A collection of reports from around key states, and some that might not have been considered key, all that long ago. Is Michigan really in play?
All – Team Obama may say the blue states they are defending just one week from Election Day are safe but here’s the reality. Obama won Michigan by 17 and Pennsylvania and Minnesota by 10 points in 2008 and clearly those days are long gone. Days after going up on the air in Minnesota, today Chicago went up in Pennsylvania and Michigan – states Messina never thought they’d be defending. The problems for Obama don’t stop here. A new Gallup poll shows Obama’s 14 point early vote lead from 2008 doesn’t exist today, the Democrats have an intensity problem, Obama is losing Florida Hispanics to Romney 54-46 and his support is down with everyone from women to youth and independents.
In The News:
Associated Press: Romney, GOP Suddenly Plunging Onto Democratic Turf
Mitt Romney is suddenly plunging into traditionally Democratic-leaning Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and his GOP allies are trying to put Michigan into play. It's forcing President Barack Obama to defend his own turf - he's pouring money into television ads in the states and dispatching top backers - in the campaign's final week. The question is: Why this Republican move? GOP efforts in the trio of Rust Belt states could indicate that Romney is desperately searching for a last-minute path to the needed 270 Electoral College votes - without all-important Ohio. Or just the opposite, that he's so confident in the most competitive battlegrounds that he's pressing for insurance against Obama in what's expected to be a close race. Or perhaps the Republican simply has money to burn. Use it now or never. Former President Bill Clinton was dispatched in response on Tuesday. "Barack Obama's policies work better," he declared on the University of Minnesota campus, one of his two stops in a state that offers 10 electoral votes and hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972.
Politico: Obama going on TV in Michigan
President Obama’s campaign is going up on the air in Michigan, the third new state in the past week it's begun airing TV ads.
Multiple media trackers told POLITICO that Obama had reserved airtime in the Detroit media market. Earlier in the day, Obama strategist David Axelrod hinted that a move might be in the works as a result of pro-Romney super PAC spending. “We probably will do something there (on TV) because Restore our Future put $2.5 million in there,” said Axelrod, who subsequently confirmed the buy. Romney’s campaign is not on the air in the state, but his super PAC has been airing spots for some time and public polls have showed a narrowing race. Obama’s rearguard action comes after his campaign made similar buys to shore up Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Romney backers buying ads in Pennsylvania
Two Republican super PACs are making a late play to try to crack Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania, spending a combined $3.2 million to air TV commercials across the state in support of Mitt Romney. Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC run by former aides to the Republican nominee, is spending $2.1 million over the campaign's final week to attack President Obama in the state, including $1 million devoted to the expensive Philadelphia media market. That's on top of $1.1 million in airtime purchased by Americans for Job Security, a conservative group that does not have to disclose its donors because it is organized under the tax code as a trade association. … Republicans say that volunteers have made more than five million voter contacts in Pennsylvania, with phone calls and door knocks, many more than the party did four years ago or in 2004. In addition, party officials say registered Republicans have returned 63,717 absentee ballots in the state, to 42,013 turned in by Democrats.
OBAMA EARLY VOTE PROBLEMS:
It hasn't gotten too much attention outside of talk radio, but if accurate, Gallup's study of early voters neutralizes one of the Obama campaign's best road-to-victory talking points. As it conducted tracking polls (which have been paused for now), Gallup asked voters whether they'd cast ballots or intended to before election day. The early voters broke 52-46 for Mitt Romney. The dawdling voters who would vote before election day were tied, 49-49. The voters waiting for November 6 broke for Romney, again, by a 6-point margin. This would be easy to explain away if Obama had lagged in 2008's early vote. After all, this study includes votes in Georgia and Texas and other places that have broken away from Obama. But... in 2008, Obama was winning this vote. An identical Gallup study taken around the same time gave Obama a 53-43 lead with early voters and a 50-44 lead on voters who would wait for election day. I've asked the Obama campaign to explain what Gallup might be missing, and will update with any response, but what response would explain this?
Washington Examiner: Some see GOP voting tsunami coming
Democrats more than Republicans are getting their most loyal supporters to vote early, but with polls showing a close race among those who have voted so far, concerns are being raised about a GOP tsunami on the actual Election Day, next Tuesday. According to a GOP analysis of early voting and absentee ballot requests provided to Secrets, the Democrats are turning out their most reliable, or so-called "high propensity voters" than Republicans, leaving fewer for Election Day. The GOP is pushing weaker supporters to vote early, expecting high enthusiasm to drive their regular supporters to the polls next week. "Democrats are cannibalizing their high-propensity voters in advance of election day to get stories that they are winning," said a GOP analyst. "But in effect they are stealing from Peter, or Election Day, to pay Paul, or early voting." For example, in Ohio, the Democrats have turned out 43 percent of the most loyal supporters to vote, compared to just 27 percent of the GOP. In Iowa, the difference is 43 percent to 29 percent.
