What a difference a debate makes! Obama is down from a 60 electoral project lead in Nate Silver’s forecast. Check out the graphs…

So what stopped the bleeding? I think it boils down to two words: Joe Biden. Yeah, he was brash, but he gave folks the kind of doubt they need to take a second look at what Romney/Ryan are really selling. And Romney’s camp hasn’t really landed any strikes OR made any gaffes during that time. It was all the VP debate. At least that’s my most educated guess.

Nate Silver has more on the data coming back from the polling…

For the last week or so, we have been hoping to decode a confusing polling landscape. President Obama still appeared to hold a narrow Electoral College lead on the basis of state-by-state surveys, while national polls were suggestive of a tie or perhaps the slightest edge for Mitt Romney.

If the current polls hold, predicting the election outcome will boil down to making a series of educated guesses about the relationship between state and national polls, and between the Electoral College and the popular vote.

There have been plenty of elections before when the outcome was highly uncertain down the stretch run or on Election Day itself. But I am not sure that there has been one where different types of polls pointed in opposite directions. Anyone in my business who is not a bit terrified by this set of facts is either lying to himself — or he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

There are three ways out of the stalemate. First, the state polls could move toward Mr. Romney. Second, the national polls could move toward Mr. Obama. Or third, we could receive more emphatic evidence that the difference between state polls and national polls in fact reflects a potential difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College. (This latter case, importantly, would require evidence that Mr. Romney was running well in noncompetitive states along with evidence that Mr. Obama was performing well in swing states.)

Basically, it’s anybody’s game at this point…which makes tomorrow’s debate that much more important. If Obama can tie or barely beat Romney, much like Bush did with Kerry in 2004, these numbers are likely to turnaround because the momentum will have shifted slight back towards Obama. But if Romney is the perceived winner yet again…all bets are off.

Are you tuning in?

Politics Election Projection: Romney Within 20 Electoral Votes