No we don't, R17. Except once, when Princess Diana died and we were all sitting there watching when it was announced.
R9, the academics involved appear to be sincere and qualified, as far as that goes. But they shouldn't presume where better researchers have methodology more firmly in hand. By the way, even the best pollsters (and I'm in agreement) declare that this is not a cakewalk for Obama, that voters are upset and unhappy, and that unexpected events could overtake either side. Look at Akin in Missouri (where I live). A mere Midwest Senate race has provided unexpected, complex dynamics (not all against the Republicans) that confuse and alter the trend lines.
With that said, it is clear that Obama has the advantage. ANY poll that shows a Romney uptick will be shouted from the rooftops by Republicans because they seek to break any sense of Obama's inevitability, and make it look like the swing states are more fluid than they likely are.
Democrats NEVER are as craven as the Republicans are in critical way. They fight and fight dirty, but they - still sensing that they represent the majority of the country, albeit from a leftward position - have limits to their reprehensibility. Usually. Republicans, with the still-ingrained sense of minority zealotry, the true-believer stance of the only real America that Nixon first perfected and Reagan brought to its apotheosis, will do ANYTHING to win. And now they have a presumptive nominee who will take any position on any topic necessary, because he represents a minority within a minority - a true believer within the true believers. The fact that the party has devolved to the Luddites of the Tea Party - the sop of Ryan as a last-gasp try for support by Romney, who loathes the Tea Baggers - show his lack of dignity.
That's the context for all this.
My meta-take on all trends is that the election is Obama's to lose. No economic news is likely to change things for the worse for him, state by state. And once Romney opens his mouth and Ryan's positions are better known, the trickle back to the Democrat side should keep almost all swing states in the Democrat's column. Unless something unexpected happens. I think Florida is the one real toss-up. I see everything else, including Wisconsin, going with Obama, and the Democrats ending with at least 203 electoral votes.
But ignore the second stringers who declare they have gotten everything right since 1980. Survey methodology is completely different now than then, and even the best of us have not yet come up with a sure-fire model for overcoming the difficulties. Nate Silver deserves everyone's attention, if not daily, almost.