Entering the longest weekend of the campaign we continue to have a tight race between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Also jobs numbers were released showing some private sector job growth, a decline in public sector jobs, but an uptick in the unemployment rate to 7.9%. The White House is spinning this as good news saying it is evidence that “the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”
Mitt Romney on the other had had this to say:
“Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work. On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity. For four years, President Obama’s policies have crushed America’s middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we’re making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow. We can do better. We can have real economic growth, create millions of good-paying jobs, and give middle-class families the security and opportunity they deserve. When I’m president, I’m going to make real changes that lead to a real recovery, so that the next four years are better than the last.”
How will this play out for the rare undecided voter, and like I said things are tight. The three most recent polls show this race as dead even.
Rasmussen has it even at 48. The ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll has the President Obama edging Governor Romney by 1 (actually less than a point. Most likely voters think the economy would improve under Governor Romney. Fox News has them tied at 46% .
In Ohio Rasmussen has a tied race at 49%. President Obama, it’s reported, is depending on this state for a win. Romney is starting to shift his focus on Pennsylvania as there is momentum occurring there. President Obama once had a double digit lead and in the latest poll by Franklin & Marshall he only has a 4 point lead. In Iowa we have conflicting polls. NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll have President Obama up by 6, the Gravis Marketing poll has him up by 4%. Rasmussen has Romney up by 1. The University of Iowa poll has Romney up by 1 as well leading 45% to 44%. I believe there is a tighter race than what Marist and Gravis indicate. Colorado is tight as well with conflicting polls. The Real Clear Politics average shows only a 1% lead for President Obama.
Some factors to consider…
- How many defectors will President Obama have? Catholics and Women could be key voting blocs that could make a difference. President Obama is already losing among men.
- Who will win the independents? Most polling I’ve seen has indicated that Romney has won that battle.
- What voter turnout model is being used by most polling. If they’re going off of 2008 models they’ll likely be in for a surprise.
- How will this recent jobs report impact undecided voters, as well as, the President’s handling of Hurricane Sandy (better yet, how will, the media’s handling of those items impact voters)?
My prediction… as reflected in the electoral map below, of course I could be completely wrong on this, but it’s based on recently polling, 2010 results and my gut. I really think Iowa is going to flip red. I believe Wisconsin will too based on 2010, and the recall election results. I can see Ohio go for Obama, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes to Romney. Pennsylvania will go for Obama, but it will be closer than what people originally thought. New Hampshire could be the lone hold out in the Northeast for Romney.