Category Archives: Florida

What Voter Fraud? Florida 2012

Remember, the Democrats against voter ID laws and supporters of IRS harassment of “True the Vote” say none of this exists:

The top staffer for Florida Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia resigned this weekend after being implicated in a voting-fraud scheme. Chief of Staff Jeffrey Garcia resigned Friday after taking responsibility for the plot and being asked by the congressman for his resignation.

Authorities are investigating a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.

Isn’t it funny that nearly every incident involves one party in particular?

The Post-Motems Continue to Roll In

The exit polling data around election day has a notoriously wide margin of error, so as the “final” data comes rolling in, most notably through the Current Population Survey, more accurate inferences can be drawn from an election it is still hard to fathom that Barack Obama won.  This AP news write-up draws more of the same conclusions many of us already know: white people stayed home, african-americans voted in droves, wash, rinse, repeat:

America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press.

Census data and exit polling show that whites and blacks will remain the two largest racial groups of eligible voters for the next decade. Last year’s heavy black turnout came despite concerns about the effect of new voter-identification laws on minority voting, outweighed by the desire to re-elect the first black president.

William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, analyzed the 2012 elections for the AP using census data on eligible voters and turnout, along with November’s exit polling. He estimated total votes for Obama and Romney under a scenario where 2012 turnout rates for all racial groups matched those in 2004. Overall, 2012 voter turnout was roughly 58 percent, down from 62 percent in 2008 and 60 percent in 2004.

The Battlegrounds:

Romney would have erased Obama’s nearly 5 million-vote victory margin and narrowly won the popular vote if voters had turned out as they did in 2004, according to Frey’s analysis. Then, white turnout was slightly higher and black voting lower.

More significantly, the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Colorado would have tipped in favor of Romney, handing him the presidency if the outcome of other states remained the same.

0.3% is the Difference Between President Romey and President Obama

A strategic shift in 0.3% of the vote changes the President of the United States. Of course it matters greatly where those 0.3% are located as Team Obama knew from Day 1 while Team Romney keeps smacking their forehead saying “Now they tell us!” Jim Geraghty keeps up with the turnout math:

[H]ere is an updated set of numbers, according to the results this morning on the New York Timesresults map:

Florida: 73,858

Ohio: 103,481

Virginia: 115,910

Colorado: 113,099

Those four states, with a collective margin of, 406,348 for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.

Obama’s margin in some other key states:

Nevada: 66,379

Iowa: 88,501

New Hampshire: 40,659

At this hour, 120,556, 279 votes for Obama and Romney have been counted nationwide.

More Reports of Project ORCA Fail

Here is a report from one of our own readers Tom in Arizona on the epic failure of the Romney Get Out the Vote effort:

I volunteered for the Romney campaign election day task force on 10/21/2012.  I received the following email on 10/22/2012:

Hi Tom,

 Thank you very much for your interest in being involved with the Romney-Ryan Election Day Task Force! Your help will be vital on Election Day. It will take up to 2 days to process you into our volunteer system, but we will be in touch with further information very soon.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at C********o@mittromney.com.

Thank you very much,

dc

To keep this short, after four days of no further contact, I started trying to contact the campaign myself over the remaining days before the election.  I tried the above email on 6 different occasions with no further replies.  I tried calling 3 different victory centers, most of which went to voice mail, and some of those voice mail boxes were full.  I spoke with “live” people twice, both of which said they’d get back to me.  Neither did.  I’m in AZ and I told them I could go to CO if necessary or help by making phone calls from home if they already had enough volunteers in CO.  I also told them I could do anything else they need, just let me know.  I NEVER HEARD BACK!  It failed before it began.

I saw your post on Gravity yesterday and why they wouldn’t use that is beyond me.  The private sector had the solution and Romney failed to use it.  How ironic.

Regards,

Tom in Arizona

The blame lies far higher than the Romney staffer in the above email but this is only the latest example of how Mitt Romney’s staff failed him at the least opportune time.  Considering there were 37,000 volunteers for Project ORCA, if each person gotten people to the polls across Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and Florida we would be talking about President Romney today.

The Epic Failure That Was Team Romney’s Get Out the Vote Fiasco

If you care at all about the how and why the Romney campaign failed so miserably to turnout the vote, you have to read this entire entry by John Ekdahl at Ace of Spades:

What is Project Orca? Well, this is what they told us:

Project ORCA is a massive undertaking – the Republican Party’s newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 presidential election.

Pretty much everything in that sentence is false. The “massive undertaking” is true, however. It would take a lot of planning, training and coordination to be done successfully (oh, we’ll get to that in a second). This wasn’t really the GOP’s effort, it was Team Romney’s. And perhaps “unprecedented” would fit if we’re discussing failure. The entire purpose of this project was to digitize the decades-old practice of strike lists. The old way was to sit with your paper and mark off people that have voted and every hour or so, someone from the campaign would come get your list and take it back to local headquarters. Then, they’d begin contacting people that hadn’t voted yet and encourage them to head to the polls. It’s worked for years.

After giving you a blow by blow recount of this colossal failure that you must read, he concludes:

[T]he end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap? I sure hope not for my sanity’s sake. The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that.

Good Thing They Didn’t Air the Romney Bio Piece in Prime Time

Or air those personal testimonials when they had the nation’s attention at the national convention in Florida.

Idiot Eric Fehrnstrom has already been quoted as saying the Bain attacks were ineffective “like arrows bouncing off us” in the primaries.  No reason to give a full-throated defense or detailed endorsement of business success that will actually get people working again.   Thankfully Fehrnstrom can etech-a-sketch himself into oblivion now.

Team Romney said they were going to buy media time and run the bio in Battleground States.  Did anyone see it?  I have no reports of it airing.

Here is what I wrote in a private communication on September 28 to someone involved in the Romney campaign in Ohio:

Romney’s short-coming is he has yet to make the compelling case why the country should hire him (so far he’s really just been the not-Obama candidate).  In Romney’s corporate speak this is the longest job interview of his life and all he is doing is telling everyone he can [do] the job better (a losing interview strategy) when he needs to demonstrate he can do the job better (a winning interview strategy).

When the media cries for specifics, don’t dodge the question as he is doing or answer with policy specifics that will be used against him.  Launch into what it was like to create the companies he names in his speeches but doesn’t talk in detail about.  Talk about how many people have been employed over the life of the companies (not just the amount of employees today). Talk about late nights and tightening belts to make payroll and keep the lights on.  Talk about the sacrifices made to get to the next milestone to hopefully turn a fledgling company into a great success.  Demonstrate how these companies are doing great things in states A, B & C but he wants to bring that innovation and opportunity to Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin (depending on the location of the speech).  Beg the Obama campaign to bring up the steel mill where that guy’s wife died of cancer.  Talk about how the company was dying when Bain showed up.  Tell how many steel companies went under while Bain tried to retool and save the company.  Talk about how many more the years the company stayed open with thousands collecting paychecks because Bain kept the doors open as long as they could and this was 6-8 years longer than they would open have had Bain never been there. That’s thousands of people keeping paychecks and having an opportunity thanks to Bain not the other way around.  Demonstrate his great success and how it touched countless lives at every stage of his career. Demonstrate how he can do that for America instead of just talking about it.  We tried that last time.

Ads or Votes? You Decide

This is a lesson for candidates and organizations who want to win rather than consultants who want to bilk clients for millions in fees:

Judging by the current vote totals, Romney’s nationwide operation fell far short of McCain’s in 2008.  In fact, Romney currently trails McCain by around 2 million votes.  2 million!  That number is mind-boggling.  How did the Republican candidate facing the worst president in modern history manage to get 2 million fewer votes than in 2008? Granted, that number may narrow a bit as more votes are counted, but it’s astonishing that Romney’s votes are even in the neighborhood of McCain’s.

GOTV Fail

[T]he Republican party establishment’s micro-targeting of voters, from surveying voters to a get-out-the-vote, or GOTV, operation — if you can even call it an operation — was a joke.  Take Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, for example.  Had Romney won those states, he would be celebrating victory today.  The media would have you believe that he was trounced there.  That’s not the case. Romney lost all four states — and the presidency — by less than 400,000 votes.  He lost Colorado by 111,000, Florida by 47,000, Ohio by 100,000, and Virginia by 108,000.  That’s it. Romney was locked out of the White House by about 366,000 votes.

Ads versus votes

Now imagine an alternate universe in which the Republican party’s consultants, power brokers, and money men invested in legitimate micro-targeting and GOTV efforts with technology that works (like Gravity. . . not Orca). Instead, millions were spent on endless ads that not only failed to move the needle in the age of TiVo and DVR but will keep the lights on for many TV stations that are less than friendly to the conservative movement.

