A CLOSE ELECTION?….Megan McArdle says today:

Leery though I am of predictions, I’m going to make one anyway: we aren’t going to have vote trouble in Florida. We’ve worried about it so extensively and publicly that I feel it’s inevitable that our much hyped fears will fizzle on election day.

I think she’s right, but not for the cited reason. In fact, Florida seems to be in remarkably messy shape right now, especially for a state that knows it’s under a microscope.

Still, every state has election snafus, which go on to become world famous only if they happen to tip an important election. And what are the odds that Florida’s vote is going to be within 0.01% for two elections is a row? Or that the electoral vote will be so close that one state decides the election in the first place?

As to the first: pretty slim. But as to the second, I have definitely not bought into the theory that the election this year is going to be a landslide. (Chuck Todd makes the case that it will be in the May issue of the Monthly.) In fact, at the moment my prediction ? worth every penny you pay for it, of course ? is that Kerry will win with 272 electoral votes. In other words, every single state will decide the election. And whichever one has the closest result will likely be the site of yet another Armageddon-like fight to the finish.

So which will it be? Iowa? New Mexico? The hardy individualists of New Hampshire? Beats me. And I hope I’m wrong. But somehow I won’t be surprised if I wake up November 3rd to learn that Des Moines or Santa Fe is the new media capital of the universe.