I was going to try to avoid this, but, is Atrios is brave enough, I suppose all of us wannabe Atrioses should too. So here is my prediction for the election. Sadly, it's essentially the same as Atrios's.
I'll call it for Kerry 51-48 on the popular vote and 284-254 for the Electoral College. In all of the possible scenarios I've tried out 284 is the most common number I get for a Kerry victory.
Like Atrios, the particular scenario I favor is for Kerry to get the Gore states plus New Hampshire and Ohio. As far as switches from the 2000 count, I think New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Iowa are the most at risk for our side (in that order). Kerry can lose Wisconsin or the other two and still win. He cannot lose Wisconsin and either of the others and win.
For Bush, I think Florida, Colorado, and Nevada are the most at risk.
I also think it's more likely that a big shift would favor Kerry than that one would favor Bush. I wouldn't be particularly surprised if Kerry hit 310 in the EC, but I would be surprised if Bush went over 290.
So much for election night; what about the lawsuits and recounts?
I suspect that many of the Republican dirty tricks and rumors of Democratic dirty tricks spread by the mighty Wurlitzer are less aimed at securing an election night victory than in compromising confidence in the election and laying the groundwork for the legal challenges. More simply put, I think Rove is intentionally sowing confusion. It fits with Rove's history. It fits with the new Republican demotion of elections to merely one of many possible paths to power.
Unless Kerry wins by an overwhelming majority, Rove will try to sue his employer's way back into the White House. Naturally, Florida is the most likely state for lawsuits. It would be best for Kerry if he managed a strong Electoral College win that didn't require Florida. But, Florida isn't the only state for lawsuits. I expect major suits in Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and lesser lawsuits in a dozen other states.
Counter-lawsuits can win the election, but the best thing for the future of our democracy and the cause of popular democracy in the world, is for Kerry to win a large and unambiguous victory. The key to that is in the get out the vote effort in the swing states.