By Glen Meakem
I know that many of you are concerned about the upcoming Presidential election. Over the past month, pundits have contemplated numerous close election scenarios, ranging from a popular vote victory but an Electoral College defeat for Governor Mitt Romney, to a 269-269 Electoral College tie resulting in a Romney-Biden White House (Romney would be elected President by the Republican majority House, while Biden would be elected Vice President by the Democrat majority Senate). But even though current national and swing-state polls show a very close race, I am increasingly optimistic that Governor Mitt Romney will handily defeat President Barack Obama on November 6th.
Last week, most national polls moved in Romney’s direction, and current polls now show the Governor ahead of Obama by between one and five percentage points (depending on the poll). And the majority of these polls over sample Democrats. For example, yesterday’s Washington Post/ ABC poll over sampled Democrats by a ridiculous seven points. Yet in spite of this unlikely Democrat sample, Romney still beat Obama by one point in this poll, 49% to 48%. In 2008, Democrat enthusiasm reached an all-time high, and gave Barack Obama a stunning seven-point victory over Senator John McCain. The voter turnout model used by the pollster in the Washington Post / ABC poll assumes Democrats will match their extraordinary 2008 voter turnout again in 2012, but this is obviously not going to happen.
Republicans had a wave election of their own in 2010 and completely erased the Democrat voting edge (equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats voted, with independents voting for Republicans by strong majorities), which allowed Republicans to retake control of the House and make significant gains in the Democrat controlled Senate. While it is fair to assume a hybrid voting model for 2012 – one that combines 2008 and 2010 voter turnout and produces a three or four point Democrat advantage – even a modest Democrat edge of three points is increasingly unlikely. New research from both Gallup and Rasmussen now show a one-point advantage in likely voter turnout for Republicans heading into Election Day. In other words, 2012 could be a BIGGER WAVE ELECTION FOR REPUBLICANS than 2010.
Why? National polls are showing Independents breaking hard for Romney. The Washington Post/ ABC poll mentioned above has Romney taking a 15-point lead with this important group of voters. You read that correctly – a 15 percentage point lead among independents! Polls also show Mitt Romney erasing the gender gap. The Washington Post/ ABC poll shows Romney up 10 points among men, and down only 8 points among women, for a plus 2 overall. National polls also continue to have Romney out-performing Obama on the economy. Today’s Rasmussen tracking poll shows Romney up by 6 points in this area, 51% to 45%.
In addition to the positive movement in the national polls, Mitt Romney continues to expand the list of competitive battleground states as well. Ohio remains very close, but Romney has pulled into a slight lead – yesterday’s Rasmussen poll of likely Ohio voters had Mitt Romney up by 2 points, 50% to 48%. This is big news because if Obama loses Ohio, he loses the election. But the news gets worse for our current President because other traditionally blue states are becoming increasingly competitive, including Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and even Pennsylvania. The Romney campaign also announced that they believe they are competitive in Minnesota, a state that hasn’t voted for a Republican for President since 1972. A recent Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found the Presidential race in the state within the margin of error with 47% of likely voters backing President Obama, and 44% backing Governor Romney (the poll has a 3.5% margin of error). And a poll out of the extremely blue state of Oregon this week shows President Obama stuck at 47%, and Romney trailing by just six points (41%). If any large “blue state” like Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania shifts to red, Romney wins without Ohio.
With Governor Romney’s recent climb in both the national and swing state polls, the bipartisan Battleground Poll revealed yesterday that it is now predicting a 52% to 47% Romney victory next week. Fred Barnes (of the Weekly Standard) notes that if these numbers are true, “it would increase Republican chances of gaining control of the Senate. [Romney's] coat tails would help elect GOP Senate candidates in Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.”
Hurricane Sandy will likely limit the amount of polling data available to us for the remainder of this week, and so it may be hard to judge if Romney’s slight lead grows into a decisive lead next week before Election Day. But one thing is certain. None of us can take anything for granted. We all must assume that our vote is the one that will put Romney – along with other down-ticket conservative Congressional candidates – over the top. Every one of us must vote on Tuesday, November 6th. And we must help get other freedom-loving, conservative Americans to the polls as well. Especially in this time of economic uncertainty and continued war against radical Islamists in various countries around the world, when so many young Americans have joined our volunteer military putting their own lives on the line. Here is the moral imperative — we all must vote. It is our right, but it is also our patriotic duty. Do not fail in your patriotic duty next week.
We must defeat President Barack Obama if we hope to cut our record high deficits and debt, overturn the onerous Obamacare law, implement pro-growth tax reforms, and leave a bright future full of opportunity and optimism to our children and grandchildren.
The fact that so many of you agree with me is one more reason why I am optimistic that Mitt Romney will prevail next week.
So go and vote! Do your duty and celebrate your freedom. And may God bless the United States of America.