Hope you like this NPR/Democracy Corps poll, because it may be the last national poll we see for a while. With Hurricane Sandy battering the upper Northeast, polling in the region will be impossible until at least the weekend, and possibly through Election Day. Without access to that part of the electorate, national polls will be undeniably incomplete. From here on in, it’s going to be nothing but battleground-state polling.
So why not wrap up national polling on a high note? In this survey conducted at least in part by James Carville’s group, Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by a point, 49/48, on a national basis. On the other hand, their survey in battleground states (a subgroup of the overall sample) shows Obama up four, 50/46.
So what gives? The national sample has a D+4 tilt, with a D/R/I of 35/31/34. The battleground sample, however, has a D+9 tilt at 40/31/27. In what reality does the Democratic advantage increase in battleground states to a margin wider than the 2008 turnout advantage? I’m guessing only in NPR/Carville World.
The internals have more bad news for Team Obama. Independents break hard nationally for Romney, 51/39. In fact, only 29% of independents are certain to vote for Obama, a disastrously low number for the incumbent in any election cycle, especially with just seven days to go. Independents are harshly critical of Obama’s job performance, with a 42/54 approval rating that consists of only 17% strongly approving and 44% strongly disapproving. They’re even tougher on his economic performance at 39/60.
The debates turned out to be Obama’s breaking point. Romney won converts at six points higher than Obama from the debates, 34/28 overall, but won by 16 points among independents at 37/21. Even in the ridiculously tilted battleground sample, Romney won by five at 33/28.