Priorities

According to news reports, American Crossroads — by far the best-funded force outside the RNC and the congressional committees — and its affiliates raked in $300 million during the 2012 election cycle.  Imagine if a fraction of that money had been spent on voter identification and GOTV efforts in the states mentioned above. It’s not like it was a secret as to where this election was going to be won or lost. It was a universe of no more than 9 states. Think about just $2M per state invested into GOTV. That’s $18M well spent. Instead, that money now pads the bank accounts of various individuals who, if not already millionaires before this cycle started, certainly are now.

It’s the difference between President Obama and President Romney

Team Romney GOTV Excuse Making Doesn’t Pass the Laugh Test

Per usual, Mike Murphy remains the very last person the GOP should ever listen to:

Super Quick Thoughts Before It’s Over

The bottom line is the Obama ground game was outstanding win or lose.  Full marks to them.  Even though at this juncture the inside straight of Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado are available for Romney the reality is Team Obama out-flanked Team Romney in the fringe Battlegrounds.  Everywhere I expected there to be insufficient Democrats to match the polls, Team Obama appears to have found votes to outperform Romney’s supposed advantage with Independents. We’ll see what the internals say over the coming days but no matter the national outcome, Democrats win in the Senate and Republicans win in the House means both sides need to better evaluate how best to move the country forward regardless of who wins the top of the ticket prize.

8 Battleground Counties to Decide the Election

Addendum:  This is a re-post from September 20 that I think has held up pretty well.  The biggest difference I’d say is Florida is almost certainly out of reach for Obama so look at Scott County, Iowa as a good one tonight.  You can also scroll through the numerous posts on various Battleground Counties across the county.

[Begin Original Post] That headline is a bit of a stretch but reader Roland Tilden sends a link to a story by Smart Media Group’s Chris Palko who breaks down 10 counties he believes Romney must win to carry the election.   And since we love Battleground Counties almost as much as we love Battleground States, this was right up our alley. What is consistent about the counties selected is each is a big population center so that understandably impacts election outcomes and each was a Bush 2004 and an Obama 2008 county. Not coincidentally Mitt Romney’s original bus tour in June hit a great many of these counties and will almost certainly do so again this time.

The only thing I don’t like about the list is 2 counties are in North Carolina which is not a Battleground in my opinion. In Palko’s defense, this story was originally published in April so his choices are really excellent so far out. As for North Carolina, it’s a state Romney will win by 5-10%. And until President Obama actually campaigns in the state (he hasn’t in all of 2012 outside of his Convention), it’s very likely a GOP pickup with minimal effort from this point forward and not worthy of much attention beyond that acknowledgement.

We have profiled a number of these counties whose links I provide below.  Where there is a battlegroundwatch.com post specifically on one of the cities he mentions, I provided the link as well in addition to my “Battle for [State]” series for each state. With that said, here are the eight Battleground Counties (in reverse order of impact according to Palko) that will go a long way to deciding the election: Hillsborough County, N.H. , Prince William County, Va., Chester County, Pa., Jefferson County, Colo., Arapahoe County, Colo., Hamilton County, Ohio, Pinellas County, Fla., Hillsborough County, Fla.

#8: Hillsborough County  New Hampshire
2004: Bush 51 – 48 2008: Obama 51 – 48
Population: 400,721 Largest city: Manchester

Palko: Most of New Hampshire’s population is close to the Massachusetts state line, which Hillsborough County straddles. It contains a vital grouping of towns and cities including Manchester and Nashua, the two largest cities in the state. Both are swing communities, in the electoral sense.

Battlegroundwatch: This is the location of Mitt Romney’s summer home, the place where he launched his Presidential bid and where he kicked off his June bus tour. They have spent money on the air, these voters are Mitt Romney kind of Republicans and the state has had a Republican resurregence.  Ripe for the plucking but it will be a battle to the end.

#7: Prince William County Virginia
2004: Bush 53 – 47 2008: Obama 58-42
Population: 402,002 Largest community: Dale City

Palko: Prince William County is an exurban county about 25 miles southwest of Washington D.C. It’s on the edge between the traditional, conservative Virginia, and the more progressive suburbs outside the capital. Prince William has become very diverse in recent years, particularly in the I-95 corridor. A hard swing towards Obama was key for him winning Virginia.

Battlegroundwatch: I would have ranked this much higher and definitely in the top 3. This is Obama’s bread-basket: upwardly mobile suburban moderates who trended strongly for Obama in 2008 but whose support has softened in the difficult economic environment. This is where Romney will need to make his mark if he is going to stem the tide of Northern Virginia dominance by Democrats.

  #6 Chester County Pennsylvania
2004: Bush 52 – 47.5 2008: Obama 54 – 45
Population: 498,886 Largest city: West Chester

Palko: Of the four suburban Philly counties, Chester was the only one that Bush won in 2004. The tail end of the prestigious Main Line is in the county, but so is the disadvantaged city of Coatesville. In between, there are plenty of middle-class suburbs, and even still some farmland. This is one of the few counties in Pennsylvania showing substantial population growth, so its importance is increasing.

Battlegroundwatch: It was no accident that the “youthful” Paul Ryan (early-40s is still youthful, right?) and the Romney sons have hit this area hard .  Similar to the suburban growth outside of DC in Virginia, this area outside Pennsylvania is full of persuadable Romney voters.  To win the state, Republicans must begin performing well here and in neighboring counties and they’ll never crack this nut.

#5 Jefferson County Colorado 
2004: Bush 52 – 47 2008: Obama 54 – 45
Population: 534,543 Largest city: Lakewood

Palko: Colorado is a heavily polarized state divided between very liberal Dems in Denver and Boulder, and very conservative Reps in Colorado Springs and the rural areas. The balance of power is held by the handful of counties in suburban Denver. Jefferson County to the west of the city is truly a purple county closely mirroring Colorado’s overall results in the last two presidential contests.

Battlegroundwatch: Filled with one of my favorite stories this cycle about battleground Precinct 7202330176 in Lakewood, a neighborhood who has called all but one statewide race correct since 2000. The swingiest of swing voters, Jefferson has been a regular stop for both sides all election season. Crowd sizes have been huge for Romney and flipping suburban white voters will be the key like they were in 2008 when they flipped for Obama.

#4  Arapahoe County Colorado
2004: Bush 51 – 48 2008: Obama 56 – 43
Population: 572,003 Largest city: Aurora

Palko: Arapahoe County is to the southeast of Denver and, like Jefferson, it’s a purple county that determines which party wins CO. It contains most of Aurora, the second biggest city in the Denver area. The county, and Aurora in particular, has seen a major increase in its Hispanic population in the past decade. This development has made the county a bit more Democratic than its neighbors.

Battlegroundwatch: The key here are the unaffiliated voters who much like Jefferson County swung for Obama in 2008.  Economy is the key.  These are upper middle income workers who often commute to Denver but fall into the pure suburban stereo-type.  Issues like taxes and jobs resonate strongly with this crowd who has unfortunately seen its fair share of recent tragedies.

#3 Hamilton County Ohio
2004: Bush 52.5 – 47 2008: Obama 53 – 46
Population: 802,374 Largest city: Cincinnati

Palko: Cincinnati is one of the most Republican metro areas outside of the South, but the central city county of Hamilton is a swing county. Hamilton County is worth watching, in part, because African-American turnout will be crucial. Sustaining high African-American turnout can make or break Obama’s reelection hopes. [Obama was] the first Democrat since Lyndon Johnson to carry the county.

Battlegroundwatch: A great boon for Obama in 2008 in a state where he underperformed national margins, his win in Hamilton was a shocker.  This is Rob Portman country so look for the debate prep partner and VP short-lister to be featured prominently in efforts to flip this back. This once reliable GOP region must flip if Romney is to have any chance in Ohio.

#2 Pinellas County Florida
2004: Bush 49.6 – 49.5 2008: Obama 54 – 45
Population: 916,542 Largest city: St. Petersburg

Palko: The top counties are both part of Florida’s I-4 Corridor, which runs through the Daytona Beach, Orlando and Tampa areas. The I-4 is the most important region in this presidential election. In Pinellas County, St. Petersburg has some neighborhoods that are solidly Democratic, but most of the territory is split 50/50. Every precinct could make the difference between winning and losing.

Battlegroundwatch: I would have inserted Henrico Couty, VA here (bigger Battleground, Florida trending GOP). But Pinellas is an interesting county w/a lot of conflicting politics.  It was a strong Romney county in the primaries where he doubled his nearest competitor. Unsurprisingly Ann Romney has been featured prominently in this county next door to the Republican Convention.

