Yesterday wasn’t a good day for Mitt Romney’s campaign. Polls conducted CBS, The New York Times, and Quinnipiac showing his campaign trailing in three must-win, swing states, meaning that an Electoral College victory remains out of reach. Others have noted that the polls don’t make much sense because — in Virginia, for example — Romney leads among independents by such a wide margin.
Ed Morrissey also points out that enthusiasm is on the side of Republicans in the CBS/NYT/Qunnipiac poll, which he says spells bad news for Obama. With enthusiasm on their side and signs pointing to voter turnout being down this year, Republicans could squeek out an expected victory. But with the campaigns concentrating on their ground games in states like Ohio and Virginia, it’s hard to see how voter turnout won’t be up at least in those states.
With six days left to go until the election, national polls continue to show a tight race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Each campaign is working hard, despite a lull due to Hurricane Sandy, to reach out to voters who remain on the fence.
But which campaign has momentum in their corner? Romney’s seen a surge in polls in recent weeks, but he has some numbers on his side. According to a Gallup poll released on Monday, Romney has a 7-point advantage over Obama in early voting. Additionally, a survey released yesterday by NPR found that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting than Democrats.
So what are Republicans relying on to win? According to the Washington Examiner, Republicans believe that Democrats are spending their resources turning out their most reliable voters, leaving election day to focus on everyone else:
Independent voters are the key to this presidential election. There is little doubt about that. Mitt Romney is already doing well in swing states with these crucial voting bloc, and, as Chris Cillizza recently explained at the Washington Post, may ride them to victory over President Barack Obama:
In the last three releases of the tracking poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, Obama has trailed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among independent voters by between 16 and 20 percentage points.
That’s a striking reversal from 2008, when Obama won independent voters, who made up 29 percent of the electorate, by eight points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
So, what gives? Why is Obama — at least according to the Post-ABC data — having so much trouble with independents?
The answer lies in the fact that most independents are not, well, independent. Of all the likely voters who called themselves independents in nine days of the Post-ABC tracking poll, fully three-quarters (75 percent) — said they tend to lean toward one party or the other. (The remainder are known as “pure” independents.)
And it’s among those shadow partisans that Obama is struggling. Ninety-two percent of Republican-leaning independents said they plan to support Romney, while 84 percent of Democratic-leaning independents are backing Obama.
It’s generally thought that Republicans will not take the Senate this year, despite going up against many vulnerable and unpopular Democrats. The reasons are a mix of gaffe prone candidates and having to run against incumbent Democrats in swing states where President Barack Obama’s campaign is actively competing. But Aaron Blake noted on Friday that there is still a path for the GOP to take control of the Senate:
With six seats listed as “toss-ups” in the latest Fix rankings, a split of those seats would lead to the exact same 53-to-47 Democratic majority that we have today. And for a Republican Party that had designs on regaining the majority, that would certainly be a disappointment.
But with 11 days to go, Republicans also continue to have a very real shot at winning that majority. And that’s because they have something that Democrats don’t: Lots of opportunity.
While the map hasn’t exactly trended in the GOP’s favor in recent months when it comes to the top races (Indiana, Massachusetts and Missouri, in particular), Republicans continue to have plausible opportunities to win in a huge amount of seats that we currently rate as “lean Democratic.”
Recent polls have shown GOP candidates within striking distance — though still trailing — in a bunch of “lean Democratic” states: Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Shortly after publishing this morning’s Electoral Vote overview, Rasmussen released a new poll out of Ohio showing Mitt Romney with a slight lead — though within the margin of error — over President Barack Obama. It’s the only survey showing Romney with a lead since almost mid-October and the only one out of the last 10.
So here is a look at the last six polls out of Ohio, including Rasmussen’s latest. Keep in mind that the D/R/I split out of Ohio in 2008 was 39/31/30.
With eight days to go until election day, both campaigns are hitting swing states hard to get every last vote. Polls in Colorado are showing a tilt back toward President Obama, but Romney is gaining ground in Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
In this look at the Electoral College, you can see that President Obama has increased his lead over Romney to 290-248. Last week, Romney trailed 281-257, with the change, as noted above, coming from Colorado:
While Romney is showing gain in some swing states, his campaign has been put in precarious position because, with the current Electoral College outlook, even if they pickup just Ohio, they’re still short of the 270 needed to win. Now, if they pickup Ohio plus any one of the other swing state, he wins.
