By Dave Andrusko
It’s Friday, November 2—four days from Election Day. I suppose that some folks may have thought the presidential election would be a blow-out, but most anticipated exactly what we have: a nail-bitter. What can we say, based on polling data, what we know about how hard our folks are working, and intuition?
Nationally, Rasmussen reports a dead heat: 48% for pro-life Mitt Romney, 48% for pro-abortion President Barack Obama. Ditto for the Washington Post/ABC News. And the Washington Times/Zogby Poll also the two men deadlocked but at 49%. Gallup has not conducted national polls, because of the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Its last survey found Mr. Romney up 51% to 46%.
[Editor’s note. Just as I was about to post this story, the latest results from the Washington Post/ABC News were released. The significance is not the Mr. Romney is ahead 49% to 48%–that’s gone back and forth for days.
But there are three far more important findings. “Fifty-five percent of likely voters say things are on the wrong track; 43 percent see things as heading in the right direction,” awful news for the President, especially in light of “Voters who see things as off course side with Romney by an enormous margin, 85 to 11 percent. Those who have a positive assessment of the country’s direction overwhelmingly support the president, 93 to 4 percent.”
In addition, 50% approve of the President’s performance to 49% who disapprove, precarious territory for an incumbent.
But most important, 50% say they trust Romney to do a better job handling the economy, compared to 46 for the President.]
After that the discussion is all about (1) states Romney is actively competing in that were once thought out of reach; (2) the “swing states,” particularly Ohio; and (3) which party is ahead in early voting and enthusiasm. Here we go.
According to Rasmussen, Romney is ahead in Colorado, 50% to 47%; in Iowa by one point (49% to 48%); and tied in Wisconsin (49%). “The latest Ohio Poll suggests the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney may be headed for a photo finish in Ohio.” That poll found Obama up two points while a consortium of Ohio newspapers found Romney and Obama tied at 49%.
- Mr. Romney is competing in a number of states heretofore off the radar, including Pennsylvania. The New York Times (of all publications) caught the excitement: “But there is a tangible sense — seen in Romney yard signs on the expansive lawns of homes in the well-heeled suburbs, and heard in the excited voices of Republican mothers who make phone calls to voters in their spare time — that the race is tilting toward Mr. Romney. If ever there were a place where a last-ditch torrent of money could move the needle, this is it. For the last couple of months, there has been a void of presidential ads in Pennsylvania. So when Republican strategists looked for places where their money could go the furthest, they set their sights here, reasoning that a dollar spent in Erie or Altoona would have a greater impact than in a place like Las Vegas or Cleveland, where political commercials have clogged the airwaves.”
- Getting back to the Buckeye state, Ohio is nothing if not fascinating. Here’s how the National Journal’s Ronald Brownstein puts it: “For the first time in memory, it is the Democratic, not the Republican nominee, counting on Ohio as his firewall in an achingly close campaign. Republicans almost always have viewed Ohio as a linchpin in their race to 270 Electoral College votes. This year, holding Ohio is the centerpiece of President Obama’s strategy for repulsing the surging challenge from Republican Mitt Romney.”
- Speaking of swing states, the liberal “Third Way” has produced a fascinating new study which challenges a lot of assumptions. “While many pollsters — like CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac and PPP, just to name two — assume that the electorate model for Tuesday will be similar to 2008, the Third Way study on partisan registration in eight states shows something very, very different,” writes Ed Morrissey. “In each of these states, Democratic registration has trailed that of independents and Republicans by significant amounts — and in six of the eight states, Democratic registration has declined, sometimes dramatically.” This fits squarely into Gallup’s underreported finding that the Democrats’ 10 point advantage in partisan affiliation has vanished; Republicans are now up by one point.
- And then there is early voting, which, until recently, everyone assumed would be heavily skewed in favor of Democrats. “With both parties spinning early-vote totals, here’s the bottom line: Republicans are significantly improving on 2008 in several big early-voting states,” writes Molly Ball of The Atlantic.
Finally, two all-important considerations. First, Mr. Romney’s lead among Independents is clear. “Romney has more than a 10-point lead among Independents nationally and in most key swing states,” according to Steve Lombardo. Second, last Monday Pew reported a 14 point turnout advantage for Republicans (76% of Republicans said they were likely to vote to 62% of Democrats).
Don’t forget NRLC has produced an invaluable resource for you available online: “Still Have Undecided Pro-Life Friends This Election? Click on the Link to Your State and See Which Candidates Support Your Pro-Life Values.” You can find it—and pass it along to your pro-life friends—at www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/11/still-have-undecided-pro-life-friends-this-election-click-on-the-link-to-your-state-and-see-which-candidates-support-your-pro-life-values.
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