National and state polls continue to show the future ex-President with a slight lead in key areas. A few points up in OH, VA, WI, NH, and others pointing to Obama running away in PA, MI, and IA. Nationally he maintains a 2-3 point lead in most polls. Governor Romney has flipped the map, but not enough it would appear. Looks like we get four more years of "Forward".
As I write this I'm watching president "#Sandy" making a speech in Madison, WI. Now I'm certainly not the first to comment on this, and certainly won't be the last, but think about what's wrong with this picture. With apologies to some good folks there, with less than 24 hours before the election, the incumbent Democrat is speaking in The People's Republic of Madison. That's just not right. As Shakesbeard said, "Something is rotten in Denmark."
Today, President Obama goes to Iowa in addition to Wisconsin (in addition to Ohio). President Emeritus Bill Clinton is in Pennsylvania. Romney, on the other hand, is in Florida, Ohio, Virgina, and New Hampshire - all states won by Obama in 2008. It could even be argued that Romney in FL and VA is more about securing support for Connie Mack and George Allen's respective Senate campaigns. Seems like Obama's prevent defense keeps moving further and further down the field.
So what's with the polls? Well, as has been well documented, many polling firms are utilizing turnout models closer to 2008 than 2010. The truth likely lies somewhere in between. I'm not so foolish as to believe that Republicans will have a turnout percentage like 2010. The intensity is there, but with an iconic liberal candidate at the top of a national ticket, Democrats will be able to turn out their base to a greater degree than in the midterms.
However, Republicans have a national candidate too. And unlike 2008, Governor Romney has done a good job securing the conservative base as compared to Senator McCain in 208. The Tea Party may not be as "expressed" as in 2010, but let's remember that it didn't exist in 2008.
So CNN uses a +11 Democrat model and tells us the national race is tied. Pew uses a +6 Democrat model to put Obama up by a three. These effect the RCP Average, which has become a kind of bellweather for predicting the outcome of elections (Well, that and the Magical Nate Silver). So with such high instances of skewing to Democrats the best CNN and Pew can get Obama to is tied and +3, respectively, well, that just goes to show how much trouble the administration is in.
Fact is, Florida and Virginia are gone. Indiana and North Carolina have been gone for about a year. The race is now being ran in blue states - a great advantage for Romney. Yes, I continue to be worried about Ohio. The administration spent a great deal of the past four years POURING money into the state in a calculated electoral strategy (ask folks in WV, MS, and GA about this . . . ). The result in an economy slightly better than the rest of the nation (notice I didn't say "good") and somewhat of a "firewall." Scott Rasmussen released his last election poll today (Rasmussen is one of the more trustworthy ones) showing support all knotted up at 49%. In early voting, the "secret weapon" of the Democratic machine, Obama leads Romney big 60% - 37%.
This is great news for Romney. Consider:
- Republicans always way out perform Democrats on election day. There's a lot of speculation that all the early voting mobilization are not really creating any new votes, merely shifting when the votes come in. Plus, the overall early voting total for Obama is down from 2008. Next to impossible to believe that Romney's total will not far and away eclipse what Sen. McCain mobilized.
- Romney is killing Obama among independents. The same CNN poll that oversampled D's by 11 points has Romney up 59% - 35% with indys. Granted this is national number and not a state number, but it is consistent with what we're seeing across the board. Should Romney win Independents by 5+ in Ohio, he's got the state. That doesn't just seem realistic, it seems likely.
- Romney doesn't need Ohio. Obama does. It's practically heresy to prognosticate that any Republican has a path to the White House that doesn't run through a state that's High in the Middle and Round on Both Ends. And that makes sense when you consider NO Republican has ever done it, and the last candidate to win the presidency without Ohio was JFK. But look at the math. Obama has lost: Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia (Obama's head fake), NE-1, and Colorado. They may very well have lost Iowa and likely New Hampshire. And there, looming in the back of the shadows like a monstrous Super Quaker eating nuclear-powered oatmeal, is Pennsylvania. TribLive poll has the race knotted as of yesterday. If Romney pulls out Pennsylvania - New Hampshire and Colorado become luxuries. With Pennsylvania and one of these others, Ohio becomes a luxury. There is no conceivable path by which the Obama Administration can count Ohio in the "would be nice but . . ." column.
Pennsylvania by be a long shot, but its not THAT long. Romney will get closer to Obama in Pennsylvania than will Obama to Romney in Florida. And if the PA polls are oversampling Dems like many national polls have been, well, I think we all know what that means. A better America.
Take heart, don't pay too much attention to polls until you look at their internals. We're not a +11 or +6 Democrat nation. Not in 2012, at least.