#1 Hillsborough County Florida
2004: Bush 53 – 46 2008: Obama 53 – 46
Population: 1,229,226 Largest city: Tampa

Palko: The most crucial county this fall is on the other side of Tampa Bay from Pinellas, the runner-up. Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa and its immediate suburbs, is the only county listed with more than one million residents. Still, it’s a fairly accurate small-scale version of America. It has a solidly Democratic central city that includes large African-American and Hispanic populations, and some outlying areas that are heavily Republican. The immediate suburbs are closely split. Whoever wins Hillsborough County in November is most likely the next occupant of the White House.

Battlegroundwatch: If Mitt Romney doesn’t win Florida, he probably doesn’t win the election.  And if he doesn’t win Hillsborough County, he probably doesn’t win Florida. Home of the Republican Convention and probably more campaign attention than any in the state.  This target rich county at the base of the I-4 corridor, this county is as closely contested as any in the country.  Of the 1.95 million votes cast in presidential elections since 1992, Republican nominees won only about 14,000 more than Democratic nominees. The outcome in the Tampa Bay market has run within 2 percentage points of the statewide result in every presidential election since 1992.

Electoral Vote Prediction: What Will Happen Tomorrow?

About one week after this blog began its 5+ month odyssey (when I still could not walk and ate pain killers like they were candy) I wrote: “If the poll shows the Democrat with a slight lead, it’s tied.  If the poll shows the race tied, the Republican is winning.  And if the poll shows the Republican winning? well then the race is over.”

Sadly I thought by this point Romney would be up a point or two in the polls and could confidently predict a 330 electoral vote win. But Hurricane Sandy changed the dynamic of the race.  President Obama was “Presidential” for once and appeared in a bi-partisan light with a great assist from Chris Christie. Had his first term been more bi-partisan like he showed during the Hurricane he would have a far better shot at re-election. But his recent political deathbed conversion runs contrary to what this country has lived through over the last four years.  The most divisive President since the disgraced Richard Nixon can give a good speech and wears the genial veneer of a uniter, but his four-year record of division has left the country worse off from his choices.

You can’t swing a dead cat today without hitting a national poll showing the race a dead heat between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. But the polling today and political commentary reminds me so much of two mid-term elections: 1994 and 2010 — admittedly non-Presidential years.  The press consensus was a “status quo” election in 1994 while they mocked firebrands who were talking about a revolution. The result was historic drubbings in the House and Senate flipping control of both to Republicans. The same press more recently tried the same dodge in 2010 focusing on likely Republican failures Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle rather than the transformative Republicans like Kristi Noem, Tim Scott, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio. The arrogant Obama consoled Democrats ahead of this mid-term saying the difference between 1994 and 2010 was that this time they had him. Of course Republicans famously delivered a “shellacking” at the voting booth.  My favorite gawd-awful pollster, Marist, had the Congressional race dead even ahead of the greatest drubbing ever. As the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone wrote “you could argue that this is the best Republican showing ever.” Rather odd they seem to always underestimate Republican performance, don’t you think?

Today the press write 50 stories on Missouri’s Todd Akin and barely acknowledge Nebraska’s Deb Fischer.  If Fischer were a Democrat, the upstart Senator-in-waiting would be paraded around Sunday talk-shows like Cleopatra but you see nary a passing mention of Fischer taking down the formidable Bob Kerrey.  The Tea Party of 2010 was misrepresented, relentlessly smeared with false accusations of racist behavior and ultimately dismissed by the press until they kicked the door in. Instead of trying to coalesce into a national movement  they retrenched locally and have been planting the political mustard seeds in Battleground districts across this country.  You already see the fruits of their labors in the great voter registration changes and early voting of low-propensity Republicans. They don’t talk big or preen for the cameras, they just go about their business changing the entire dynamic of American politics. Today’s polls capture none of this and represent an electorate much the same as the dynamic 2008 Democrat wave when there is no evidence to support such enthusiasm or turnout.

Democrats still have to explain away Obama and his plan for the future because he has yet to offer one. The national polls say despite his poor first term record and lack of a second term agenda he is tied nationally but more importantly leading among the Battleground State polls. But as Bob Krumm writes: “The last two times that a Republican challenged a Democratic incumbent (1996 and 1980) the polls overestimated Democratic support by 5.1 and 7.2 points.  And ‘96 was not even in bad economic times.”  (h/t @JohnEkdahl). Add to that the majority of this blog relentlessly focused on breaking down state poll internals demonstrating time and again those same polls were over-representing Democrat voters and misrepresenting the various state electorates. When you combine these two, the reality is that yes, the polls are wrong and this is not a new phenomenon. The major difference in this election is the sheer volume and relentless use of these polls as political advocacy for a preferred candidate.

In those same polls Mitt Romney has consistently led by double digits among Independent voters while locking down Republican partisans. But Independents are not always the greatest indicator in Presidential elections. John Kerry won Independents nationally by ~1% and by double digits in Ohio ~19 points and still lost the election by 3 points. and Ohio by 2-points.  It is this statistic Democrats cling to while Republicans, including myself, scoff at tied polls with Romney leading with Independents by 20-points. George Bush overcame that Independent deficit because he had a historic turnout of Republicans that had never been seen before. Barack Obama also achieved a historic partisan advantage for modern elections in the 2008 turnout but also carried Independents by 8-points and won overall by 7-points. In 2012 his entire re-election is staked on achieving this again but under far less advantageous circumstances. The greatest difference between 2004 and 2012 is George Bush had a passionate following on the most prominent issue of the day–national security–while today Obama is at his weakest on the most prominent issue of the day–the economy–with passion inspired only in the cult of Obama. This is why Obama is so consistently capped at 47 or 48% in nearly every poll. His impassioned followers won’t abandon him but he attracts few others.

This means the only way Obama wins is a turnout superior to his historic 2008 election when his greatest assets, insurmountable early voting leads and enthusiasm unparalleled in American history, are absent. Maybe he’ll pull it off, but the evidence says he will not. Mitt Romney has run a competent campaign and caught fire in the first debate when President Obama’s lack of vision stood in stark contrast to the energized and vibrant Romney. Since that juncture the enthusiasm, initiative and momentum have all been on one side of the contest.  Today the Romney ground game does no worse than match the vaunted Obama ground game with evidence that Team Obama is desperately robbing Peter (cannibalizing election day high propensity voters) to pay Paul (boost weak early voting).

If political directors at ABC, NBC and CBS were told 6-months ago President Obama’s final days would be spent defending Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin (to crowds far smaller than even John Kerry) while Romney is drawing 30k in Philadelphia suburbs in near unanimity they would conclude Obama is losing the race. Today states like Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania show up in political discussions the way Indiana and North Carolina were in 2008. It doesn’t take much more to know which way the wind is blowing. The Obama campaign’s ground game is a strong operation and plenty of states will be won by less than 1% of the vote, much like 2000 and 2004 so his ability to pull of an election night surprise should not be underestimated. But too many fundamental problems exist for Obama: stubbornly awful economy, eroding trust on foreign policy, formidable opponent, enthusiastic opposition and potentially fatal concerns with the turnout of key demographics (Hispanics and youth) for him to likely win tomorrow.

All of this adds up to the following states falling into Romney’s column: Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. The only rain on Romney’s parade is his inability to carry his “home state” of Michigan but it will be close. The billions in tax-payer losses on the auto bailout at least bought Obama something.

Final electoral prediction, Romney 331, Obama 207. I guess the fundamentals of the race overwhelmed even Hurricane Sandy.


Special thanks to Matt Margolis at Blogs4Victory for the map.

GOTV Raw Meat for the Converted

Here is the memo from the RNC’s Rick Wiley on tomorrow’s Get Out the Vote designed to bury the Obama machine

Enjoy:

[W]e are poised to blow the Obama campaign out on Election Day thanks to a superior GOTV program and a historical GOP Election Day advantage In the four party-registration states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada), we are poised to win the Election Day vote by even greater margins than we did in 2008. That’s right, Jeremy Bird, we beat you on Election Day even in 2008. This time around we have over 150,000 volunteers across the battleground who have already contacted over 53 million voters and expect to contact millions more from now until the polls close tomorrow night.

Who is the cannibal?

In Colorado there are over 26,000 (34%) more high-propensity Republican voters available than high-propensity Democrat voters. In Florida there are 166,000 (21%) more; 85,000 (47%) more in Iowa; and 16,000 (22%) more in Nevada.

