I suspect that a bunch of people are assuming that the current firewall of IA/OH/NH/NV is the last possible one standing between the Democrats and utter, total DOOM. Crack it, and the campaign collapses. Which is… not quite true. Oh, crack it and the Obama campaign loses; but even if it loses it will still go down swinging in places like MI and PA.
Because Barack Obama is at the outer limit of how much he can be an imposition on his own party, that’s why.
Below is a map of the Republicans running the table. This is one where we grab everything we can, at once. It is not meant to be a representation of the final map; but it is the Democrats’ Nightmare Map.
That, by the way, would be a popular vote blowout – which segues to the next question: what happens in the down-ticket races in this scenario? Answer: Chaos and Old Night for the Democratic Party. The Democrats would probably lose even more seats in every section of the country, and the question about the Senate results would be Can the Republicans get to sixty? And that’s not even taking into account the state and/or local races… and while the Obama campaign might not really care about its own party’s long-term prospects, the party certainly does.
Hence the Corzine/Deeds comparison. In 2009, Democrats in VA ended up with a fantastically bad candidate (Creigh Deeds) and they ended up… just giving up. Meanwhile, Democrats in NJ ended up with a fantastically bad candidate (Jon Corzine) and they ended up going down fighting. End result: the Democratic party in VA took a severe beating in 2009 and 2010 on downticket state and federal level, and the Democratic party in NJ did not. It is exceedingly unlikely that the national Democratic party leadership is unaware of this problem; and they certainly don’t want to lose any more elected officials to Obama’s foolishness than they can possibly help. So… they make a fighting retreat.
All of which is a rather long-winded way of saying that if you’re wondering three days before the election why the Obama campaign is still grimly holding on, it’s not necessarily because they still think that they can win. They merely will be still thinking that they can avoid a rout.