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the electoral college appears to favor Democrats. A tie or small Romney win in the national popular vote, for instance, would have more likely than not equated to an Obama win

Do you remember the year 2000 at all?

Yes, having been involved in it. Key phrase in my comment: the United States in its current configuration. Which is true: in Nate Silver's models, for instance, the probability that Obama would win the EC was always a good bit higher than the probability he would win the popular vote. He ended up winning both, but it needn't be so.

It comes down to the fact that anti-Obama voters were wasted in very red states that Romney had zero chance of losing, while Obama's popular support was better distributed among both blue and swing states.

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