And in Ohio, Republicans have 368,000 more high-propensity voters available than Democrats–72 percent more, in fact–and enough to off-set the Obama campaign’s most optimistic (and unrealistic) early vote math.

Field Office trash talk

The Obama campaign’s superior ground game is a myth. They claim they have double and triple the people and offices across the country, yet poll after poll has shown voters have been contacted equally if not more by the Romney campaign and the Republicans. It goes to show you what big government bureaucracy gets you.

I’m glad Democrats are so eager to talk about their ground game. The more they talk, the more they prove the numbers don’t add up. It’s (ground) game over.

Monster Crowd for Romney in Orlando, Florida

You can guarantee Connie Mack will vote whichever way Romney wants if he’s able to drag him across the finish line, however unlikely that may be:

Republicans Erase Obama Early Vote Advantage

Apologies to everyone, but I’m working remotely (again).  The lower Manhattan Verizon network is down so my home computer is useless. Even my much delayed wrap up of Clark County, Nevada is on hold.  Thankfully the below write-up by Rick Klein gives the macro view from Nevada which is very good for the GOP although I believe all parties were hopeful for an even better showing. Early voting was Obama’s real secret weapon in 2008 but in state after state that advantage is getting wiped away making election day all the more precarious to his re-election chances.  Our own David Ramos has done an amazing job breaking down ColoradoRick Klein takes a look at Nevada and Florida and other Battlegrounds as we inch closer to November 6 …. one more day! … one more day! … one more day!

Nevada

Take a look at the key battleground state of Nevada, for example, where early and absentee voting made up about 67 percent of the total votes cast in the state in 2008. Democrats outperformed Republicans in early voting that year by a little less than 12 percentage points, 47.6 percent of the early votes cast came from registered Democrats, while 35.8 percent came from registered Republicans. This year, that gap has narrowed to roughly 7 points, with registered Democrats accounting for 43.9 percent of the votes cast already, and Republicans making up 37 percent, according to figures from the United States Election Project.

Florida

In Florida in 2008, registered Democrats cast 44.9 percent of the early votes, while registered Republicans only cast 37.9 percent. This year, that gap is down as well. Registered Democrats have accounted for 42.6 percent of the early vote, registered Republicans 39.5 percent.

Nationwide

Across the board, in 2008, Democrats held an 11 percentage point advantage over Republicans going into Election Day in the battleground states where party registration was available, but this year, that gap has been cut down to about a6 point advantage, according to one GOP official.

To cannibal or not to cannibal

One of the reasons for Republican gains in early voting has to do with an improved get-out-the-vote operation (commonly referred to as “GOTV”) from 2008. In 2008, Republicans had a weaker operation than Democrats. This year, Republicans amped up their game, targeting “low-propensity” voters, or people who, when they vote, vote Republican, but have not consistently turned out in elections. “If you live in Ohio and Iowa, for example, and you’re a low-propensity Republican voter, you voted in a primary or you’re registered Republicans but you’ve missed some, what you’re going to get form the Romney campaign and the RNC is somebody coming to your door with an absentee ballot, you’re going to get mail that has absentee-ballot request forms,” Republican National Committee  spokesman Tim Miller said.

Minding the gap doesn’t mean victory

From a simple mathematical standpoint, however, Democrats are ahead in the vote count in four out of the five battleground states that offer in-person early voting and register voters by a political party: Nevada, Iowa, Florida and North Carolina.

Firewall lacks clarity

The key Midwestern states that permit in-person early voting – Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin – do not register by party affiliation, so it is impossible to make any definitive statement about which party is ahead in the vote count. Those three states have been identified as a kind of Electoral College firewall for Obama that offers him a path to 270 electoral votes even if he loses in all of the other battleground states

Florida Early Vote Results … More Bad News for Obama

It bears reminding in every early vote update, Barack Obama had incredible advantages in 2008 that propelled him to victory.  In state after state that lead is not only diminished this year but strong GOP gains often mitigate Obama’s entire final election day margin.  Florida is only the latest example.  Obama won Florida in 2008 by 236,148 votes:

Reuters/Ipsos Finds the Wardobe, Polls Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Colorado

I’m tempted not to blog these polls.  Reuters/Ipsos polled Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Colorado and have a likely voter screen but the internal data they provide is the registered voter information.  WHO CARES?  THEY ARE NOT VOTING.  THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE A LIKELY VOTER SCREEN.

For example, in the very first state you see two very curious things among the worthless registered voter group.  Allegedly Romney only gets 87% of the Republican while Obama gets 93% of the Democrat vote.  Highly suspect in a state breaking hard for Romney right now.  Next we see Obama, not Romney, leads by 12-points among Independents 39 to 23.  Who did they poll? Northern Virginia “Independents” Chuck Todd and John Harwood? Was this Virgil Goode’s hometown?  These polling organizations are just wasting time at this point.  I’ll give you the data but these are just more unrealistic polls to feed into the Obama narrative.

Virginia

Obama leads by 3-points, 48 to 45. Third party candidates get 2% and 5% remain Undecided

The party ID is D +3 (Dem 33, Rep 30, Ind 33). This is at least is in between the last two Presidential elections but a shade  closer to the 2008 turnout of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27).  In 2004 the 2004 turnout was R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26).  Also Independents are a little low but the polling results on Independents as indicated above is bizarre to the point of disqualifying.

Ohio

Obama leads by 1-point, 46 to 45.  Third party candidates get 3% and 6% remain Undecided.

Reuters make the long-distance call to Marist in Narnia to come up a “representative” sample of Ohio. The party ID was D +9 (Dem 38, Rep 29, Ind 29). This compares to D +8 in 2008 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and R +5 in 2004 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25).  And as we have shown you numerous times, the real 2008 party ID was really D +5. Obama leads among Independents by 23-points 46 to 23.  Umm-hmm. Just because Obama’s entire victory in 2008 was based on his phenomenal early vote advantage and it has completely disappeared in 2012 doesn’t mean he isn’t going to BEAT his 2008 performance.  Silly me to complain.  I must be a poll-truther.

Florida

All tied up 47 to 47 with 2% voting third-party and 5% Undecided

The party ID is R +1 (Dem 35, Rep 36, Ind 25).  Seems to be a fair split between the previous 2 Presidential elections. In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23). Funny how Obama doesn’t lead when polls don’t overwhelmingly sample Democrats. Independents support Obama 49 to 28 and Kate Upton is grilling me a steak in my kitchen right now.  Yea, that’s the ticket.  Too few Independents are sampled in this survey but like I wrote earlier, this poll has non-sensical numbers throughout it and I need to get to that steak or Kate gets grumpy so on to the next state.

Colorado

Romney leads by 2-points 47 to 45 45 with 4% voting third-party and 4% Undecided

The party ID is R +3 (Dem 27, Rep 30, Ind 41). A fair party ID that splits 2008 R +1 (Dem 30, Rep: 31, Ind: 39) and R +9 (Dem: 29, Rep: 38, Ind: 33) in 2004.  The slight shade towards Democrats is plausible in a state trending that way. What do you know, a fair party ID and Romney’s winning.  I’m on pins and needles wondering what we will see on Tuesday! (I’m not really) Romney leads among Independents by 13-points, 38 to 25.  Even showing Romney winning this is dumb since it is registered voters and there are no many not choosing a candidate.  But Notre Dame won despite doing everything humanly possible to not win so I’ll be nice and go see how Kate and my steaks are doing.

Romney +6 in Florida — Mason-Dixon

Miami Herald/Mason-Dixon show Mitt Romney with  a 6-point lead 51 to 45 in Florida:

Mitt Romney has maintained a solid lead over President Barack Obama in the latest Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely voters who favor the Republican by six percentage points. Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.  Romney’s crossover appeal is fueled by strong support in rural North Florida, a conservative bastion where a relatively high percentage of Democrats often vote Republican in presidential election years. “I’m pretty convinced Romney’s going to win Florida,” said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker, who conducted the 800-likely voter survey from Tuesday through Thursday. “Will it be fivepoints? Maybe. Will it be three points? Possibly,” Coker said, of what he expects Romney’s margin will be. “I don’t think it’s going to be a recount … I don’t think we’re going to have a recount-race here.”Romney is winning handily among men, marginally losing with women voters and has outsized support among non-Hispanic whites. He’s essentially winning on the issues as well: the economy, Medicare, foreign policy and looking out for the middle-class.

Interestingly, the party ID may have been D +4 which is very pro-Obama:

Across Florida, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 4.5 percentage points — about the same margin as the proportion of respondents in this poll.

