By Dave Andrusko
“That’s a pretty disastrous six-point net swing in just a week, and the first time we’ve ever had Romney in the lead. It is in line with all other national polling showing Romney making gains in the wake of his debate performance last week.” — From the Daily Kos, reporting on a poll it commissioned that found pro-life Mitt Romney ahead of pro-abortion President Obama, 49% to 47%, among likely voters.
In its own way, the result from Daily Kos is even more significant than yesterday’s much-discussed finding from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press that Romney is ahead of Obama by four points among likely voters–49% to 45%–after trailing by eight points last month. The Daily Kos is wildly pro-Obama, and counts it a day wasted when it hasn’t clobbered Romney umpteen times. And the firm it used—Public Policy Polling—is known as a Democratic firm.
By way of summary, the Daily Kos writes
“So where did Romney gain? Among women, Obama went from a 15-point lead to a slimmer 51-45 edge. Meanwhile, Romney went from winning independents 44-41 to winning them 48-42. And just like the Ipsos poll showed last week, Romney further consolidated his base. They went from supporting him 85-13 last week, to 87-11 this week while Obama lost some Democrats, going from 88-9 last week, to 87-11 this week.”
Two days out from the debate between pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden and pro-life Republican Paul Ryan, what else can be said about the sudden cascade of polls all showing incredible Romney momentum? Let me cite five items.
#1. Pew had Romney and Obama evenly divided with respect to female voters—47% to 47 (Obama was up a whopping 18 points last month!); Romney is up eight among men. PPP has Obama up 6 among women but down twelve among men. (BTW: “Romney’s winning every income demographic except those making less than $30,000 a year, in which he’s only down by 15 points,” according to Ed Morrissey.).
#2. The PPP/Daily Kos survey finds Romney up six among Independents (he was up three the last time PPP polled for the Daily Kos). Pew has him up four.
#3. Just about everybody has Romney rapidly closing—or ahead—in swing states. One report has a dead heat in Ohio, Romney within two in Wisconsin, and three in Pennsylvania, for example. PPP/Daily Kos has Romney up 5 (51% to 46%).
Overall in eleven swing states Rasmussen finds Romney ahead 49% to 47%. Rasmussen, as it always does, also broke out the individual state numbers as well:
“In Colorado and Ohio, Obama leads by a point. In Iowa and Nevada, the president is up two. He now leads by three in Wisconsin and has jumped to double-digit leads in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Romney leads by one in Virginia and two in Florida. He’s ahead by three in Missouri, North Carolina and New Hampshire.”
#4. What is clear is that the American people are warming to Romney. In Pew’s survey, his favorable rating “hit 50% among registered voters for the first time in Pew Research Center surveys and has risen five points since September.” What about the same question for the President? “Obama’s personal favorability rating has fallen from 55% to 49%.” On the PPP/Daily Kos survey, Obama’s favorables were 49% versus 48% unfavorable. For Romney 45% had a favorable opinion, versus 50% unfavorable.
#5. Then there’s the all-important intensity factor. The Daily Kos writes
“Several other polls, Pew chief among them, saw a big increase in the number of respondents self-identifying as Republicans—a sign of increased intensity on that side of the aisle. Our poll confirms that intensity boost. Last week, 65 percent of conservatives were ‘very excited’ about voting this year. This week, it’s 74 percent. That’s a significant shift. Liberals also gained, but only marginally so, from 68 to 70 percent.”
Putting “very excited” another way, Republicans were behind 3 points (68 to 65) but are now up 4 points (74 to 70).
All this goes back to a point that NBC’s Chuck Todd made on “Meet the Press” Sunday talking about the “enthusiasm gap”: it didn’t start with the debate, although (and this is my conclusion) the President’s bored and grumpy persona in Denver served to accelerate the momentum which was already heading in Mr. Romney’s direction.
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