Continued from page 1

Nate Silver, who wrote the FiveThirtyEight blog at The New York Times, said the election is moving in Mr. Obama’s direction. He said there is a 77 percent chance Mr. Obama wins, and his current forecast gives Mr. Obama nearly 300 electoral votes, up 10 from a week ago.

Mr. Silver’s data-driven approach to election predictions has won rave reviews from politicos. He said if Gallup is right and Mr. Romney’s lead is that big, then the Republican is a “virtual lock” to win Tuesday. But if the state polls, which generally give Mr. Obama leads in the key states, are correct, then the president will survive.

In his Wednesday post, Mr. Silver said: “Just about every method for evaluating the election based on state polls seems to hint at a very slight lead in the popular vote, as well as an Electoral College victory, for President Obama.”

Mr. McLaughlin, however, said the backlash against Mr. Obama from Hurricane Sandy is overriding all that.

“Those without power who are cutting down trees in the Northeast and are very upset post-hurricane — if they lack power through Election Day, they will not be kind to the incumbent president or his party,” he said.