And in another anecdote why Florida is slipping away from Obama:

 

Oh Marist, You Scamp: Obama Wins 36 of 37 Battleground Polls

Rosencrantz and Gildenstern may have stopped flipping coins but the Marist organization’s ability to run 37 Battleground State polls and have Obama winning 36 of them in a race he’s probably losing may be the greatest in-kind contribution to any one campaign in history. It’s a Bachelorette rose ceremony between Prince Charming and Sloth from the Goonies. It’s a Chippendales competition between Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley. The judges may go through all the machinations of fairness but the outcome is all but certain. When you think of the expense of polling (national polls run ~$50k, state polls a bit less) NBC and WSJ should have to file the cost of these polls with the Federal Elections Commission. I’m genuinely flummoxed. I can’t decide whether to mock these polls or bury them.  I’m feeling generous since I have a home today but really if Romney wins on Tuesday Marist should no longer remain a polling organization. These aren’t independent snap-shots of states, they are press releases on behalf of a preferred candidate.

It bears repeating what I wrote on early voting in my last Marist undressing:

Early voting is creating a unique problem for polling organizations this year  in that the results will skew in favor of the party with the higher early turnout, in this case the Democrats. This built in early voting bias to polls greatly diminishing the polls actual value since you know up front one party’s partisans are over-sampled. Since Democrats tend to vote early, you see the Democrat candidate typically leading by wide margins in early voting according to many polls. When it comes to polling results, all voters who said they already voted make it through the likely voter screen and end up in the final results. This means a sizable pro-Democrat segment of those polled are guaranteed to make it through the likely voter screen. This inherently over-samples Democrats which practically guarantees a favorable result for Democrats. This is how a poll consistently shows Democrat turnout levels at or greater than the best in a generation turnout Democrats enjoyed in 2008 despite mountains of evidence saying otherwise. Of course, Marist has magnificently achieved these outrageous party IDs well before early voting which just goes to prove the old axiom: foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of feeble minds.

Ohio

Obama leads by 6.  The party ID a D+9 (snicker). This compares to D +8 in 2008 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and R +5 in 2004 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25).  There is no chance the Democrat turnout advantage will exceed Obama’s 2008 best in a generation turnout which we write as D +8 based on the CNN party ID generally used.  This is even though the actual 2008 party ID was really only D +5 making this D +9 that much more ludicrous.  Here is the key graph on early voters: “In Ohio, 35 percent say they have already voted or plan to do so, and Obama is leading them, 62 percent to 36 percent. Yet Romney is up among Election Day voters in the Buckeye State, 52 percent to 42 percent.”  If your survey disproportionately samples a voting bloc who favors one candidate by 26-points that candidate is likely going to win that poll.  MSDNC claims they re-ran the poll with the party ID split between 2008 and 2004 elections and that resulted in an Obama 3-point lead.  Well, by all means release the details for how Democrats, Republicans and Independents voted.  I’ll re-run the poll myself and post my model on the blog so you can see what I did  and I GUARANTEE Obama will not have a 3-point lead. If anyone found how the parties voted let me know because I didn’t see it.

Addendum: Meant to include this. Reason # 10,000 to love Jake Tapper. His critics (and he has them) are way off-base with this guy:

Florida

Obama leads by 2.  The party ID is D +2. In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23).  Here is the key graph on early voting: “In the Sunshine State, 63 percent say they have already voted or plan to do so before Election Day, and Obama is winning them, 53 percent to 46 percent. But Romney is ahead among Election Day voters in Florida, 52 percent to 40 percent.”  The closer early vote preference ends up with a closer party ID difference.  It’s still skewed towards Obama’s 2008 turnout which IS NOT HAPPENING but it at least looks close at D +2.  Republicans had a net-gain in voter registration of a quarter-million, Obama’s coalition (youth and Hispanics) is both unenthusiastic and no longer as supportive, and the early voting advantage has been severely mitigated. Romney will win this state by at least 5-points.  The only question is whether he can drag Connie Mack across the finish line with him.

Breaking Down the Campaign Travel Math

Jame Dupree of the Atlanta Journal Constitution breaks down the final campaign stops for both candidates and looks for insights based on where they are going and maybe more importantly where they are not. This is a time to sure up your base support to make sure the people you need to show up remain engaged.  At the same time you will push the envelope only within the context of 270 electoral votes not 300 so the fringe Battlegrounds absence is less surprising:

The President’s schedule over the next four days will take him to Ohio on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, twice to Wisconsin and Colorado and once to Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia and Florida. Meanwhile, Romney’s schedule has him making stops in Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and twice in New Hampshire; both men still have a few holes left to fill in their schedule before Election Day.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the President is spread fairly thinly across 8 states while Romney is comparatively focused on 6 states. Does that mean the President is vulnerable in more areas so he has to play defense across the country?  Or does that mean Romney has fewer paths to victory?  We’ll see.  Here’s Dupree:

Ohio is getting the most attention by far of any state, as the President will be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Romney will be there at least on Friday. Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin will also get visits from each candidate. Romney will stop Saturday in New Hampshire and is scheduled to hold a final rally the night before the elections in Manchester next Monday, as the four Electoral Votes in the Granite State are getting a lot of attention from both sides.

No surprise Ohio has both campaign’s full attention. The incredible investment by Obama in Ohio shows they know they lose without the state and the internals don’t match the farcical public polls. To be honest that level of investment seems to indicate they may actually be losing the state at this juncture. New Hampshire getting two visits from Romney in interesting.  Romney must see some favorable movement in those four electoral votes to give him reason to double down in these final days.

Maybe more telling the Battlegrounds where they are not going:

As of now, Romney may not be going back to Florida, the largest swing state prize – the President is slated to make only one stop in the Sunshine State, Fort Lauderdale on Sunday; South Florida was where Mr. Obama ran up big margins in 2008 against John McCain.

Clearly Romney is comfortable in Florida to leave it off the schedule. This is a big deal. His campaign did some chest thumping about a double-digit win and while that seemed a bit high to be I’d expect a solid win in the state for Romney.

Also, Romney at this point is not going to Nevada, a state that seems to be leaning towards the Democrats again this year, despite its swing state status.

This one is interesting.  Romney doesn’t need the state but he certainly invested in the state.  Obama is playing defense there which is smart.  Early voting is not nearly as strong for Obama a they had hoped but he still seems to have the edge overall in the state. Senator Dean Heller is running a great campaign for re-election there against a deeply unethical opponent  and his margin of victory may help drag Romney across the finish line in the Silver State.

Not on the travel log for either Romney or Obama right now are states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and/or Minnesota – all of which have been mentioned a lot in recent days as possible pickups for Republicans.

For any student of campaigns, these should come as no surprise.  Neither campaign needs them to get to 270 so while they may fall to either campaign in a late breaking wave, campaign resources are focused at this juncture on 270 and 270 only.  No matter whether your number is 271 or 351, they still call you President all the same.  It’s smart campaign strategy.

This is the schedule – subject to change – for each candidate in coming days:

Thursday November 1
Obama: Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado
Romney: Virginia

Friday November 2
Obama: Ohio
Romney: Wisconsin, Ohio

Saturday November 3
Obama: Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia
Romney: New Hamphshire, Colorado

Sunday November 4
Obama: New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Colorado
Romney: n/a

Monday November 5
Obama: n/a
Romney: final rally in New Hampshire

Expect changes and additions to this schedule as we get closer to Election Day.

UPDATE: kostby in the comment section did the analysis I should have.  I’m trying to get on those Marist polls (who doesn’t enjoy a good game of “whack-a-poll” on the morining?) but if you look at kostby’s analysis within the Karl Rove 3-2-1 context you have to feel really good about his chances. 3: Indiana (done), North Carolina (done), Virginia (virtually done). 2: Florida (done) and Ohio (all the marbles). 1: Colorado (strongest play), New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin all better bets than Nevada. You have to like Romney’s chances looking at the travel schedule with that context.  Thanks to kostby for inspiring the additional analysis.

I look at Romney’s schedule like this.

He needs NC, FL, VA, Ohio + one of Colorado, NH, WI, or Iowa. NC and FL are in the bag. So you hit VA once even though the polling is good. The one last visit gets you local TV coverage and excites your campaign workers. Ohio is the whole enchilada so you hit it hard even IF you are winning. Then you hit Wisconsin because you can win it to improve your mandate, but also because it is key to alternate paths if Ohio doesn’t work out.