Political Impact of Early Voting Looks Minimal. By 19% to 15%, a slightly higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats have already voted. When those who intend to vote before Election Day are factored in, the gap is similar: 37% of Republicans vs. 33% of Democrats. However, when one looks at the voting intentions of likely voters according to candidate support, the political impact for the two candidates appears to be roughly equal. Of Barack Obama's supporters, 15% have already voted and a total of 33% indicate they will vote early. Of Mitt Romney's supporters, the figures are 17% and 34%, respectively.
CHASER: Gallup 2008: Obama doing better among those who have voted or say they will vote before Nov. 4
Among the group of those who say they have not yet voted, but will before Election Day, the skew towards Obama is more pronounced, at 54% to 40%. By comparison, those who are going to wait to vote on Nov. 4 manifest a narrower 50% to 44% Obama over McCain candidate preference. (Across all registered voters over this time period, Obama leads McCain by a 51% to 43% margin).
OBAMA HISPANIC PROBLEMS:
Miami Herald: Is Obama's FL camp too confident about Hispanic numbers?
CNN today reported that President Obama's Florida team believes there's a direct correlation between Hispanic voter turnout and the campaign's chances in Florida: "If President Barack Obama wins Florida, it will be thanks to an increase in Hispanic voters, according to leaders of the president's campaign in the state," CNN said. "One week before Election Day and three days into early voting in the ever important battleground, Obama's Sunshine State director Ashley Walker told reporters during a pen and pad briefing that early turnout among Hispanics is up 50% from 2008 due to an increase in registration and enthusiasm in the community." Here's what wasn't apparently mentioned: Obama's Hispanic numbers don't appear to be that rosy in Florida.
SHOT: "Team Obama Says Hispanic Vote Helps Confidence In Florida"
One week before Election Day and three days into early voting in the ever important battleground, Obama's Sunshine State director Ashley Walker told reporters during a pen and pad briefing that early turnout among Hispanics is up 50% from 2008 due to an increase in registration and enthusiasm in the community. (Jessica Yellin, "Team Obama says Hispanic vote helps confidence in Florida" CNN News, 10/30/12)
CHASER: Latest Florida Polls, Including Democrat Leaning PPP, Show Obama Losing Hispanics In Florida
Democrat Leaning PPP poll shows Mitt Romney is winning Hispanics in Florida 54-46…Miami Herald poll of Miami-Dade Hispanics shows Romney winning 62-33…Mason Dixon shows Romney winning Hispanics in Florida 46-44
OBAMA SUPPORT DROPPING EVERYWHERE:
Washington Examiner: NPR: 8-point swing puts Romney in front
A new National Public Radio poll, which had President Obama leading Mitt Romney 51 percent to 44 percent four weeks ago, now has Mitt Romney on top, 48 percent to 47 percent, with the Republican benefiting from his debate performances.
The poll found that among likely voters, 34 percent said Romney's debate performances made them more likely to vote for the challenger while 28 percent said they now are more likely to vote for the president. Among critical independent voters, though, Romney won big, with 37 percent saying they are now more likely to chose him compared to 21 percent for Obama.
The American Spectator: Romney Soars in Pensacola
Mitt-mentum becomes him, as he elevates his game. The proverbial "electricity" was palpable in the crowd at the Pensacola Civic Center on Saturday, but candidate Mitt Romney was talking about electricity of another kind. Romney, a onetime Boy Scout leader, was speaking about a major national Scout ceremony from years ago in which a Scout leader from Monument, Colorado, was telling a story while he, Romney, was there on the dais. The Monument scouts had created a special American flag (with gold trim, or something like that), had it flown at the U.S. Capitol, and then somehow convinced NASA to send it on a space shuttle. The shuttle was the Challenger; the flight was in 1986.
Associated Press: Obama hopes Nevada turnout team trumps bad economy
It's people like Paul Prekop who make Nevada a maddeningly difficult state for President Barack Obama to lock down, and who give Republican Mitt Romney hope that there's a route to the White House even if he loses the big prize of Ohio. Prekop, 54, said he benefits from a union contract in his job as a casino craps dealer. He credits Democrats for the stock market's four-year rise. And he's grateful that Obama's health care law lets him keep his young-adult son on his insurance plan. "I'm not really a big Romney fan," he adds. So, did Prekop help re-elect the president when he voted early on a gorgeous afternoon in a northwest Las Vegas suburb on Thursday? No. "We just need a change," he said, explaining his vote for Romney. "I'm scared of Obama the next four years, the socialistic things he's into."
