Associated Press

While Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama scramble to collect the necessary 270 electoral votes on election day, many pundits have already weighed in, making their predictions and calling the victor based on polls, analysis and gut instinct.

Here's a look at what 18 pundits have predicted as the outcome of the Romney-Obama election.

Nate Silver: 313-225, Obama
Associated Press

Nate Silver, who runs The New York Times fivethrirtyeight blog, predicts an Obama victory, 313-225.

"Averaging polls together increases their sample size — making them much more powerful statistically than any one poll taken alone," Silver wrote. But the errors in the polls are sometimes correlated, meaning there are years when most of them miss in the same direction."

If there is an error in Obama's favor, it's possible Romney could win the popular vote, Silver wrote. However, Romney's chances of winning the electoral college are smaller.

"If the national popular vote winds up roughly tied, instead of favoring Mr. Obama by two points or so, then Mr. Romney could claw back to win Florida, Colorado and Virginia, and perhaps Iowa and New Hampshire," Silver said. "But Mr. Obama’s lead in Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada and Pennsylvania is clear enough to withstand some underperformance in the polls, and his margins in the polling averages there have converted into a victory on election night a very high percentage of the time historically."

>> President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on stage during the final 2012 campaign event in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Michael Barone: 315-223, Romney
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Fundamentals usually prevail in American elections, The Washington Examiner's Michael Barone wrote in his electoral college prediction. If fundamentals prevail this time, it's bad news for the president, he said.

"True, Americans want to think well of their presidents and many think it would be bad if Americans were perceived as rejecting the first black president," Barone wrote. "But it's also true that most voters oppose Obama's major policies and consider unsatisfactory the very sluggish economic recovery."

Polls show that voters who don't identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans break for Romney, and indicators suggest Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting and about their candidate, Barone wrote, while Democrats are less so.

Barone predicts Romney will win Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and — "wobbling on my limb" — Pennsylvania.

>> Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., make an unscheduled stop at a Wendy's restaurant in Richmond Heights, Ohio, on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Ezra Klein, 290-248, Obama
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"I have a simple rule when predicting presidential elections: The polls, taken together, are typically pretty accurate," The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wrote in his prediction.

In this election, Klein said, the polls will prove to be right.

"President Obama will win with 290 electoral votes," he wrote. "I’m not extremely confident in the precision of that estimate: Some swing states are close enough that it’s entirely possible for a good ground game to tip, say, Florida into Obama’s column, or Colorado into Romney’s. Virginia is basically tied, and I’m giving it to Romney based on the assumption that challenger wins in a tie, but it could easily go the other way. So if Obama ends up winning with 303, I won’t be surprised.

"That said, 290 is what a conservative read of the polls says, as of this moment. And I trust the polls more than I trust my intuition, or the fragmented, impressionistic reporting on the two GOTV efforts. So I’m going with that."

>> Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at the Sanford International Airport in Sanford, Fla., on the last day of campaigning, Monday morning, Nov. 5, 2012.

Ben Domenech: 278-260, Romney
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In a column at Real Clear Politics, Ben Domenech predicted a Romney victory, 278-260 due to Obama's underperforming among white and independent voters. However, in another column, Domenech also raised the possibility of an undertow election.

"This is a question few journalists have really dug into this cycle: how dedicated is Obama's base of support?" Domenech asked. "How shaky is the backing which is elevating him above a tie in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and elsewhere? After a billion dollars of spending, are they fired up and ready to go? Or has Obama lost his winning aura among them, perhaps for good?"

As much as Domenech said he's questioned the actions of the Romney camp throughout the campaign, he still thinks it's clear that "Romney's operational prowess is second to none, and getting out the vote isn't a question of strategy but operation."

Even given all the advantages Obama's campaign might have in getting out the vote, "if team Romney could end up close to matching them in this respect, we could be looking at an undertow election like none we've seen before," Domenech wrote. "This would reflect not so much a groundswell as a cave-in, one where independents did not shift to Romney but away from Obama, where the bottom truly drops out of the Obama effort, and the story the left focuses on for the next year is why in the world those people stayed home."

>> Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to a crowd at a nearby parking lot after his campaign plane arrived at Moon Township Pittsburgh International Airport in Coraopolis, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Sabato's Crystal Ball: 290-248, Obama
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The Sabato's Crystal Ball analysis by Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley of the U.Va. Center for Politics predicts a 290-248 win for Obama.

"With a slight, unexpected lift provided by Hurricane Sandy, Mother Nature’s October surprise, President Barack Obama appears poised to win his second term tomorrow," the website stated. "Our final Electoral College projection has the president winning the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin and topping Mitt Romney, with 290 electoral votes.

