Friday, October 19, 2012

Latest Polling Data Analysis

My internet now appears to be fixed.

The latest polling data is a mixed bag. However, I think the trends remain firmly in Romney's favor (even if the President remains the overall slight favorite)
I have a number of observations.

1) The second Presidential debate does not seem to have stopped Romney's ascent in the polls. I think that there is a critical reason for this. While Obama may be seen as the slight winner of the debate, Romney has been able to establish a firm position as the better candidate on the deficit, debt and unemployment/the economy. Crucially also, as I predicted, Romney's likability ratings are now level or greater than the President's. Put simply, winning a debate is not the same as winning the debate.

2) Romney must secure either Wisconsin or Ohio in order to win the election. Using this site you can see the prospective effect of variable state wins on the larger electoral college. Using this site you can see the polling data for each state (hovering over a state will show you the latest polling data, while clicking on a state will show you trend polling). Taken together, the two websites paint a very interesting polling picture. Having seen other polling data in addition to these two websites, I believe that Romney now holds increasingly firm leads in Florida, North Carolina and Colorado. I also believe that Romney has slight but statistically significant leads in Virginia and New Hampshire. However, the President remains ahead in Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio (albeit by 2 point margins). Because of the electoral college points available, Romney must win either Ohio or Wisconsin. So expect his campaign to allocate a huge amount of final resources to those states in the coming days.

3) The final debate on Monday night will be crucial. Voter interest in this year's debates has been unusually high, so both candidates still have a major opportunity to persuade the last undecided voters to come into their corners. Romney needs to slightly adapt his second debate game plan for the final debate. First, he needs to be more aggressive with the President. When the President starts misrepresenting him, Romney needs to say 'Mr. President, these kind of deliberate untruths are unbecoming of your office.' Second, Romney needs to focus his argument on 'jobs, deficit and debt' - the key issues at stake. Obama has 0 record on these issues and is extremely weak in his available defenses. Third, as the final debate is focused on foreign policy, Romney must point out the Administration's continuing absurdity on Benghazi as an indication of their larger foreign policy confusion. The Obama Administration tried to misrepresent the attack as a mob incident, so as to avoid the negative domestic political fallout of successful terrorist attack on their watch. The President neglected his intelligence briefings in the run up to, as well as (and extraordinarily) in the aftermath of the attack. I have previously written more in depth about why I believe Obama's foreign policy is weak.

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