Assuming NC, Fl, and VA are already in the bag for Romney then you have these alternatives to win:

Alternative 1 — Ohio + any one of CO, NH, IA, WI
Alternative 2 — WI + CO + either NH or IA
Alternative 3 — CO, NH, IA, and NV

I’m starting to feel like it’s going to be: OH, CO, WI, IA, NH as well. That would put Romney at 295.

Release the Kraken: Romney campaign to hit the road with 100 surrogates

There are only 6 days left to campaign and following the Hurricane Sandy pause Team Romney is gearing up for a final push to close out the cycle that would dwarf any prior campaign’s effort.  According to CNN, Team Romney will hit 11-states with all-stars from the GOP’s deep bench, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin:

Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, will kick off a four-day tour starting Friday, where they’ll be joined by their wives and 100 surrogates in the final days of the White House race, his campaign announced Wednesday.

The tour starts off with a rally in West Chester, Ohio, the hometown of House Speaker John Boehner. Aside from Boehner, featured guests that day include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Boehner will depart on his own bus tour in Ohio from Saturday to Monday.

In the four days before Election Day, the surrogates will fan out across eleven battleground states: Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

A campaign source confirmed that Romney will be at the Verizon Center in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday night, and Kid Rock will perform, as well.

On Wednesday, Romney and Ryan resume the campaign trail after canceling some events due to conditions related to Superstorm Sandy. Romney will travel to Florida for three campaign events, where he’ll appear with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack. Ryan, meanwhile, will make stops in Wisconsin.

CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac Survey Narnia, Find Obama Leading

We’re six days out from the finish line so there’s not much time left for the press to get in their final push for their preferred candidate. Lucky for the Left there is the wonderfully incompetent trio of CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac to rush into the fray and magically find polls with Obama winning just close enough that when it flips on election day they can shout “Margin of Error!” and head back into their cocoon.

The economy remains the paramount issue in this election with ~50% saying it is the top priority and ~20% saying it is the #2 priority across all three states polled.  No other topic is even close.  Despite this the lead questions in the survey were “which candidate cares about the needs and problems of people like you?”, “who cares about the middle class?” and “who cares and understands the needs and problems of women in the workplace?”  I’m not making this up. These are straight out of Obama stump speeches. For the uninitiated, polling is as much art as it is science and question order greatly affects responses of those surveyed.  PPP does this in a very biased way all the time which which is among the countless reasons I will never blog them. In the Q-poll, even in their pro-Obama wave of questions, when they get to whether candidate X is a strong leader, Obama still solidly lags Romney polling at ~56% while Romney polls ~64 across the 3 states.

After 9 straight ostensibly pro-Obama questions, they ask about the economy which again is the TOP issue in everyone’s book and happens to be THE issue in every Romney stump speech.  With 9 questions ramping up good feelings about Obama, Romney barely leads on this issue in Florida and Virginia and trails by one in Ohio.  Well done Quinnipiac. Now, if you’ll just survey far more Democrats than have ever shown up at the polls in these state the Death Star may finally be fully operational and Obama can pull out an election that he is almost assuredly losing right now.  On to the states!

Florida: The Lion

  • Obama leads +1 at 48 to 47 with 3% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 5
  • Party ID wasD +7 (Dem 37, Rep 30, Ind 29). In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23). Good show Quinnipiac!  In a state with a GOP governor and massive increases in congressional delegations, popular GOP Senator, and strong state house swings to the GOP since 2008, you found Democrat strength equal to 2008 while Republican flight since 2004 continues unabated. You found the Democrat identification advantage in your survey more than doubles the advantage they enjoyed in 2008 despite a nearly net 300,000 swing towards Republicans in voter registrations. Your Florida poll is unassailable…at least in Narnia.
  • Obama job approval +1 at 49/48 … if Quinnipiac surveyed only Dade County and even there I’d double check the numbers

Ohio: The Witch

  • Obama leads +5, 50 – 45 with 4% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 6
  • The party ID was D +8 (Dem 37, Rep 29, Ind 30). This compares to D +8 in 2008 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and R +5 in 2004 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25).  There is no chance the Democrat turnout advantage will meet Obama’s 2008 best in a generation turnout which we write as D +8 based on the CNN party ID generally used.  This is even though the actual 2008 party ID was really only D +5 making this D +8 that much more implausible. How many statistics on changes in enthusiasm favoring Republicans, unrealistic Democrat demographic assumptions and elimination of Obama’s early vote advantage do you need to see before they start polling an electorate dissimilar to 2008 when their dream candidate fulfilled their liberal inner guilt and healed a nation or whatever BS they were peddling at the time? Quinnipiac is not going to let silly facts get in the way of its mission to buck up the Lefties and turn this contest into a horse-race. One more piece to the puzzle before the Death Star is complete.
  • Obama job approval +3 at 50/47 — Can you imagine what it would be if they surveyed Ohio?

Virginia: The Wardrobe

  • Obama leads by 2, 49 – 47 with 3% Undecided; Romney leads with Independents by 21
  • The party ID is D +8 (Dem 35, Rep 27, Ind 35). This compares to 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 27) and 2004 of R +4 (Dem 35, Rep 39, Ind 26). Who knew the blue wave continues so far South of the DC Beltway?  Certainly not Virginia and certainly not Governor Creigh Deeds. Just because Virginia flipped its state delegation dramatically in favor of Republicans doesn’t mean the voters turned their back on Democrats, it’s just there must have been a good TV rerun of Martin Sheen spouting non-sensical liberal tripe on the Left Wing that distracted Democrats from voting.  Good thing Quinnipiac found these ultra-micro-targeted hidden Democrats only Project Narwhal knows about because otherwise, without those gnomes (Step 1: Call random #s only in Fairfax County, Step 2: ???, Step 3: Obama wins!) I’m not sure we’d have a fully operational Death Star. Come November 6, we’ll see how well those gnomes delivered for this survey of a fantasy electorate.
  • Obama job approval flat at 49/49 — Really?  49% with a D +8 turnout in a state closer to even D/R?  Suuuuuuuure.

Newspapers Endorsing Romney After Endorsing Obama in 2008

When I see  a major Battleground State paper changing their endorsement I have posted them on this blog. But plenty of papers beyond the Battlegrounds are also voting for change this election.  Here is a collection of all papers who have switched their support:

