Green Room

Independents swinging back to Romney?

posted at 2:47 pm on November 5, 2012 by

A few days ago, right after the initial response to Hurricane Sandy, polls started showing independents shifting towards Barack Obama to the extent that some polls showed Obama and Mitt Romney splitting that demographic.  Josh Jordan at NRO sees the trend shifting back to status quo ante in the latest polls, now that the public has absorbed Sandy’s impact:

The days after Hurricane Sandy brought a small bump in President Obama’s numbers against Governor Romney and in job approval. This was easily explained by the positive television coverage Obama received about his initial statements on relief efforts and with his flyover of New Jersey with Chris Christie.

But the underlying reason for Obama’s small bounce was his movement among independents. In all of the tracking polls, Romney saw his lead with independents shrink from double digits to just about even. On Saturday, the Washington Posttracking poll showed a tie, and Rasmussen dropped to just a three-point advantage for Romney. For the most part each candidate has held their base steadily, but Romney’s lead with independents had explained how he could remain tied or leading with polls showing high Democratic turnout.

Over the last few days the independents have been returning back to Romney, however, indicating that the final vote Tuesday might revert back to polling from the days just before Sandy made landfall. Rasmussen has seen Romney’s lead with independents jump from three points to fifteen. The Washington Post tracking poll moved from a tie with independents on Saturday to a three-point lead for Romney on Sunday.

In the national non-tracking polls, Romney has continued to enjoy leads with independents as well. The Pew poll taken in the days after Sandy has Romney up three among independents while the NBC/WSJ poll released yesterday that showed Obama up one point overall has Romney up seven with independents. A CNN national poll released last night has a tied race, but Romney is up 22 points with independents.

I suspect that Sandy, like most national crises, produced a short-lived rally-’round-the-leader bump.  That would have dissipated anyway, but it’s very possible that Bloomberg’s bizarre handling of the NYC marathon and the lack of aid getting to Staten Island residents — which are both mostly local and state issues — may have worn some of the gloss off of the perception of leadership in the crisis response by now.   And the more bad news that comes out of New York, the more that erosion will accelerate today and tomorrow.

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but Romney’s lead with independents had explained how he could remain tied or leading with polls showing high Democratic turnout.

And what happens when:

1. High DEM turnout does not materialize? (See early voting # everywhere, DEM early voting is down across the board, especially in DEM strongholds like Cuyahoga County, OH)

2. GOP make up a higher margin of electorate that anyone expects? (See both Rasmussen & Gallup voter ID figures for October).

Answer: Romney landslide

About 2/3 of the electorate will vote tomorrow; 1/3 have voted early.

Norwegian on November 5, 2012 at 3:04 PM

In the last and final Absentee Ballot request update from Ohio in 2012 shows that the democrats lost a total of 125,683 in 2012 compared to 2008 between them requesting 87,769 less ballots than 2008 and the Republicans gaining 37,914 ballots request compared to 2008. Obama won Ohio in 2008 by 260,000 votes and just in absentee ballots alone he lost 125,683 votes assuming that all democrats are voting for him… Based on this Obama is certain to lose Ohio tomorrow…

Here is the link for Ohio absentee ballot request:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvEOdIaw0fPNdHVOZnFENDdDYVFTRi1UMlgxQ0F4OVE#gid=0

mnjg on November 5, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Ed, I still think certain pollsters are padding numbers for the independants. I don’t see one hurricane giving a massive boost from independants for Obama. They’ve been hit as hard by Obama’s policies like the rest of us.

We noticed the descrepancy when pollsters were calling narrow leads by Obama but with Independants going Romney in the plus double-digit range.

It’s too easy to screw with the polls.

Turtle317 on November 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Obama’s “handling” of the aftermath of Sandy could be a net negative. Most of New Jersey and part of NYC are REALLY hurting–massive power outages and mile-long lines at any open gas stations, and what has Obama done for these people other than pat Gov. Christie on his broad back?

People have obviously fled the Jersey shore, but many New Jersey residents have sought shelter, heat, and electricity with friends in eastern PA, and are probably complaining about the lack of a concrete response from Obama and the Federal Government. Their complaints may be enough to sway a few votes to Romney in the Philly suburbs, and possibly help turn PA red…

A new analogy question for the SAT: Sandy:Obama as Katrina:Bush?

