Approximately 96 percent of the likely voters have made up their minds long ago. They don’t need convincing. Roughly half that number is for Obama (47), and the majority is for Romney (49). The remaining 4 percent will base their choice on whether if Romney is a viable alternative to Obama, and not whether who they would necessarily like in the White House for the next four years. These lone holdouts are the consummate, asterisk-mark swing voters.
This is what we can expect based on the knowns.
These numbers are averages from several polls reflecting likely voter sentiments.
If undecideds base their decision on the economy, Romney will win 53 percent of those making their decision by Election Day.
If undecideds base their decision on national security, Romney will receive 49 percent of those making their decision by Election Day (based on Romney’s climb in this category, he may soon enjoy clear majority support by Election Day).
If undecideds base their decision on likeability, Romney will receive 52 percent of those making their decision by Election Day.
Since one issue isn’t likely to carry the day, we can take these numbers together and that gives Romney a share of exactly 51.3 percent of the remaining votes, leaving Obama with exactly 47.7 percent (those numbers are out of 99 percent total, giving 1 percent to “other” which is historically accurate).
Romney’s total, if not exact, is very close to his overall numbers according to Gallup and Rasmussen. And Obama’s total is almost exact to his personal approval ratings. In other words, there may be some differences in the remaining undecided voters when compared to national averages, but they will not be by much. You can expect these remaining few to vote very similar to the rest of the nation.
If we choose a state to represent our undecided voters, Ohio would be the perfect example. The state is very competitive at the moment. Rasmussen has Romney 50 percent to Obama 48 percent. Other polls have Obama up by one, or locked up between the two. At any rate, what is important here is that Obama fails to crack 50 percent in any poll. His number is stuck on average at 48 percent, which is exactly at his approval rating. This trend is repeated in other key states. Virginia: Romney 50%, Obama 48%, Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 48%, and Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 49%. Rarely, does a president outdo his personal approval rating and can be considered a ceiling, a very hard ceiling.
Voters in Ohio give Romney support on the economy, 53% to 41% — a 12-point margin. Rasmussen points out that Romney enjoyed a 7-point lead on the economy just last week. On national security, Romney has surged ahead of Obama and holds a lead 52% to 42%. Even more important is that Romney holds a 53 to 47 advantage on personal approval. Romney seems to have yet hit his ceiling. Among swing state averages, though, Romney has held a 50 to 46 advantage since October 20th. Obama hasn’t led in this category since October 17th.
These numbers are making their own case. Obama is tapped out at 48 percent, while Romney is consistently hitting 50 percent. Moreover, his trajectory in all categories is climbing. A potent factor only less than a week out from Election Day.
The same goes with independent voters. Romney holds a big lead over Obama among independents. No one has won the White House without either breaking even or winning over the majority of independents. Obama should not be considered an exception to this rule, especially considering Republicans currently hold the advantage in turnout. The 2008 model is useless for analysis as it virtually guaranteed that the Democrats will not repeat the kind of turnout they showed last election.
CBS is out with a new poll of the critical swing states Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. In each, Romney posts significant leads among Independent voters. In Virginia, Romney leads Obama by a massive 21 points among Independents. In OH and FL, he leads by 5-6 points. If this lead holds through election day, he will not lose these states, based on past elections. Romney also has big leads among those most likely to vote. He wins seniors, the most dependable voting demographic, by 13 points in VA, 11 points in FL and 9 points in OH. Again, if these trends hold, Romney will sweep all three states, according to CBS.
In the final analysis, and the real clincher here, is that Romney is posting a significant lead in early voting. Roughly 15 percent of the nation has voted and Romney leads…wait for it…52 to 46. On October 28, 2008, candidate Obama was leading in early voting 55 to 40 percent over McCain.
If these numbers reflect the decisions of the undecided on Election Day, the majority will break for Romney and deliver him a clear victory. Obama is not only the embattled incumbent, according to these numbers, he is a very weak incumbent. With 47 to 48 percent of the nation behind him, that does not leave enough support for Obama to carry the election. In short, the electoral map he created in 2008 will recede back to the hard blue states. Romney will sweep Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. All of which equal 89 electoral votes.
The result on Election Day should be Romney 52 percent, Obama 47 percent.
*If it is truly a challenger election, which I think it is, I will not be surprised if Romney receives 53 percent and Obama 46 percent — a result of a strong challenger outdoing the polls, which is not unprecedented.
As we get closer, I’ll narrow down my numbers even more as well as my estimation of the Electoral Votes.