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If you've watched politics on TV over the last several weeks, you've certainly heard that Mitt Romney has the momentum in the presidential race.  If you've read some posters here on DKos, you've read the same thing.

We're in the closing stages of the election.  Such momentum should be clearly visible, and not just in, say, swings within robo tracking polls (one of the least reliable sources of information out there).  So let's compare the average of national polls today (including Rasmussen's ugly +4 Romney number) with the average from two weeks ago.

Today nationally:
Romney 47.7%, Obama 47.1%, Romney by 0.6%

Two weeks ago nationally:
Romney 48%, Obama 47.3%, Romney by 0.7%.

But the election is won via the Electoral College, of course.  So what about the jewel in that particular crown, Ohio?

Today in Ohio:
Obama 47.6%, Romney 45.7%, Obama by 1.9%

Two weeks ago in Ohio:
Obama 47.8%, Romney 47%, Obama by 0.8%.

To be clear, there are swing states that Romney has closed in.  But if we were seeing a Romney wave of momentum, he'd have widened nationally and closed in Ohio.

Of related interest, Charlie Cook, who tracks only live-interviewer polls, has Obama up by 1.6% nationally here.

In short, momentum, shmomentum.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present

    by Inkin on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:12:06 AM PDT

  •  So what you're saying is GOTV. (0+ / 0-)

    What is clear in nearly every poll is Obama has a significant RV edge and if we get our people to the polls....even a fraction of those not considered likely, we win. In the EC, potentially by a lot.

  •  Better yet, look at the Princeton analysis (0+ / 0-)

    which still gives Obama a greater than 85% chance of winning.

    Princeton Election Consortium

    The momentum swung back to Obama beginning days after the first debate.

    Also, remember that the Trojan Horse Repub polls are skewing the numbers.

  •  Comments (0+ / 0-)

    The MSM has always presented elections as a "decision."  They are not, and haven't really been since 1968.

    1. In any given election, most of us (even a lot of the so-called undecideds) are very predictable.  Thanks to the media priming, some number of voters will identify as "undecided" even though they know damn well who they're going to vote for.  (And independents with a partisan lean are actually quite partisan.  On the left, "independent" means "the Democrats are too conservative.")

    2. Over time, allegiances change.  Between about 1930 and 1970, African Americans changed allegiances from Republican to Democrat.  Southern whites changed en masse from 1950 to 2000.  Northern college graduates went the other way from about 1968 to 2000.  New voting groups (Hispanics and other immigrants, single people, women, gays) emerged (this has been the story all along, actually).  But these changes are very slow relative to everything else.

    3. There is a category of low involvement voter, about 8-10% of the electorate, who vote stochastically, although it's probably filtered by the overall outcome.  Recent elections have been close, so they cut 50-50.

    4. Turnout matters, and turnout differences account for a lot of short term fluctuation in electoral outcomes.  Obama's "problem" this cycle isn't with "centrists" or "working class whites" or "independents" but with the low-involvement components of his base.  Similarly, Romney's problem with social conservatives isn't that they won't vote for Obama but that they won't vote at all.  It's less of a problem for Romney as the Republicans tend to turn out more of their base.  (Otherwise, Obama would be 10 points up if not more; if all US citizens over 18, including people who aren't registered, voted, it would be a romp for the Democrats.)  If Obama beats the polls, it is his GOTV operation that did it.  The Republicans are good at this too but there is nobody left for them to GOTV.)

  •  Cook's 1.6 goes back to September 3 (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry, Charlie ... that's utterly worthless.  

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