The PJ Tatler

Pew Poll Finds Romney Winning Early Voting by Seven Points; Fox Finds Race a Dead Heat

Like Gallup, which found a similar edge for Romney in early voting, Pew buries its lead.

The Pew Research Center survey found that the race is even among all likely voters nationwide (47% Obama, 47% Romney). Unlike the last campaign, the race also is close among voters who say they have already voted.

In the poll, conducted Oct. 24-28, 19% of likely voters say they have already voted; that is unchanged from the same week in the 2008 campaign (Oct. 23-26, 2008). Currently, Romney holds a seven-point edge among early voters (50% to 43%); because of the small sample, this lead is not statistically significant. At this point four years ago, Obama led John McCain by 19 points (53% to 34%) among early voters.

Since when does a pollster rush to declare that its number have no significant value?

Fox has released a new poll that finds the national race tied at 46, with some good news and bad news for both candidates.

Independents give the edge to Romney by seven percentage points (46-39 percent).  That’s down from a 12-point advantage in early October.

There’s a gender gap in vote preference, as men back Romney by 51-42 percent, while women side with Obama by 50-42 percent.

The new Fox poll finds Obama under-performing compared to his 2008 exit poll numbers by 13 percentage points among independents, 9 points among white men, 6 points among women and 4 points among voters under age 30.

Among the subgroup of most interested voters, those who are “extremely” interested in the election, Romney leads Obama by 53-42 percent.

The poll, released Wednesday, shows almost all Obama (92 percent) and Romney (91 percent) supporters say they will “definitely” vote for their candidate.  Seven percent of Obama voters and eight percent of Romney voters say they will “probably” support or “lean” toward supporting their candidate.

Still, Romney’s supporters continue to be more enthusiastic: 69 percent say it’s extremely important he win, while 59 percent of those backing Obama feel that way.

And consider this: Fully 82 percent of Romney supporters say this year’s election is more important than the 2008 election.  That’s 16 points higher than the 66 percent of Obama supporters who say the same.

There’s that enthusiasm gap again. It really does seem to be a stretch, that the Republicans could have pulled ahead by a point on party ID as Gallup found, have a lead of between 7 and 15 points on likelihood of voting according to a pile of polls, and lead among independents somewhere between 6 and 13 or more points, and see the race as effectively favoring Obama. You have to oversample Democrats, by modeling the current electorate in accord with the 2008 electorate, to get to the point that Obama has the advantage. Today was a bad polling day for Romney if you believe some of these polls, but with PPP and Quinnipiac in the mix, there’s reason to disbelieve the polls because either their samples or their likely voter screens are out of whack.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie threw a wild card into the race today by praising Obama so effusively, but there’s a flip side to all that. Obama may have helped New Jersey so quickly because we’re in an election year and that is a blue state. When Texas needed help to fight wildfires, where was Obama? He denied us any federal help. When Arizona needs help securing its borders, where was Obama? Suing them. I don’t see Christie’s actions today moving the needle one way or the other. It reminds Americans in other states that this president tends to use the federal government to punish those of us whom he perceives as his enemies.