(Cross Posted from The Blog Roundup).
I've said before that new voters will be the "X factor" in this election, the big unknown quantity which will tip the balance on November 2nd. So the following snippet from an LA Times article naturally caught my attention:
New Voters' Impact Debated by James Rainey, LA Times (via Yahoo)
Both parties have gained ground in most of the hard-fought states that are expected to determine November's winner, but in most states where figures are available, it is nonpartisan voters who have recorded the largest increases.
The political significance of the new registrations remains unclear, however, because some of the biggest growth has been in independent voters and because party loyalties remain unknown in two critical Midwest swing states -- Ohio and Wisconsin.
Nationwide, at least two polls in the last week showed that newly registered voters favored Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry by double-digit margins. The Massachusetts senator holds an even greater lead, the polls found, among voters 29 and younger, many of whom will be voting for the first time.
Most of these newly registered voters won't show up in the opinion polls, as they are flying below their sampling radar, so there's a good chance that both the national and state polls are inaccurate -- or worse, completely misleading.
The good news for Kerry is obviously the rate of Democratic registrations, but also the independents in key states such as Florida, as it's likely that anyone who isn't firmly committed to a candidate by now is probably not going to vote for Bush. As Kos and others have observed, even his own staff are becoming concerned.
So all the talk of deadlock and legal challenges on November 3rd may be just that -- talk. It's actually quite possible that this election may be a clear win for Kerry -- or even a landslide.