Steve Z on November 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I think Obama’s “Voting’s the best revenge” remark, coupled with Romney adroit rejoinder, has also swayed independents.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I think that episode, which is still ongoing in Romney’ ad I hope, is an election mover. Just about everyone decried how divided our politics has become. And Obama placed himself on the wrong side of that and Romney on the right side.

WannabeAnglican on November 5, 2012 at 3:19 PM

I’ll throw in a comment about “indies”…

I don’t think I’m alone when I say declaring GOP status resulted in daily phone calls/mailings looking for money (former head Steele or somebody).

The huge increase in the number of so-called “indies” may be explained by that (and if I’m correct, we may have an early call tomorrow night).

teejk on November 5, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I have a friend in NY who was an avid 0bama supporter for quite a while. Since he’s been affected by the hurricane, amazingly has seen through the photo-op in NJ, and has seen the lack of effective support from FEMA and the government, he’s switched to Romney. Hopefully, this is a trend and not an isolated incident.

Tuari on November 5, 2012 at 3:26 PM

FNC reporting Romney going back to Cleveland and Pittsburgh tomorrow morning.

Hopefully this is opportunistic to protect election from being stolen in Cleveland and making a harder run in PA.

also means they’ve craftily out-maneuvered obama again, b/c a presidential calendar cannot turn on a dime.

matthew8787 on November 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I’ll be so glad when Wednesday morning comes. I can’t take another day of the “rocks in their heads” independents swinging their vote on the smallest and useless of factors. These people are simply not aware of the totality of Obama’s incompetence. All they know is that he put on a presidential bomber jacket for a photo-op among the great unwashed, made nice-nice with Christie and told Bernanke to print some more money for New Jersey. Obama is like Alec Baldwin in that credit card commercial when Baldwin turns the pilot and says, “Don’t worry, I’ve played a pilot before”. At least Baldwin’s a decent actor, Obama’s a total failure at “playing ” a president. Obama still thinks he was born “booted and spurred” to ride mankind but on Tuesday, we will finally disavow him of that notion.

SpiderMike on November 5, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I’m sorry but if your judgment of Obama is based on a few days just before the election what in heaven’s name have you been paying attention to the past 4 years?

Ted Torgerson on November 5, 2012 at 3:48 PM

ok so this may be a bit off topic but i feel like it is definately worth mentioning. my children attend public school which is normally kinda lefty leaning but i was shocked today when my kids came home and i was informed that this year at the awards ceremony they will be singing this….

My country,’ tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom’s holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

i am maybe reading too much into this but in a system where all references to God are scrubbed this brings me hope!

katee bayer on November 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

I might have to take Wednesday off work because if Romney wins in a landslide – the party won’t stop until the wee hours of the morning.

rgrovr on November 5, 2012 at 4:07 PM

spiderman…take a breath! I firmly believe that the “indies” declare that status solely to avoid the twice daily interuptions and mailings.

they aren’t shaking their heads at all…they just want to be left alone.

teejk on November 5, 2012 at 4:12 PM

In all of the tracking polls, Romney saw his lead with independents shrink from double digits to just about even.

There’s the fundamental problem with our electorate. It is so dumbed down that wearing a bomber jacket can sway large portions of the vote.

paul1149 on November 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

I might have to take Wednesday off work because if Romney wins in a landslide – the party won’t stop until the wee hours of the morning.

rgrovr on November 5, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Planning an all-nighter at home and office; wanted to take Wed off but too damned many meetings. Lots of naps and yawns, I guess.

I believe Mitt is going to win, but I don’t think Ohio will be called until Wed morning.

If you know anyone in PA or OH or WI, this is the evening to contact them!

matthew8787 on November 5, 2012 at 5:25 PM

In all of the tracking polls, Romney saw his lead with independents shrink from double digits to just about even.

There’s the fundamental problem with our electorate. It is so dumbed down that wearing a bomber jacket can sway large portions of the vote.

paul1149 on November 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

True.

Barky’s just the symptom of the real problem – an electorate dumb enough to vote for him.

RedNewEnglander on November 5, 2012 at 5:31 PM