The Popular Vote and the Electoral College

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President Obama greets New Hampshire voters at a rally in Portsmouth in September 2012.
From and

With just four days to go until the 2012 presidential election, we're all watching the polls. At the heart of the polling system is the daily tracking poll, designed to gauge the mood of the populace. The problem? The populace doesn’t decide who gets to be president. As we all remember from grade school, that job is left to the Electoral College.

So in an age of complicated statistical models managed by the likes of Nate Silver, where does the popular vote stand?  

Larry Sabato, professor and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, explains.