"Adding to the president’s good fortune was a final jobs report that was basically helpful because it wasn’t disastrously bad."

While Romney surged after the first debate, he didn't quite close the deal in swing states, and now it's too late, the Sabato's Crystal Ball analysis said.

President Barack Obama visits with people outside a campaign office the morning of the 2012 election, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago.

Larry Kudlow: 330-208, Romney
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CNBC's Larry Kudlow predicted a win for Romney, and is confident enough in the victory to make financial predictions and recommendations as well.

Kudlow said he sees a political revolution coming, and predicts that Romney will win the election, 330-208, by sweeping the Midwest and riding that wave to victory.

"As long as Obama can't get past 46, 47, 48 percent, he's toast," Kudlow said.

>> Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at a New Hampshire campaign rally at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.

Philip Klein: 277-261, Obama
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"I believe the arguments about polls understating Romney’s position have some merit, but only up to a point," The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein wrote in his prediction. "I also believe that by and large, despite some high profile errors, polling is generally accurate when results from multiple pollsters overwhelmingly point in one direction. So, I’ve decided to split the difference in my prediction."

Klein gave Romney the states that are essentially tied, but handed states that show Romney trailing to Obama. In his numbers, Klein gives Romney Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire and Colorado. He gives Obama Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa.

"My thinking is that even if Romney over-performs the polls somewhat, he still is unlikely to over-perform by a wide enough margin to win these states."

>> President Barack Obama speaks to media as he visits a campaign office the morning of the 2012 election, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago.

Dick Morris: 325-213, Romney
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This election will see "the biggest surprise in recent American political history," political commentator Dick Morris said, predicting a 325-213 victory for Romney.

A Romney win "will rekindle the whole question on why the media played this race as a nailbiter where in fact Romney’s going to win by quite a bit," he said.

While Morris said Ohio is overrated and Romney can lose it, he suggests Romney will pull out a victory there. He also said that a recent poll that had Obama up by three oversampled Democrats, and actually has Romney winning by 4.

>> Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves at the end of a New Hampshire campaign rally at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.

Ross Douthat: 271-267, Obama
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To win the election, Romney will need to win states that show him basically tied with the president, The New York Times's Ross Douthat wrote. Doing so is possible, but it may be too late for Romney, he predicted.

"A Romney victory would not surprise me in the slightest. Nor would a clear Obama electoral college win," Douthat wrote. "I would be surprised to see Obama reach 51 percent, or Romney break 300 electoral votes. And whoever wins, I’m hoping for some map-scrambling (the Republicans trade Pennsylvania for Virginia, let’s say), some intrigue in rural Maine, and some shockingly close numbers in states that nobody has been watching, just to keep the pundits on our toes."

>> President Barack Obama makes a call to thank a volunteer as he visits a call center in a campaign office, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in the German Village section of Columbus, Ohio.

University of Colorado forecast: 330-208, Romney
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Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder and Michael Berry of CU Denver, who predicted a Romney victory in August, are still predicting a win for Romney.

“We continue to show that the economic conditions favor Romney even though many polls show the president in the lead,” Bickers said. “Other published models point to the same result, but they looked at the national popular vote, while we stress state-level economic data.”

Of the 13 battleground states identified in their election model, the only one to change in the update was New Mexico, which Bickers and Berry's model sees as a narrow victory for Romney. The model predicts Romney will also carry North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Obama is predicted to win Michigan and Nevada.

>> Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is introduced by wife Ann at a Virginia campaign rally at The Patriot Center, George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.

Markos Moulitsas: 332-206, Obama
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Markos Moulitsas of The Daily Kos wrote that going by the registered voter models, Obama will win the national vote by a little over three points.

"Currently, national polling assumes a big dropoff from registered voters to likely voters. I don't believe that'll be the case, and we're certainly not seeing it in the early vote — Democratic turnout is up. And the RV models have been more accurate historically," Moulitsas wrote.

In his prediction, Moulitsas wrote that he expects Obama to win Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia, and Romney to win North Carolina.

>> President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.

George Will: 321-217, Romney
Associated Press

While appearing on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” George Will repeated an earlier prediction that Romney will win 321-217, but also said he expects Minnesota to go for Romney even though the state is traditionally Democratic.

“I’m projecting Minnesota to go for Romney,” Will said. “It’s the only state that’s voted Democratic in nine consecutive elections, but this year, there’s the marriage amendment on the ballot that will bring out the evangelicals, and I think could make the difference.”

>> Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at the Sanford International Airport in Sanford, Fla., on the last day of campaigning, Monday morning, Nov. 5, 2012.

Michael Tomasky: 294-244, Obama
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Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast predicted a 294-244 electoral college win for Obama, saying he could have given the same prediction in March, January or even last year.

