By Dave Andrusko
“Put simply: Ohio today has much more in common with Iowa, Florida, New Hampshire and Virginia (all ‘tossups’ in the Fix rankings) than it does with New Mexico and Minnesota (‘lean Obama’ states in the Fix rankings).” — From “Ohio moves back into the ‘tossup’ category on Fix electoral map,” by Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake, writing for the Washington Post’s “The Fix” political blog.
As we approach the November 6 elections, the overviews of what the polls are telling us will necessarily be a little longer. But by and large the results are very encouraging, so I would ask you to plow through this post and forward it using your social networks.
Rasmussen has Mitt Romney up by 2 points, 49% to 47%.
Gallup had Romney up by 5 points (51% to 46%) but suspended its polling because of the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Gallup will produce new numbers today.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll (as of this morning) has Romney and Obama tied at 49%.
The Pew Research Center has the two men tied at 47%. (More about Pew below.)
Of course, the real news is about what is happening in so-called “swing states” and, of late, states that many pollsters had assumed were safely in Obama’s column. That and what early voting may be telling us.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal reports that “In Wisconsin, the president edges Romney by three points, 49 percent to 46 percent, which is within the survey’s margin of error. That’s also down from Obama’s six-point lead earlier this month.” Obama is up 49% to 47% in New Hampshire. (Rasmussen has Romney up one in Iowa and tied in Wisconsin.)
In Iowa, while the NBC News/Wall Street Journal has Obama up six points, the University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll finds that Romney leads by slightly less than one point!
Here are a couple of other very significant findings.
Reuters reports that “Beyond debate, Pennsylvania’s in play.” A new survey from the Franklin and Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research finds that Obama’s lead has dwindled from 11 points to 4 points.
- The two latest polls in Virginia find Romney up by five in one and Obama up by 2 points in the other (CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University) based on a lot of questionable assumptions.
- The conventional wisdom was that in early voting, Obama would easily outdistance Romney. Two respected polls show otherwise. Earlier this week (prior to Hurricane Sandy), Gallup found that Romney was ahead by about six points. Last night the Pew Research Center reported, “Unlike the last campaign, the race also is close among voters who say they have already voted. In the poll, conducted Oct. 24-28, 19% of likely voters say they have already voted; that is unchanged from the same week in the 2008 campaign (Oct. 23-26, 2008).Currently, Romney holds a seven-point edge among early voters (50% to 43%); because of the small sample, this lead is not statistically significant. At this point four years ago, Obama led John McCain by 19 points (53% to 34%) among early voters.”
- One other item, from the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger. Like many, he traced the arc of the turnabout for Mr. Romney back to his excellent first debate performance. However he ties together two truths that have received scant attention: the Evangelical vote, more specifically, the huge numbers who voted in 2004 who didn’t vote in 2008; and the underreported resistance to the Obama mandate on the part of non-Catholic institutions.
Based on an interview with Ralph Reed, the president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Henninger writes, “Mr. Reed notes that in several opinion polls—NBC, Pew and ABC—the percentage of evangelicals claiming to support Mr. Romney has been in the mid-70s. ‘We estimate that in 2008 there were 350,000 evangelicals who didn’t vote in Ohio,’ Mr. Reed says. ‘Obama carried the state by 260,000.’ If that support of 70% or more holds for Mr. Romney in Ohio, and if the share of the evangelical vote increases by a point or two, then the challenger could carry the Buckeye State.”
Henninger also quotes the president of Ohio Christian University, Mark A. Smith, who said, “The intensity of voters in the faith community is as high as I’ve seen it in the last 12 years.” The driver of that intensity is religious liberty. “We took a direct hit with the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare],” he says. Evangelicals watched the Obama administration’s big public fight with Catholic hospitals and charities. What they concluded is that the health-care law was a direct threat to their own private outreach programs.”
Stay tuned. We have another update early this evening.
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