There is still a path to victory without Ohio. Romney could win Colorado, Iowa, and Wisconsin and win, 273-265. But as has been explained before, no Republican has ever won the election without taking Ohio.
Here is a look at polls from five swing states. Included off to the side, you’ll find the party split from the 2008 exit polls, which will give you an idea of how each pollster is measuring the state. All polls are provided via Real Clear Politics.
Colorado (2008 D/R/I: 30/31/39)
On the final day of the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood turned his speech into a humorous, but also odd, conversation with “Barack Obama,” an empty chair on stage beside him. Eastwood overshadowed Mitt Romney’s night, but the “empty chair” reference to Obama was adopted by many Republicans and meme became a hit on social media sites.
While he hasn’t had huge role in Romney’s campaign, Eastwood is back on the political scene in a new, 30-second ad for American Crossroads, which is spending heavily in swing states. This particular ad is part of the pro-Romney super PAC’s $12.6 million ad buy across seven swing states.
Talking over video of closed manufacturing plant, presumably unemployed Americans, and containers with Chinese written on the side being unloaded off a cargo ship, Eastwood explains, “In the last few years, America has been knocked down. Twenty-three million can’t find full-time work. And we borrow $4 billion every single day, much of it from China.”
As the video cuts to President Obama getting on Air Force One, Eastwood says, “If someone doesn’t get the job done, you gotta hold ’em accountable,” adding, “Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first an our country couldn’t survive that.”
Eastwood closes by pitching Romney, explaining, “There’s not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake.”
You can view the ad below:
With exactly two weeks until election day, we’re keeping track of any change in the Electoral College. With that, Monday brought some good and bad news for Mitt Romney.
Let’s start with the bad news. While Republicans were excited to see a polling out of New Hamsphire showing Romney ahead, a new poll from University of New Hampshire (UNH) shows President Barack Obama with a 9-point lead, shift the state back into his column, according to Real Clear Politics. It should be noted that this poll seems to be, well, out there when compared to everything else coming out of New Hampshire.
In fact, UNH polls, in the past done in coordination with WMUR*, have generally shown a big lead for Obama, while Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling have both had either Romney or Obama up by 1-point in the last week. Suffolk University had the race for the state’s four electoral votes in a tie last week. Needless to say, UNH is an outlier at this point. But for sake of argument, let’s throw New Hampshire back to Obama for a moment.
The good news for Romney is that a new Suffolk University poll out of Ohio shows a dead-heat for the Buckeye State’s 18 electoral votes. Public Policy Policy also released a survey out of the state over the weekend showing Obama up by 1-point. Keep in mind that no Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio, so the importance of this state cannot be overstated. There simply is no path to victory for Romney without victory here.
This morning we ran through the current electoral vote count and what states were currently in play for both candidates. Some may be wondering what factors are driving the race right as Mitt Romney looks to be making substantial gains in swing states. Perhaps the most important voting bloc helping Romney in these important states is independents, as Christian Heinze notes over at The Hill:
a. Colorado = Obama won by 10% with indies in 2008.
b. Florida = Obama won by 9% with indies in 2008.
Written by K. William Watson, a trade policy analyst for the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. It is cross-posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
With all the China bashing we’re hearing on the campaign trail and the arguments from both candidates that free trade agreements are good only because they increase manufacturing exports, one might reasonably deduce that free trade advocacy is a thing of the past and a losing position with the American people. If this is true, many in Congress haven’t gotten the memo. The House and Senate are home to many free traders. You can see for yourself by visiting Cato’s interactive trade votes database, Free Trade, Free Markets: Rating the Congress.
The Cato Institute has been keeping track of how Congress votes on trade issues since 1997. At the website you can see reports summarizing the votes for each congressional term. There is no report for last term (2009–2010) because Congress was too busy dealing with healthcare and Keynesian stimulus to take on trade issues, but the last two years have seen votes on free trade agreements, Chinese currency and subsidies, export finance, and sugar price controls. We’ll have a report after the current term ends on what all these votes mean for the freedom of Americans to interact with foreigners and on what to expect in the next two years.