  1. Des Moines Register: “Mitt Romney Offers A Fresh Economic Vision” “Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.” (Editorial, “Mitt Romney Offers A Fresh Economic Vision,” Des Moines Register, 10/27/12)
  2. The Daily Herald (Illinois): “[W]e Endorse Romney Because He, Unlike Obama, Understands That Jobs Are A Creation Of Business, Not Of Government.” “But ultimately, we endorse Romney because he, unlike Obama, understands that jobs are a creation of business, not of government. And that to encourage job growth, we need policies that incent business to grow and provide it with a stable environment for that growth.” (Editorial, “Endorsement: The Case For Mitt Romney For President,” The Daily Herald, 10/28/12)
  3. Florida Today: “Romney Has A Clearer Vision For A Modern Economy…” “Over the next four years, Washington must foster a more competitive economy and balance federal budgets. Florida voters rate jobs and business growth as their No. 1 concern by far. For those reasons, we endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president. Romney has a clearer vision for a modern economy. He has a better understanding than President Barack Obama of what could help manufacturers and service companies grow and hire. And he has executive experience and a record of problem solving that Obama did not have before taking office.” (Editorial, “We Recommend Mitt Romney For President,” Florida Today, 10/28/12)
  4. Pensacola News Journal: “We Believe [Mitt Romney] Has The Experience And Temperament To Start The Repairs.” “As he did in 2008, Mitt Romney is campaigning that ‘Washington is broken’: that Congress and the president can neither legislate nor lead effectively. We believe he has the experience and temperament to start the repairs. If elected, we urge him to gather key Democrats on Nov. 7 and start to find solutions to our problems.” (Editorial, “We Recommend: Mitt Romney For President,” Pensacola News Journal, 10/28/12)
  5. Naples Daily News: “[W]e Believe It Will Take Another Administration Change, To Romney, To Bring The Leadership That Will Make That Recovery Timely, Robust And Sustainable.” “This time four years ago, this newspaper’s editorial board sized up the state of the economy and other issues and concluded the country needed a change, to Obama. While we believe the national economy is on the way back, we believe it will take another administration change, to Romney, to bring the leadership that will make that recovery timely, robust and sustainable.” (Editorial, “President Of The United States,” Naples Daily News, 10/28/12)
  6.  Quad City Times: “[W]e Endorse A Successful Leader Focused On Economic Recovery And Growth And Deficit Reduction.” “Today, we endorse a successful leader focused on economic recovery and growth and deficit reduction. We endorse a proven manager who won’t need on-the-job training. We endorse a compromiser who offers the best hope of breaking congressional gridlock. Most of all, we endorse change. We endorse Mitt Romney for president.” (Editorial, “Ready For Change,” Quad City Times, 10/28/12)
  7.  Los Angeles Daily News: “Romney Has Proven His Leadership Qualities…” “Four years ago, as America faced serious trouble at home and abroad, this news organization embraced the need for bold change to a different brand of leadership and endorsed Barack Obama for president. … Romney has proven his leadership qualities as a business success, as the trouble-shooting head of the Salt Lake City Olympics, and as the governor of Democratic Party-dominated Massachusetts.” (Editorial, “Elect Mitt Romney President,” Los Angeles Daily News, 10/28/12)
  8.  Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Romney Has Laid Out A Consistent Theme … That Theme Is A Winner.” “Romney has laid out a consistent theme focused on encouraging business innovation and growth, reducing government spending and its economic footprint and educating and retraining people to take new jobs. That theme is a winner, and Congress will be receptive when Romney brings it.”(Editorial, “Mitt Romney: New Leadership For More Economic Growth,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/21/12)
  9. Reno Gazette-Journal: “We Find Ourselves In Need Of Change Yet Again. Romney Must Be The Leader To Get Things Moving.” “Based on our current fiscal condition, a still-weak economy and a Congress deeply divided along party lines, our next president will continue to face a daunting challenge, one that must be met for the good of the country. Four years later, we find ourselves in need of change yet again. Romney must be the leader to get things moving.” (Editorial, “Nevada Needs A Change Now; Elect Mitt Romney President,”Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/20/12)
  10. Orlando Sentinel: “He Understands That Reviving The Economy And Repairing The Government’s Balance Sheet Are Imperative.” “[T]he core of Romney’s campaign platform, his five-point plan, at least shows he understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are imperative — now, not four years in the future. … We endorse Mitt Romney for president. (Editorial, “Our Pick For President: Romney,” Orlando Sentinel, 10/19/12)
  11.    New York Observer: “A Strong Leader … [He] Promises To Bring A New And Refreshing Attitude To Washington.” “Mitt Romney stands out because—unlike so many candidates in the past—he understands how to build businesses, create efficiencies, make tough deals and carefully consider divergent viewpoints. America needs a strong leader, a practical leader. … [He] promises to bring a new and refreshing attitude to Washington, one that speaks to his experience as both a successful business leader and the governor of a state not known for its affection for Republicans.” (Editorial, “Romney For President,” New York Observer, 10/16/12)
  12.  South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “We Need A Leader Who Will Chart A Clear Course, Sweat The Details And Get The Job Done Right.” “In these uncertain times, we need a leader who will chart a clear course, sweat the details and get the job done right. We believe Romney’s past performance is a predictor of his future behavior. He’s proven himself to be a successful businessman. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal and mismanagement. He worked with a Democrat-dominated legislature as governor of Massachusetts to close a $3 billion budget deficit — without borrowing and raising taxes.” (Editorial, “Sun Sentinel Endorses Mitt Romney For President,” Sun Sentinel, 10/26/12)

Romney Using Campaign Resources for Storm Relief Efforts

This isn’t new for Team Romney, back in July:

As more becomes clear on the storm’s impact, I expect more Romney campaign resources to be used similarly. News will be similarly sparse on these efforts so if you see something shoot it my way.

Mason-Dixon Polling Director: “Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida”

These are the types of polls I love.  If the I-4 corridor is going to decide the outcome in Florida, why not do a poll of just the I-4 corridor?  Well the Tampa bay Times did just that and Mitt Romney leads by 6 points in this all-important part of the state:

It has been a fundamental rule of Florida politics for decades: Statewide campaigns are won and lost on the I-4 corridor. Today that celebrated swing-voter swath stretching from Tampa Bay to Daytona Beach is poised to deliver Florida’s 29 electoral votes to Mitt Romney. An exclusive Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 poll of likely voters along the Interstate 4 corridor finds Romney leading Obama 51 percent to 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided.

“Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida,” said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, which conducted the poll for the Times and its media partners. “Unless something dramatically changes — an October surprise, a major gaffe — Romney’s going to win Florida.” “Being that this is I-4, the Florida battleground, the region of the state that usually tells you how it’s going to come out, for Romney to be up 6 points right now … they should be able to call Florida as soon as the polls close in Pensacola if they do their exit polling right,” Coker said.

The Oct. 22-24 survey focused only on voters in the I-4 corridor, but Tampa Bay on the western end has an uncanny knack for almost exactly matching Florida’s statewide results. Four years ago Obama beat John McCain in Florida and Tampa Bay — defined as Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Polk and Citrus counties — by the same margin, 51 percent to 48 percent.

Today? The poll shows Romney leading Tampa Bay 50 percent to 46 percent.

As the blogfather says, read the whole thing.

Naples Daily News, Florida Endorses Romney (Endorsed Obama in 2008)

Another flip in editorial endorsements:

Editorial: President of the United States

After two years of speeches, forums, debates, press releases, testimonials and attack ads, the presidential election yields something clear and concise.

This really is all about the economy.

Given Democratic President Barack Obama’s attempts over the past four years to improve it, and Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s credentials as an astute businessman who understands how money works, our endorsement goes to Romney.

This time four years ago, this newspaper’s editorial board sized up the state of the economy and other issues and concluded the country needed a change, to Obama.

While we believe the national economy is on the way back, we believe it will take another administration change, to Romney, to bring the leadership that will make that recovery timely, robust and sustainable.

Our own community has a clear-cut stake in all of this. New home construction and sales — the bedrock of the economy in our region as well as Florida as a whole — was one of the first industries to go into the abyss. We believe Southwest Florida and the rest of the state can lead the way out of this recession, especially with Romney and new economic advisers who are battle-tested in business at the helm.

We believe Romney knows what it means for government to make it easier for business to do business, and that is where the comeback ought to start.

We believe a Romney administration will move instinctively toward spending and taxation policies that will free up money for investment and economic diversification — and jobs.

A Romney administration would be well advised to avoid the distractions and divisiveness that often come with social issues. Those can wait.

At the same time, we call on Romney, moving forward, to make sure health care coverage remains accessible to all, as he did as governor of Massachusetts; that energy independence and diversity means more than drill, baby, drill; and Everglades restoration remains on track.

President Obama did as well as he could against tall odds, with some Republican leaders and media voices vowing from his inauguration to make sure he does not have another swearing-in ceremony. Still, despite those strident messages — which at times subjected him to more and wilder conspiracy theories than any public figure in history — a better leader could have made more progress on reducing the deficit and a health-care plan that enjoyed bipartisan buy-in.

President Bill Clinton did it in 1994 after a convincing Republican “Contract with America” sweep. Obama failed to attempt the same reality-driven statesmanship following the midterm 2010 GOP sweep.

The Obama presidency can claim its share of positives, including the killing of Osama bin Laden and the passage of the economic stimulus, without which our economy would have totally cratered. Yet, that stimulus, and two wars, did not come cheaply. We have more confidence in Romney to lead us out of the hole and avoid the fiscal cliff that awaits us.

So do investors, boards of directors and CEOs, which brings us back to the economy.Do you wonder or do you know something different will happen in the next four years? With enough votes, we know something different will happen in the next four years with a Romney administration.

Some of the warnings about Obama’s lack of legislative and leadership skills have come true over the past four years. It is not worth risking the state of our economy for the next four years to see whether his learning curve really is behind him.

We have more confidence in Romney being able to build upon the economy as far as the Obama administration has been able to resuscitate it.

Despite all the conflicting messages about the candidates being weak on terrorism or uncaring toward Americans, ambassadors or allies in need — none of which we believe to be true — this campaign comes to a finale on getting the private sector back to what it does best.

  • Progress.
  • Moving forward.
  • Making money.
  • Reinventing science and medicine.
  • Working.
  • Building.
  • Our community can be out front of all of that.
  • Our state can be out front of all of that.

We believe Mitt Romney is the candidate for president of the United States to do what we have to do.

15,000 Rally for Romney in Land O’Lakes, Florida

Putting Florida away:

On the scene report from Jeff R in the comments section:

I’m in that picture behind him somewhere. Just got back from the rally. I live in Pinellas and Land O’Lakes is in eastern Pasco County, about an hour or so away (longer tonight due to heavy traffic).