"For all the twists and turns, all the debates, all the news developments expected and unexpected, the basic math of this election hasn’t changed barely a whit to my eye," Tomasky wrote. "It was always close and still is. The electoral map always favored Obama and still does. It’s almost as if we could have had this election months ago, sparing the nation billions of dollars and a lot of agita."

If unemployment were still at 9 percent and the most recent jobs number was 50,000, then Tomasky said he could have seen a wave election that would sweep Obama away. However, he said, that's not the case.

Obama's 2008 margin of victory in states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania means that although they will shrink this year, this won't be an election that shifts them onto the Republican side, he wrote.

>> President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Nationwide Arena Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.

James Pethokoukis: 301-237, Romney
Associated Press

James Pethokoukis of The American Enterprise Institute made his prediction based on enthusiasm, saying it will carry Romney to victory, 301-237.

"Many pollsters are not catching the stratospheric GOP enthusiasm, particularly among voters of faith, in voting for Romney and Paul Ryan — not just against Obama and Joe Biden," Pethokoukis wrote. "Oh, and think twice before betting against Michael Barone when elections are on the line."

Pethokoukis sees Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Iowa going for Romney, while he predicts New Hampshire, Nevada and Michigan will vote for Obama.

>> Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and wife Ann Romney stand on stage at a campaign rally at The Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.

Doyle McManus: 271-269, Obama
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Doyle McManus's Los Angeles Times prediction suggested that even if Romney wins every state where he leads, is tied or is within 2.5 percent, Obama will still barely pull out a victory.

In McManus's prediction, Romney may win Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire, but Obama will take Ohio, and that will give him the necessary 270 votes.

"Obama wins in a squeaker, with 271 electoral votes to Romney’s 269," McManus predicted. "Even if you give Romney a 2.5 percent bonus above his showing in the polls, Obama still wins."

However, McManus concluded his column with a word of caution.

"How certain am I of that forecast?" he asked. "Not very. Voters retain the ability to surprise."

>> President Barack Obama waives to supporters gathered near the Wisconsin state Capitol, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Madison, Wis.

Karl Rove: 285-253, Romney
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Data, anecdotal and intangible evidence—"from crowd sizes to each side's closing arguments"—suggest the odds favor Romney, Karl Rove wrote at The Wall Street Journal as he predicted a 285-253 win for Romney.

"My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America's 45th president," Rove wrote. "It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney.
He maintains a small but persistent polling edge. As of yesterday afternoon, there had been 31 national surveys in the previous seven days. Mr. Romney led in 19, President Obama in seven, and five were tied."

With Obama's support averaging around 47 percent, that's the number that will matter the most, Rove wrote.

"As the incumbent, he's likely to find that number going into Election Day is a percentage point or so below what he gets," Rove concluded.

>> Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks at a Virginia campaign rally, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at The Patriot Center, George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Jim Cramer: 440-98, Obama
Associated Press

CNBC's Jim Cramer broke from Larry Kudlow's Romney prediction in a big way, suggesting that Obama will win the election, 440-98.

Cramer explained his prediction on Twitter, saying, "It might dawn on people scoffing about my call on the election, but I am basically taking the Over on Obama. Everyone else is too close.

"No one is going to recall the guy who picks Obmaa by 10 electorals if it turns out to be 150 margin. Believe me.

"Plus, one more thing, this election is like the stock maret, eveyrone's long a close race. Eveyrone. So I have to take the other side!!!!"

>> President Barack Obama waves to supporters at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, as he arrives for a campaign stop in Columbus, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.

Alex Castellanos: 300(ish), Romney
Associated Press

CNN's Alex Castellanos revealed his prediction in a tweet, saying, "Time to take a stand. The envelope pl… I'm going against the odds. Romey wins w/ around 300. @CNNOpinion. The silent majorty roars."

He later elaborated on that tweet in a column, predicting a Romney win, and giving a number of reasons why.

"My experience is that polarizing incumbents running against acceptable challengers can count on getting just about exactly what they are getting in the last poll, heading into the election — and no more," Castellanos wrote. "The electoral ceiling over Obama's head is hard. In my view, it is a couple of points too low for him to win re-election."

Even with Obama's four-year head start, endless resources and get-out-the-vote operation, "the thrill of his historic political accomplishment is gone," and "without passion to fuel the machine, a turnout engine is just a collection of bolts," Castellanos wrote.

The "reticent Republican factor" — where voters are hesitant to express their political leanings "because they know the cool kids won't invite them to play," may lead to an unexpected pro-Romney bump on election day, Castellanos predicted.

>> Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to reporters after he took questions on his campaign plane en route from Pittsburgh to Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. At right is senior adviser Kevin Madden.