Eric Odom, Liberty News Network
There is a ton of data to look at, but I want to make two things abundantly clear before we get in to the guts of what’s going on across the political landscape today.
First, while the information I am about to share provides much room for optimism within the right, I ask that conservatives use caution and approach this election as the uphill battle that it still really is. As a Chicagoan who just moved to Virginia, I am all too familiar with Obama’s style of gutter politics and “anything goes” strategy of last minute political bombshells. The machine that fully controls Chicago, and as a result… Illinois, is incredibly powerful. The same style of machine has been replicated to operate the executive branch in Washington.
Do not for a second believe Obama and his ilk in D.C. will let this thing slide without a fight of epic proportion.
Second, polling data is incredibly fragile. I place national polls at the very low end of importance on the actual outcome of an election because of the electoral college. No offense to the good folks of Texas and Georgia, but your answer to a phone survey really doesn’t tell us much of anything about what will happen in Ohio or Iowa. Battleground state polls can be telling, but even then we have no way possible of knowing who will actually show up at the polls on election day. There are two entities who have a decent idea… the DNC and the RNC, and they certainly aren’t going to announce their ID data any time soon.
What polls can show us, if performed correctly, is shifts in momentum/enthusiasm among the electorate.
THE DEVASTATION REVEALED
With these two thoughts in mind, let’s now explore the absolutely devastating picture Barack Obama’s campaign is currently stuck with. We’ll start with a column by liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan.
The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead. That’s a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama’s performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.
Romney’s favorables are above Obama’s now. Yes, you read that right. Romney’s favorables are higher than Obama’s right now. That gender gap that was Obama’s firewall? Over in one night
For the record, Sullivan is a lefty hack and a huge cheerleader for Obama. He isn’t going to come out with a column at the Daily Beast like this unless he sincerely sees room for significant concern. Is there room for concern among the left? Absolutely… and it’s not just PEW. In fact, it’s global within the polling industry.
On a national scale Obama has problems at Gallup and Rasmussen, two polls he has traditionally held a lead in for the past year. At Gallup Obama now trails by 2%. With Rasmussen he’s tied, but tanking among independent and women voters. Obama also finds himself sliding into a tie at Washington Times/Zogby, he’s tanking in the American Research Group poll, and can’t even pull out a win in a skewed lefty poll paid for by Daily KOS!
As previously mentioned, however, these are national polls and they don’t tell us a lot about what might happen in battleground states. But Obama’s camp may not want to look at battleground polls if they’re seeking information that could lead to optimism. The news locally is no better.
BATTLEGROUND STATES – MICHIGAN & PENNSYLVANIA
Michigan and Pennsylvania have, for some time now, been written off and assumed as Obama territory. Romney had initially placed significant attention in both states, but there didn’t seem to be much positive response as a result of it. I’m not suggesting Romney bailed and I don’t believe that is the case, but it’s true Romney’s campaign shifted “some” attention elsewhere. Rightfully so, at the time, because the data wasn’t showing any good signs.
That all changed post-debate. Romney is now competitive in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to two battleground state polls of likely voters.
A Susquehanna Polling and Research poll of 725 likely Pennsylvania voters conducted Oct. 4-6 shows Obama’s lead down to only two percentage points (47 to 45 percent), which is within the plus or minus 3.7 percentage point margin of error. Four percent of those polled said they were undecided. When they were asked who they were leaning toward, they favored Romney three to one. Factoring this in, Obama’s lead is only one percentage point.
In Michigan, two new polls also show a tight race. A poll of 1,122 respondents conducted Oct. 5 by Foster McCollum White & Associates showed a 3 percentage point advantage for Obama (49 to 46 percent with a 2.93 percent margin of error. The poll did not screen for registered or likely voters.) An Oct. 5-7 poll of 600 likely Michigan voters conducted by EPIC-MRA had similar results. Obama leads by only three percentage points (48 to 45 percent), with a plus or minus four percentage point margin of error.
It’s fine if you need to read that twice. I certainly had to, because it’s a stunning look at a major shift among the electorate in both states.
POSSIBLE BLOWOUT IN OHIO
last week I wrote an extensive post about Ohio and you should take a moment to read the bulk of it. In short, early signs in Ohio point to a significant upset by Romney over Obama. A new Ohio poll released today shows Romney shifting into the front-runner position, which confirms what I saw happening there late last week. From American Research Group (our preferred polling resource), we see Romney now up 1% in Ohio.
At this point, and considering the fact that we’re getting VERY reliable reports that a 2008 Democrat edge on early ballot requests has been cut off at the knees by a surge in Republican participation, I’m not seeing any signs stand out that suggest Obama is still out front in Ohio. In fact, every single sign I see suggests Obama is quickly losing Ohio and Romney will continue to pull ahead.
COLORADO GOING FROM TOSS-UP TO REPUBLICAN
I’m amazed that I’m saying this, but we’re pretty close to changing Colorado from toss-up to Republican in our prediction map. Romney’s ground game is pulling off a jaw-dropping operation there and it’s beginning to reflect in the polling data. Even an average of polls that includes skewed polls shows Romney now in the lead. When we look at unskewed polling data for Colorado we see a 4% lead by Romney, which is at the very top of the margin of error.
THE REST OF THE STORY
The same trend is happening in Florida, Virginia and Wisconsin. I’m beginning to think it’s highly likely Romney will take Florida, and Wisconsin is starting to look pretty good. The only total wild cards left at this point are Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia and Iowa. I think Romney holds a slight edge in Virginia, but we’ve got a questionable Senate race that will have profound influence on the outcome at the top of the ticket. That said, I still think VA would go red if the election were held today.
As I mentioned before, our November projection map shows a lot of possible outcomes. Based on what I’m seeing today, though, I would paint the outcome like this.
Mitt Romney – 279
Barack Obama – 259
I believe it very possible Romney picks up Nevada, Iowa and Wisconsin. The only reason I keep them blue on a “today” vote is that I haven’t seen enough ground game and survey data to convince me Obama has completely lost grip among the three. Nevada is a very tough state to peg (See Harry Reid, 2010) and Wisconsin is the heart of the liberal movement. Both states have something at work that can help Obama in epic ways. Momentum in Colorado, Florida and Ohio, on the other hand, is quickly moving in the direction of Romney.
We’re not calling these states or pretending it’s over. The point here is to correctly suggest momentum is shifting and Obama is quickly falling to second place. Take note of this and do whatever you can to ensure that you, your friends and family, and anyone you know is voting and taking part in the elections.
This race is completely up for grabs, but at this point it’s beginning to look like it’s ours to lose.