Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Here is the tenth issue of Capital Brief, from September 26, that takes a look at Obama's momentum over Romney in key swing state polls and what these polls may tell us about the race dynamics over these final weeks of campaigning and how voters might behave at the ballots in November.

Click below to read the Brief.

Capital Brief  
Amy Greene
Capital Brief, n°10 – September 26, 2012

Swing State Polling Shows Obama on the Rise

·           -According to recent polling, Obama is increasing and consolidating his lead over Romney in the battleground, or “swing,” states key to presidential victory.

        -In most swing states, Obama appears to have crossed the important “50% threshold” in voter intentions:

o  Ohio: Obama leads Romney 52-44% in this critical state. No Republican has won presidency without Ohio (WashPost)
o    Michigan: Obama leads by 10-14 points in Romney’s childhood home state (CNN)
o   Wisconsin: Obama leads by 14 in v-p candidate Paul Ryan’s homestate (Marquette Law School poll)
o  Virginia: Obama up by 8 points (52-44% among likely voters), a margin that has remained consistent since May (WashPost)
o  Florida: Obama leads Romney by 9 percentage points among all registered voters (WashPost)
o   Iowa: Obama is up 51-44% among likely voters (WashPost), Wall Street Journal puts Obama ahead 50-42%
o  Nevada: Obama is up 51-44%, and has been ahead since April, in this key southwest swing state (CNN)


        -The Romney campaign is running out of time to reverse race dynamics (and the damage done by his “47% video”). Though Romney still has the debates to make his case, the risk is that a spate of recent polls solidifies the image of Romney as a sinking 

        -Romney has fewer paths to the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. It appears that while Obama would need a small number of swing states to win, Romney would need ALL OF THEM.
         -Romney’s now-famous lack of specificity shows little sign of changing. Obama, too, has avoided setting very detail-oriented policy prescriptions, focusing instead on this election as a choice between two stark and opposing visions for America. Obama’s advantage as the incumbent is greater ease casting doubt on Romney’s vagaries as evasive, suspicious and even dangerous.

        -Romney’s central campaign argument has been the economy – that Obama failed to turn things around, that Romney’s business experience is best suited to fix the situation. But voters seem to be shooting a hole into it:
o   A majority of Americans believe that Bush is to blame for the economy.
o  A majority of Americans also believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction, but a majority also trusts Obama over Romney to fix it.
         -Americans are unlikely to cast a “protest vote” against Obama without a thoughtful and comprehensive alternative. Romney is not providing that.

       -Make no mistake, the race is very close. Rasmussen shows Obama leading the national contest, 47-46%.  But the momentum – both in swing state polling and public opinion – continues to point in the direction of an Obama re-election.