swing states

Electoral Vote: Romney still trailing Obama in campaign’s final hours

Obama and Romney debate

We’re coming down to the final hours of this electoral cycle. By late Tuesday night or perhaps even Wednesday morning, we’ll know whether voters will trust President Barack Obama with another term in office or if they’ll elect a different direction with Mitt Romney.

National polls are showing an incredibly close race, but those polls mean little when it comes down it. And though there are are many states considered to be part of the electoral battleground, those that will determine the election — Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia — were made clear weeks ago. Early voting is considered to be a key part of success either candidate hopes to have in these states. And while it appears that Obama has a lead over Romney in early voting, Molly Ball reports that Republicans are performing better at this aspect of the election than they did four years ago.

Electoral Vote: Romney making gains in swing states thanks to debate

Romney

It’s been a while since we’ve looked at the Electoral College, which is what really matters in the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Many Republicans keep pointing to national polls showing Romney either gaining on or leading Obama. This may be an important sign, but it’s very important to remember that the popular vote means nothing when looking at the presidential race.

Romney’s strong debate performance on Wednesday has given a boost to his mistake-ridden campaign, but as of now, the presidential race really boils down to four states — Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia — representing 69 electoral votes.

According to Real Clear Politics averages, Romney is tied with Obama in Colorado and Florida and less that 1-point down in Virginia. However, Romney still trails by 3 points in Ohio. Say what you want about other swing states, but Romney has to run the table in the four states to win next month.

GOP Presidential Power Rankings

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted the GOP Presidential Power Rankings. Honestly, I needed a break from the race. But with the first votes being cast on January 3rd in Iowa, we need to crank it up again.

The News

The Rankings

Republicans cry foul at swing state polls

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.

Romney maintaining big lead among independent voters

Romney

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.

Electoral Vote: Colorado drifts back to Obama, Romney closing gap in Ohio

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:

Electoral Vote for October 29th

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)

Clint Eastwood returns in new ad for American Crossroads

Clint Eastwood

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:

Independents in swing states key to a potential Romney win

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:

Below, I’ve listed polls showing where the race is with indies, currently (based on polls where pollsters have made partisan breakdowns available).

a. Colorado = Obama won by 10% with indies in 2008.

Most recent polls: Romney +4%, Obama +1%, Romney +4%

b. Florida = Obama won by 9% with indies in 2008.

American Crossroads launches $11 million push in swing states

Barack Obama

With the election now under three weeks away, outside groups are pouring money into swing states that could tip the presidential election. American Crossroads, a “super PAC” co-founded by Karl Rove which has already spent millions in toss-up Senate races, has launched an $11 million ad buy in eight swing states — including Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, hoping to help defeat President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election.

The ad kicks off with President Obama, shown on a television inside a kitchen, talking, but quickly fades into a larger shot of a woman who begins asking questions about the lack of jobs, more national debt, and diminished family income under his administration:

Electoral Vote: Romney surges in swing state polls

On Monday, Mitt Romney was down in the electoral vote count by 126 votes, but new polls have been reported out of all important swing states that have completely turned the race for the White House on its head.

It may just be a blip thanks to his strong performance last week — what Gallup says is biggest debate win ever, but if you’re working for President Obama right now, you’re no doubt in a panic. According to the latest Real Clear Politics averages out of swing states, Romney now holds slight leads in Colorado and Florida. He’s down by less than a point in Ohio and Virginia.

There are also reports that Romney’s campaign has closed the early voter gap in a few important states and, playing to his advantage, polling out of swing states shows that Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats.


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