The Corner

Return of the Independents

The days after Hurricane Sandy brought a small bump in President Obama’s numbers against Governor Romney and in job approval. This was easily explained by the positive television coverage Obama received about his initial statements on relief efforts and with his flyover of New Jersey with Chris Christie.

But the underlying reason for Obama’s small bounce was his movement among independents. In all of the tracking polls, Romney saw his lead with independents shrink from double digits to just about even. On Saturday, the Washington Post tracking poll showed a tie, and Rasmussen dropped to just a three-point advantage for Romney. For the most part each candidate has held their base steadily, but Romney’s lead with independents had explained how he could remain tied or leading with polls showing high Democratic turnout.

Over the last few days the independents have been returning back to Romney, however, indicating that the final vote Tuesday might revert back to polling from the days just before Sandy made landfall. Rasmussen has seen Romney’s lead with independents jump from three points to fifteen. The Washington Post tracking poll moved from a tie with independents on Saturday to a three-point lead for Romney on Sunday.

In the national non-tracking polls, Romney has continued to enjoy leads with independents as well. The Pew poll taken in the days after Sandy has Romney up three among independents while the NBC/WSJ poll released yesterday that showed Obama up one point overall has Romney up seven with independents. A CNN national poll released last night has a tied race, but Romney is up 22 points with independents.

One of the keys to victory for Romney tomorrow is to win big with independents. In 2008, Obama beat McCain among independents by eight points. If Romney wins independents by eight points this year, Obama’s win in 2008 drops from 7.2 points to 2.6 points, even with a repeat wave-election turnout for Democrats. If the crowds Romney drew in Ohio and Pennsylvania are any indication, GOP enthusiasm is going to surprise a lot of pundits tomorrow, and they should they erase the seven-point turnout advantage Democrats had in 2008.  If both of those things happen, Romney is not only in position to win, but has a chance to win big.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More