Gerald Seib | A Tossup: Five Things to Watch on Election Night

The presidential campaign has wrapped up pretty much the way smart folks in both parties expected all along: It’s close, with the outcome dependent more on whose partisans are loyal on Election Day than on how many voters changed their minds along the way.

In fact, with partisans on both sides so dug in, never have so many billions of dollars been spent to move so few votes. So which factors determine who wins in such a race?

Here are five things to watch as Election Day and Election Night unfold:

How big is the turnout?

As a general proposition, if turnout is higher, that is probably good news for President Barack Obama. If it is lower, that is probably good news for Republican Mitt Romney.

Here’s why. Throughout this year, Republicans have had the advantage in enthusiasm and intensity. Meanwhile, Democratic enthusiasm has been lower than when Mr. Obama won in 2008.


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