Washington Post: Obama’s independent problem
President Obama has a problem with independents. And it’s not a small problem. In the last three releases of the tracking poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, Obama has trailed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among independent voters by between 16 and 20 percentage points. That’s a striking reversal from 2008, when Obama won independent voters, who made up 29 percent of the electorate, by eight points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona. …So, what gives? Why is Obama — at least according to the Post-ABC data — having so much trouble with independents? …And it’s among those shadow partisans that Obama is struggling. Ninety-two percent of Republican-leaning independents said they plan to support Romney, while 84 percent of Democratic-leaning independents are backing Obama. It’s not just in the head-to-head matchup that the difference between GOP-leaning and Democratic-leaning independents is visible. Among all registered voters, 69 percent of Republican-leaning independents say they are following the election closely while just 49 percent of Democratic-leaning independents say the same. (Just more than four in 10 — 41 percent — of pure independents say they are closely following the election.)
National Journal: The Florida Voters Who Can't Forgive Obama
The story of the last two American elections is the story of America falling in and out of love with Barack Obama. Nowhere was that more true than Florida: Its rejection of the president in 2010 took the form of a new Republican governor, U.S. Senator, two-thirds of both statehouses and four new Republican congressman. Many were not just Republicans but hard-right conservatives buoyed by Tea Party fervor. Obama spent the last two years trying to get back the voters who carried him to victory here in 2008, then turned against him in 2010. It is the central argument of his reelection campaign: Sure, we've had our differences, and things are not perfect, but it's OK to come back. The central question of 2012 is whether people are buying it -- whether, having turned their backs on him once, voters are ready to give Obama another chance. In Florida, I met many who are not.
Venture capitalists are proving a less reliable source of cash for President Barack Obama during this election, according to fundraising data, even though he has raised a record amount of cash overall. Through September 30, Obama collected $552,758 from these deep-pocketed investors who provide startup money to firms, less than half his total through that time in 2008. Romney has raised $860,827 from venture capitalists, an indication of his support amongst the investment community in the neck-and-neck race, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Goeas exuded confidence because of Romney’s sizable intensity edge. “The closer we get to the election, the Democrats don’t appear offsetting our intensity with their ground game,” he said. Lake acknowledges that it is “a real threat,” which puts an added imperative on turning out young, single and Latino voters.
Los Angeles Times, Obama Looks To Young Voters, Many Of Whom Seem Uninspired
They turned out in huge numbers and overwhelmingly cast their ballots for Barack Obama, voting not just for a politician but the leader of a cause that seemed both epic and transformational. But four years later, many young voters — facing high unemployment and diminished dreams — regard the presidential race as a less-than-inspiring choice between two thoroughly conventional candidates…The more important question is whether the turnout matches that of 2008, a factor that could decide the outcome in several battleground states — North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado among them — and ultimately determine who wins the White House on Nov. 6. Luke DeGregori, a University of Colorado physics student, is typical. The lanky 19-year-old couldn't vote four years ago, but remembers the enthusiasm surrounding Obama's historic candidacy. His parents had a yard sign outside their Denver home and Obama bumper stickers on both their cars. Today, DeGregori, a Democrat, drives one of those cars and keeps the bumper sticker "because I still kind of support Obama." He is disappointed, though, that the president turned out to be "just another conformist politician."
McClatchy News: Obama fights for female voters he may have lost
President Barack Obama sports a pink breast cancer awareness bracelet on his wrist as he campaigns across battleground states. He slams rival Mitt Romney as a throwback with 1950s views of women. And he’s airing an edgy new ad enticing women casting their first ballot to pick the right man, him. The consistent emphasis on women comes as several polls have found Obama’s once commanding lead among women voters narrowing. In the past few weeks, Obama’s lead dropped sharply in several surveys:
--from 18 percentage points to zero in a poll by the Associated Press.
--from 18 points to 6 in Pew Research Center polls.
--from 14 points to 4 in polls by Monmouth University;
--from 11 points to 6 in the Politico/George Washington University
Los Angeles Times: Obama looks to young voters, many of whom seem uninspired
Most young voters, like those in the battleground state of Colorado, back Obama, but fewer of them seem inclined to cast ballots compared with 2008. They turned out in huge numbers and overwhelmingly cast their ballots for Barack Obama, voting not just for a politician but the leader of a cause that seemed both epic and transformational. But four years later, many young voters — facing high unemployment and diminished dreams — regard the presidential race as a less-than-inspiring choice between two thoroughly conventional candidates. There is little doubt Obama will again win a majority of the youth vote against Republican Mitt Romney, as Democrats have in all but three presidential elections since 18-year-olds started voting in 1972. The more important question is whether the turnout matches that of 2008, a factor that could decide the outcome in several battleground states — North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado among them — and ultimately determine who wins the White House on Nov. 6.