NRL News

Presidential race grows closer and closer

by | Oct 31, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

“But this is a horse race, a very close one that can still go either way, and that was not the case before the first debate. The debates—and I would say all three of them—hit a reset button for Romney and put him back into this contest.”
        —  From “If Obama Loses, Blame the Debates,” by Charlie Cook (of the Cook Political Report) in yesterday’s National Journal.

Pro-abortion Barack Obama and Pro-life Mitt Romney

Lots and lots to talk about today with respect to the presidential election with more to follow tonight. In fact there is so much, I’ll try to summarize using bullet points:

·         “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 49% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 47%.”

·         In Virginia, where I live, a Roanoke College Poll finds Romney leading Obama 49% to 44%. Republican George Allen is up five points up over pro-abortion Democrat Tim Kaine (47% – 42%) in the race for the open U.S. Senate seat.  “Employing a more stringent screen for likely voters, increases Romney’s lead to 54 percent to 41 percent and Allen’s lead to 51 percent to 39 percent.” A CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll has Romney down by two, even though he leads among Independents by a whopping 21 points. How?  “Thanks to a D+8 sample that had GOP turnout ten points lower than in 2009 and six points lower than 2008,” according to Ed Morrissey.

·         In the crucial swing state of Ohio, the numbers are all over the place, although Obama is deemed to be ahead. Here’s what Morrissey has to say about Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. “In each of these three states, the CBS/NYT/Q[uinnipiac] poll shows Republicans at a lower percentage level of turnout than in the 2008 election.  If one makes that assumption, it’s not too difficult to guess that Obama might be ahead.  However, that’s exactly the opposite of what all other polls rating enthusiasm are telling us what the electorate will look like on Tuesday.  In fact, it’s not even what this poll shows, with Republican enthusiasm +16 over Democrats in Florida, +14 in Ohio, and +7 in Virginia.”

Here’s what the National Journal Hotline’s Josh Kraushaar  had to say: “But it’s also becoming clear that it’s not just Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin that are looking winnable for Romney–it’s the entire swath of competitive Midwestern and Rust Belt states that share demographic similarities, and where Republicans made significant gains during the 2010 midterms. Obama holds a small lead in Ohio thanks to the auto bailout, but the issues driving the electorate in neighboring states are more favorable to Republicans.”

·         How about Michigan? “Mitt Romney is within striking distance of Barack Obama in Michigan in the final days before the election, buoyed by more who are convinced the Republican is a viable alternative to the president, with the ability to turn around the economy,” the Detroit News reports today. “Obama’s lead over Romney has shrunk to just under 3 points, 47.7 percent to 45 percent, with 3.8 percent undecided, according to a new Detroit News/WDIV Local 4 poll of likely voters. Obama’s lead was 6.7 points earlier this month and has eroded to within the poll’s 4 percentage point margin of error. It’s the smallest advantage for the Democratic president during the Michigan campaign.”

·         How about Pennsylvania? “ A new Franklin and Marshall Poll shows that Republican Mitt Romney is now within striking distance of President Obama in Pennsylvania,” reports Tony Romeo of the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. “Less than a week before election day, the Franklin and Marshall College Poll shows Romney now trailing Obama by just four percentage points among likely Pennsylvania voters – 45-percent to 49-percent, compared to a nine point deficit in a September F&M survey. Poll director Terry Madonna says Romney is closing in, but he may be running out of time. ‘Momentum is with Romney,’ Madonna says. “Four percentage points is still a big hurdle. It is doable for Governor Romney, but very, very difficult.’ Madonna says for the first time all year in the F&M poll, Romney now leads Obama in the category of who can best fix the economy.”

Morrissey, not surprisingly, has a different take. “Finally, let’s take a look at the sample.  The D/R/I in this survey is D+13 at 50/37/11, which tracks fairly closely to party registration but not to turnout.  In 2008, the D/R/I was 44/37/18 in a Democratic wave election, and in 2010 it was 40/37/23.  If the turnout comes closer to 2010 with these internals, Obama may be in bigger trouble than this poll indicates.”

More later today.

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Categories: Politics