More encouraging polling news on Monday

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Mitt Romney

I come from Minnesota and once interviewed the editor of the largest and most influential local newspaper—the [Minneapolis] Star & Tribune–about how in the world their poll could have found the eventual winner of a senatorial race hopelessly behind the weekend before the election. That interview was an exercise in evasion. But just as it was no secret then, it is no secret now that the paper’s polling is hugely tilted in a direction favorable to Democrats.

What to say, then, about a poll released Sunday that found pro-abortion President Barack Obama just three points ahead of pro-life Mitt Romney (47% to 44%) in a state that has not gone for the Republican presidential nominee since forever?

Or that two recent polls have Mr. Romney up by a point in Colorado?

Or that even the state of Pennsylvania may not be out of reach? (There was a report that a super PAC had made a $2 million ad buy promoting Romney across Pennsylvania.)

We talked briefly this morning about how the latest Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has Romney and Obama tied at 47%.  What we didn’t mention are two important factors. The first is turnout.

“As in many previous elections, turnout measures appear to favor the Republican candidate. In the poll, more of Mitt Romney’s than Barack Obama’s supporters say they are highly engaged and certain to vote. By a four-point margin, Romney supporters say they have given a lot of thought to the election (82% vs. 78%). Similarly, 66% of those voting for Romney say they have been following the campaign very closely. Fewer of Obama’s supporters (60%) say this. And 88% of Romney supporters say they will definitely vote, compared with 83% for the president.”

The second is improved favorability ratings:

“Romney’s personal image has improved substantially since the summer, and his favorability rating among registered voters (50%) is now about the same as Obama’s (52%).

As we’ve talked about many times, the real “firewall” for President Obama was his hefty lead in the favorability question. That advantage is gone!