TODAY   |  November 05, 2012

Strategists predict how race will turn out

TODAY’s Matt Lauer speaks with Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Republican strategist  Mike Murphy on Ohio’s influence on the presidential race. They also offer opinions on what each candidate can do to seal the deal.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: night.

>> peter alexander traveling with the romney campaign. we're joined now with strategists from both sides, republican mike murphy and democrat hillary rosen . nice to see you. let's go to some numbers. our latest numbers have it obama 48 and romney 47 and the "new york times" averaged the battle ground polls, president obama leading in 16 out 261 of them. is it that close?

>> yeah, and it always has been. you know, there's been a lot of talk about the volatility of the polls, but really the volatility has been more for mitt romney . president obama has been fairly steady. it's romney who has kind of gone up and down over the last couple of months.

>> the biggest challenge is the ceiling obama has in the mid to high 40s. if you haven't decided what you are thinking of him now, the undecideds might not break his way. margin of error , three points on each number.

>> a lot of the polls are well within the margin of error .

>> every poll says the same thing, a tied race.

>> one poll, of all the information you're seeing, all the numbers, is there one poll that says to you wait a second, that's the information i need for tomorrow?

>> yeah. well, generally i'm looking at internal polls that i feel more confident about, but, you know, one of the things that i've started to think about today is everybody's talking about ohio . ohio is going to be the only thing that matters. you know, when you look at something like the nbc poll in virginia where obama 's just up by one point, again, within the margin of error , president obama has a path that mitt romney doesn't have to win without ohio . he just has to win, you know, nevada, wisconsin, new hampshire, and either north carolina or virginia. that's extremely doable.

>> mike, what poll jumps out at you?

>> " columbus dispatch ," highly accurate, two points, margin of error , statistical poll, a mail-in poll, a better sample with a long tail.

>> i've been hearing people saying they are tired. want this to be over. they are tired of the commercials. tired of the phone calls. tired of the coverage in some cases. will voter fatigue play into this, and if it does, who does it help and who does it hurt?

>> i think romney has the intensity advantage, but my guess is a lot of people will grumble and vote. hell, i'm in the business and i'm tired but i'm going to vote.

>> hillary?

>> i was in florida a couple weeks ago and just the assault on simple tv watching is tremendous, but, you know, i actually think that something like hurricane sandy brings home to people in a very tragic but important way how important government is, and i think that matters and people will vote.

>> real quickly, just both your answers to this. what are the chances wednesday morning americans wake up and after a year of campaigning and well over $1 billion spent we have the status quo, democrats in the white house , democrats in the senate, republicans in the house?

>> very good chance, i think.

>> i think the house and senate aren't going to change and the presidency is a coin toss right now.

>> mike and hillary, thank you very much.

>> thank you.

>> long days ahead of you. appreciate your time.