In a new poll from Politico/George Washington University, President Obama is at 49 percent, with Mitt Romney right behind at 48 percent.
However, Romney backers are far more interested in this election than Obama supporters: 73 percent of Romney supporters say they are “extremely likely” to vote, compared to 60 percent of Obama backers.
And while Romney is behind in the poll, he has a significant lead among independents. Half of independents support Romney, while only 40 percent back Obama.
Obama appears to be doing well in early voting, although GOP pollster Ed Goeas argues that the Obama campaign shouldn’t be so thrilled:
Obama leads by 8 points among those who have already voted, 53 to 45 percent. These early voters represent 15 percent of the electorate, with many more expected to vote in the next few days — though Hurricane Sandy could change that.
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Goeas notes that this same poll exactly four years ago showed Obama up by 15 percent in the early vote, nearly twice his current edge of eight points. He said that more of the Obama voters are high propensity voters. But senior Obama campaign officials argue that those who have voted early are the hardest to turn out and didn’t vote in the 2010 elections.
“The reason why you saw the intensity pop toward the Republicans into the double digits this week is because [Democrats are] taking away their high intensity voters [through early voting],” said Goeas. “What we’re seeing in the data is indicative of that cannibalization.”