All this hand-wringing over the national poll numbers is misplaced. Watch the swing state numbers, and especially, watch Ohio.

Like every other junkie, I’ve been checking 538 every day, but I noticed something for the first time yesterday: based on their models, McSame has less than a 1% chance of winning the election without winning Ohio.

That’s right — it’s practically impossible for McSame to lose Ohio and win the election.

Why?

The simple fact is, there’s just not that many big red states. If you put Ohio in the blue column, McSame has to pull an upset in Michigan, where he currently trails by 7 while simultaneously holding Obama off in Virginia (where he’s down 1), Nevada (up 2), Montana (down 3) and Colorado (down 2).

Failing that, he’d have to cobble together a whole series of upsets, like New Mexico (where he’s down 5), Minnesota (down 7) and Iowa (down 5). But even then, that would also mean that McSame would have to win just about every state where Obama’s pushing him — states like Colorado, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

There’s a handy electoral college map simulator here. See for yourself.

The whole thing’s going to come down to Ohio, again. It’s a big union state that gave Bush the election by about 100,000 votes in 2004. Rove’s secret weapon that year was a same-sex marriage ban initiative which helped drive social conservative turnout, and tipped the scales to Bush and the GOP.

Ohio had serious buyer’s remorse, because in 2006, they promptly kicked out every major Republican office holder in the state and elected a Democratic governor and senator.

Latest polls show Obama with a 2-point lead. If you live in Ohio, you know what to do.