Romney enjoyed a 3.2% lead. While it is tightening, I believe Romney will come out on top in Florida, +1 Romney.

In Ohio, Romney doesn't fare well at all according to the polls. Romney has never had the lead in the RCP poll for Ohio, and currently is behind 46.6% to Obama's 48.9%. The 2.3% spread is a significant tightening of the race for Romney since early October when Obama enjoyed a more than 5% spread, but it doesn't appear that Romney will be able to take the lead there. If this is the case Romney's chances of winning the election overall become quite narrow, +1 Obama.

Finally, in Virginia the race couldn't be any tighter. RCP shows Virginia a virtual dead heat with Romney now slightly in the lead 47.9% to 47.4% for Obama. Obama had enjoyed a decent lead in Virginia up until the end of September. After the first presidential debate where Romney stomped Obama, the race in Virginia became a dead heat and has remained that way ever since, tie Romney/Obama.

So that leaves us where we started. The race is a dead heat. No one has a clear advantage and the turnout game will likely decide this election. There are outliers out there though which gives me pause. Betting markets still have Obama at a decisive lead to win reelection along with Nate Silver's model. Then there's Dick Morris, who is predicting a landslide win for Romney and Republicans in the Senate. Out of the two likely scenarios, I believe Silver over Morris.

Next Tuesday will certainly be exciting! PolicyMic will have multiple pundits, including myself, live- blogging the election returns as they happen all night long. It is going to be massive! A huge night for PolicyMic and a huge night for the country! Make sure you are there with us every step of the way!