Land O’Lakes High School is on US 41. That road goes all the way down into downtown Tampa and it’ll take you up to Brooksville in Hernando County – so a good crossroads location for the Tampa Bay area. Traffic was backed up three miles away from the school in either direction. People parked two miles away and walked in. My group ended up much closer, but this group was determined to see Mitt Romney. So few could actually park at the school, so the side grass on US 41 was filled with parked cars.

It is worth noting that this rally began while FSU and UF were playing football today. UF was playing in “The World’s Biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party” against Georgia in Jacksonville – and yet so many thousands turned up. USF was also playing a football game in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium. It’s not like people didn’t have something else they could do that didn’t involve a massive crowd in a small space and lots of standing and walking. President Obama could only muster 8500 near downtown Tampa in a park that could hold 10,000 just a few days before. Yet Mitt Romney drew thousands from Hillsborough (where Tampa is), Pinellas (St. Pete/Clearwater), and Pasco (New Port Richey, Zephyrhills) and many had to drive through heavy traffic to get there where it took a half hour to go a mile. Seriously.

Had to go through “airport like” security overseen by the Secret Service. The uniformed agents were as nice as could be and it was superfast to get through. The Secret Service is a million times better at this than the TSA.

This was not merely an anti-Obama rally, folks. People have clearly grown a fondness for Romney. I doubt there was anyone there that felt they’re stuck with this guy. We’ve gone from agony in some corners of the GOP over nominating him to sheer joy. They like him and they were there to see Mitt. It was so loud when he walked up to the podium. And that prepared stump speech that I’ve heard bits of before, it sounded sincere. He even got in a few quips and showed he knew something about Florida – joking about how many transplants we have (whenever he’d mention another state like Wisconsin or Ohio (I shouted at that one), he noticed there’d be places in the crowd that would cheer) and he didn’t mention the cost of heating oil in the energy cost bit because he told us that we probably didn’t have to pay much for heating.

Romney is really good at this now. He’s clearly much more comfortable and he go us to stop chanting his name and instead chant “10 more days!” – though he picked up on the one negative of that chant, the fact that we’d have to change it tomorrow.

People are fired up. Romney is fired up, but I loved how he stressed that this is a team effort, not just for the election, but beyond. There is no cult of personality here, but I think there is a growing affection for the man and his family. People believe in him like they didn’t in McCain – and it is not a naïve belief like the one Obama rode to victory.

We need to work hard for the next 9 days to ensure the wave, but I feel it coming. I am convinced that there is something bigger nationwide that polls cannot measure, but these enthusiastic crowds that Romney is getting everywhere now do. A mere anti-Obama does not get crowds like this. Romney is inspiring people. Talked to more than a few people in the crowd who said they were registered Democrats that were disgusted by the President and what the left had done to their party.

Big change is coming.

Romney +5 in Florida — Sunshine State News

Another strong poll for Romney in Florida.  The party ID was D +1 (Dem 40, Rep 39, Ind 21). In 2008 it was D +3 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29). In 2004 it was R+4 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23).  The split seems OK but there are likely too few Independents.  Of concern in the poll is Romney support with 21% of African-Americans.  That’s simply not going to happen.

Florida and its important 29 electoral votes are all but in the Romney camp, according to Sunshine State News poll of likely voters taken mostly following the third and final presidential debate.  But the parties still have a big challenge ahead in their ground games. Early voting begins Saturday in Florida. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pushed above the 50 percent mark in the poll conducted between Oct. 22 and Oct. 24 by Harrisburg, Pa.-based Voter Survey Service. Of 1,001 likely Florida voters, 51 percent were ready to vote for Romney to 46 percent for President Obama. Only 12 percent said the recent debates had any sway on their opinion, with 40 percent of those individuals saying they switched from Obama to Romney and just 22 percent going the other way.

Meanwhile, the state, as of Thursday morning, had already received 1.05 million absentee ballots back from voters, of which 468,417 are from registered Republicans and 414,343 from registered Democrats, according to the Division of Elections. According to the VSS poll results, in which 50 percent of those contacted labeled themselves conservative and the rest evenly split as liberal or moderate, Romney is winning the argument about jobs creation by a 2-1 margin, and even on international issues by a 51 percent to 44 percent margin. Romney has a 15 percentage-point margin with men, with Obama having a 5 percentage-point edge with women voters.  While Obama continues to win with young and black voters, he is underperforming from his 2008 victory with suburban, women and Hispanic voters. The poll also suggests that Obama may be losing some support in the black community, as 21 percent of the respondents identifying themselves as African-American plan to vote for Romney. Lee noted that while some polls using “live” pollsters have pushed Obama numbers above 90 percent among black voters, those using automated polls have shown a more diverse outcome. “This would suggest perhaps Obama won’t be on track to get 95 percent of the black vote this time, but only 90 percent or even less.”

For President Percent
Barack Obama 46
Mitt Romney 51
Other 1
Undecided 2

South Florida Sun Sentinel Endorses Romney (Endorsed Obama in 2008)

Sun Sentinel endorses Mitt Romney for president

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board

Brush away all the rhetoric, all the vitriol, all the divisiveness from the presidential campaign. To most Americans, only one thing matters — the economy.

Four years into Barack Obama’s presidency, economic growth is sputtering. Family incomes are down. Poverty is up. Business owners are reluctant to assume risk in the face of unending uncertainty. Many are holding on by their fingernails, desperate for signs of an economic recovery that will help them provide for themselves, their employees, their customers and their communities.

When President Obama came into office in 2009, the economy was in freefall and though untested, he inspired us with his promise of hope and change. Now, four years later, we have little reason to believe he can turn things around.

So while we endorsed Obama in 2008, we recommend voters choose Republican Mitt Romney on Nov. 6.

Continue reading

Quick and Dirty on the Gravis Poll for Florida with Romney leading by 1

I don’t like the poll for many reasons.  But mostly there are too many contradictions favoring either party.

Party ID is D +9 (Dem 43, Rep 35, Ind 22).  This is absurd for a state that was D +3 in 2008 (Dem 37, Rep 34, Ind 29) and R +4 in 2004 (Dem 37, Rep 41, Ind 23).

Romney gets 14% of the Democrat vote whereas Obama gets 8% of the GOP vote and Romney leads with Independents by 10.  This should be a 15-point win for Romney

Obama leads among women by 1-point.  If this were true again Romney would win the state by 15 points.

Romney leads with men by 1-point. Under this scenario Obama would carry Florida.

The racial make-up is David Axelrod’s dream scenario where White people en masses don’t vote. This is almost as bad at that SurveyUSA poll. Here the poll’s racial make-up is incredible: 63% White, 20% Hispanics/Cuban, 13% Black, 1% Asian. In 2008 the racial make-up at the ballot box in Florida was: 71% White, 14% Hispanic, 13% Black, 1% Asian. Too few Whites and too many Hispanics.  In my best Dana Carvey impression of George HW Bush, “Not gonna happen…”

It’s great that Romney’s leading in a poll but no matter who was in the lead in this poll it’s value is nil due poll compositions and voter preferences that make little sense.

Michael Barone Sees a Suburban Swing Towards Romney

Michael Barone has his usual smart take on the election with a great little nugget for why Romney is closing strong in Pennsylvania and Michigan but isn’t seeing the comparable moves in Ohio:

Barack Obama’s campaign spent huge sums on anti-Romney ads to create a firewall in three states that the president won narrowly in 2008 — Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. But post-debate polling shows Romney ahead in Florida and tied in Virginia. National Journal’s Major Garrett reported last week that Obama strategist David Plouffe omitted Florida and Virginia in a list of key states but mentioned Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Obama carried the latter three by ten, ten, and twelve points respectively in 2008. So much for the firewall. In addition, polling shows Romney ahead in Colorado, which Obama carried by nine points last time, and the race closing in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, which Obama carried by 14, 10, and 16 points respectively.

That tends to validate my alternative scenario that Mitt Romney would fare much better in affluent suburbs than have the previous Republican nominees since 1992, and would run more like George Bush did in 1988. The only way Pennsylvania and Michigan can be close is if Obama’s support in affluent Philadelphia and Detroit suburbs has melted away. This also helps explain why Romney still narrowly trails in Ohio polls. Affluent suburban counties cast about one-quarter of the votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan but only one-eighth in Ohio.

A pro-Romney swing among the affluent is confirmed by the internals of some national polls. The 2008 exit poll showed Obama narrowly carrying voters with incomes over $75,000. Post-debate Pew Research and Battleground polls have shown affluent suburbanite Romney carrying them by statistically significant margins. In particular, college-educated women seem to have swung toward Romney since October 3. He surely had them in mind in the foreign-policy debate when he kept emphasizing his hopes for peace and pledged no more wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan.