A new poll from McLaughlin & Associates, highlighted by Breitbart’s Tony Lee, provides even more supporting evidence for Suffolk University’s conclusion that there’s not much chance of Barack Obama winning the state. Mitt Romney has taken a seven-point lead and grabbed a majority, 51/44, in the survey taken on Monday and Tuesday of 600 likely voters in the state. More importantly, Romney has a double-digit lead among independents (via Drudge Report):
According to a McLaughlin & Associates poll that had an R+.02 sample, Romney leads Obama in Virginia 51%-44%.
Among independents, Romney beats Obama by 11 points, 50%-39%.
If these numbers hold for Romney, Romney could be free to expand the electoral map and more aggressively make plays for states like Michigan and Pennsylvania that were considered “reaches” just two weeks ago.
The sample in this case was almost exactly split between Republicans and Democrats, with independents overshadowing both. The D/R/I was 30.3/30.5/38.2. That, however, is a pretty far cry from 2008’s 39/33/27, or even 2009’s 33/37/30, at least in terms of the independent vote. Oversampling independents will drive Romney’s top-line numbers up higher, and while Republican enthusiasm is up nationwide, the number of federal government employees in Virginia might dampen that in the Commonwealth.
The split between Republicans and Democrats seem reasonable as an electoral model, however. It is almost evenly split between 2008 and 2009 turnout, and so gives us a pretty decent predictive model while taking the oversample of independents into consideration. But even on that score, there isn’t much solace for Team Obama in these numbers. Obama won independents in 2008 by a single point, 49/48, on his way to a six-point win in Virginia. If Romney’s leading independents by eleven — and 229 voters is a pretty decent subsample for state polling — then Obama has almost no chance of prevailing without a massive increase in Democratic enthusiasm, one that would have to far surpass anything seen in 2008.