This race will come down to Ohio and Florida. Both started out as pink-to-light-red for Bush, then trended toward Kerry late in the game, and now it’s anybody’s guess as to which way they’ll go. There are plausible electoral vote scenarios for either candidate winning by taking at least one of these two, but if either candidate takes both states then he’s got it in the bag. Florida is more important to Kerry—if Kerry takes Ohio but loses Florida, he’ll have a much rougher time of it. Bush could plausibly win with either state, but Florida with its 27 EVs is the sweeter plum.
Both campaigns know the critical value of these states, and have traded bitter accusations about each others’ attempts to GOTV. Judging by the recent legal action regarding voter intimidation in OH and voter fraud in FL, I’d say the Bush camp’s fingers are stickier.
Look for a 1-2 point margin in Kerry’s favor in the popular vote.
Final prediction: Lawyers. Everywhere.