Their strategy: lock up the 179 electoral votes in the states carried by Sen. John McCain in 2008. Add Indiana’s 11, the easiest pickup from 2008. Count on the gay marriage issue to win North Carolina’s 15. Don’t let South Florida count him out in the Sunshine State, which has 29. Add Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin for 259.

Under this scenario, Romney can get elected with either Ohio or Virginia, which has 13. If he loses both of those but carries Nevada, which has 6, and New Hampshire, which has 4, it will be a tie.

It is a long shot indeed, but don’t blame Team Romney for being incompetent. Between 1996 and 2008, four Democratic candidates combined to win the popular vote — unprecedented for the party. Obama won 52.9 percent of the vote: Only two incumbents have been defeated who won higher percentages. The fact is at the presidential level, we’re in a Democratic era. Yet against the odds, Romney remains in the game.