From another reader, on the possible motives of strategists like Rove:
I, personally, absolutely believe [that the "Romney will win!" theme] is a de-legitimizing strategy for one simple reason: this is so strangely out of touch (more so than usual) and the people leading it are not the base conservative voter. Rove knows exactly how likely Romney is to lose. And yet the gonzo 'up is down' talk is only growing.
Another aspect of the deligitimation depends on how close the states are. One can expect legal challenges if the vote is close. I think this push to portray Obama as having zero chance is laying the groundwork. At minimum it works to keep constituents of Republicans in Congress from tolerating any compromises in the event of an Obama re-election because they will have a reinforced sense of being robbed (which they have had about Mr. Kenya his whole presidency)....
You might think, what is the point of a challenge that is almost certain to lose if the probabilities hold? Not because Rove and his ilk could sue for the Presidency. It is that a prolonged legal post-election fight would firmly cement the illegitimacy of Obama.... If it is truly close in the right states, I would not be the least bit surprised in a loud, obnoxious, quixotic legal fight to put an exclamation point on the Right's refusal to accept Obama as the real president.
The only upside to that might be that Obama finally learns he cannot work with these people. He can only outmaneuver them.
As for your reader who sees this as an attempt to "de-legitimize an Obama win," I think that is dead-on, and it concerns me greatly. The GOP has lost wedge issues, so now they must create wedge identities.
To end on a cheerier note, Jason Paur of Wired has reminded me that it's not really right to say that a tossed coin has a 50 percent probability of coming up heads. If you'd like to know why, check it out a scientific paper here. (Short version: for mechanical reasons, a coin that starts out heads when you flip it has a slightly >50 percent chance of coming up heads when it lands.)
And a Canadian reader has north-of-the-border wisdom on the whole concept of 50-50 probabilities. It's from a beloved Canadian sitcom Corner Gas, set in the imagined Saskatchewan village of Dog River. The relevant part starts around time 4:20, which you can see below or go to directly with this link: