The Right Opinion

A Last Look at the Battleground States

Judgment day.

By Arnold Ahlert · Nov. 6, 2012

On October 24, I reported on the polling data in the 11 battleground states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin – that will likely decide the election. Here are the latest data, compared to the earlier totals, courtesy of Real Clear Politics (RCP), on the eve of the election. (Electoral vote totals for each state are in parentheses.)

In Colorado (9), where Obama beat John McCain by 9 points in 2008, the race was a virtual tie, with only two-tenths of a percentage point separating the candidates on October 24. Before the first the debate, which was held in Denver, Obama had a three-point lead. As of yesterday, the president had inched forward to a 1.5 point edge, 48.8 to 47.3, in the historically Republican state.

In Florida (29), RCP gave Romney a 1.8-point lead on October 24, in a state Obama won by 2.8 points in 2008. As of yesterday, Romney’s edge there had shrunk to 1.5 percent, 49.7 to 48.2, in a state where Jewish Americans and the elderly will likely cast the decisive votes one way or the other.

In Iowa (6), which Obama carried by a 9.5-point margin in 2008, the president maintained a lead of two percentage points on October 24. Yesterday his lead was 2.4 points, 48.7 to 46.3, in a state where Democrats have carried five of the last six presidential elections.

In Michigan (16), Obama led by five points on October 24, despite a landslide 16.4-point victory in 2008. As of yesterday, Obama’s lead had shrunk to 3.8 points, 49.2 to 45.4. A Romney win here would be shocking, given that Michigan has voted Democrat in the last five presidential elections, and is a state where union workers, especially those in the auto industry, remain tried and true Democrats.

In Nevada (6), Obama held a 2.8-point lead on October 24, in a state he won by 12.5 points four years ago. Yesterday that lead remained exactly the same, at 50.2 to 47.4, despite Nevada’s reputation as the state with both the highest unemployment rate and the highest home foreclosure rate in the nation.

In New Hampshire (4) the race had tightened considerably in the two weeks leading up to October 24, despite a 9.6-point Obama victory in 2008. A 50-44 lead had been narrowed to a 1.4-point edge for the president. As of yesterday, that edge has widened marginally with the president maintaining a 2-point lead, 49.9 to 47.9, in a state that is fiscally conservative, but socially liberal.

In North Carolina (15), where Obama eked out a razor thin 0.3 percent victory in 2008, the move had been solidly in Romney’s direction, from a dead heat three weeks before October 24, to a 5-point lead. Romney’s lead has shrunk to 3 points as of yesterday, 49.2 to 46.2, in a state that has voted Democrat only twice in 40 years (for Carter and Obama), and one where Democrat campaign strategist Paul Begala admitted to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Democrats had essentially conceded the race to the Republican challenger.

In Ohio (18), a state no Republican has ever won the presidency without taking, Obama’s former lead of 5.5 had shrunk to 1.9 on October 24. The state where Obama beat McCain by almost five points in 2008 has now moved back in the president’s direction again, and Obama holds a 2.9 edge, 50.0 to 47.1 as of yesterday.

In Pennsylvania (20), the president’s lead had narrowed from almost nine points to 4.8 on October 24, in a state he carried by a comfortable 10.3-point margin in 2008. As of yesterday, the president’s lead had narrowed to a 3.8-point lead, 49.4 to 45.6.

Unsurprisingly, Romney plans to spend today making two final campaign stops: one in Pittsburgh and one in Cleveland.

In Virginia (13), the race had tightened, from a five-point Obama lead in September, to a 48-48 dead heat October 24. Virginia is traditionally a red state whose only Democratic presidential vote in the last 40 years went to Obama by 6.3 percent in 2008. As of yesterday, the president had edged in front by a razor-thin 0.3-point lead, 48.0 to 47.7.

Finally in Wisconsin (10), a state Obama won convincingly by almost 14 points in 2008, a 6-point lead two weeks before October 24 had dwindled to 2.7 points. As of yesterday, Obama had increased his margin back to 4.2 points, 50.4 to 46.2.

Looking at these totals, it would appear that much is in Obama’s favor. Yet, testerday, on Florida’s TalkRadio 610 WIOD’s Rich Minaya Show, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made an interesting observation. He noted that in presidential elections, the incumbent’s last point totals tend to be the totals with which he winds up, and that anything under 50 percent is an ominous sign. As the above battleground state polls reveal, the president has crossed that threshold only in Ohio and Wisconsin. Furthermore, RCP has Obama’s overall lead nationally below the 50 percent threshold as well, at 48.8 percent, compared to 48.1 percent for Romney.

In short, this election is too close to call, and as such has brought out all sorts of “what if” scenarios, most of which center around a possible reprise of the 2000 election, where Al Gore won the popular vote, but George Bush prevailed in the Electoral College. It has also brought out thousands of lawyers to monitor the process – and UN representatives as well. Ironically, those monitors, aka the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), will not be looking for voter fraud, but voter suppression – by conservatives.

With a modicum of luck, America will know who is running the country by tomorrow. If not, expect the rancor that has seemingly become part of the American fabric to ramp up considerably. Whatever the outcome, here’s hoping Americans respect the process. It’s that respect that informs an integral part of American exceptionalism.

Arnold Ahlert is a columnist for FrontPage Magazine.


Gregory in Yakima said:

Hey Mac, your racist misogynist self is on the loose is again. That's alright because it is case in point and a principle reason voters are rejecting Mitt Romney. Ugly thinking comes from a confused, angry mind. It turns regular people off even though the few who are likewise confused and angry will give you atta boys.

Romney by 7 points is your prediction. Romney is a disgraced candidate leading a disgraced party. I'm looking forward to hearing your pathetic excuses, blaming media and all the rest...face're a loser.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Greg, Did Mac hurt your feelings because he mimicked the brain-dead racist welfare queens who will vote for Odumbo just for the freebiies? Bless my heart, I suspect you have never been exposed to these parasites who live off the hard work of those Americans who get up every day and go to work. Check them out and notice the amount of gold jewelry they are wearing, the designer sneakers, pro athelic team shirts, and the cars they are driving and tell me they are the poor and downtrodden. Leechs living the good life on taxpayer money.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Just Saying in Idaho replied:

Gregory, did you ever listened to that lady who was saying vote Obama for president 'cos he gave her a phone? It was all over utube. If anything, Mac was being kind, the one I am talking about sounded mentally impaired, a lot worse than his parody, and she was for real.
Gregory, you wouldn't like soicalism. Trust me, I know, I lived it for 31 yrs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Cowboy in San Antonio said:

@Mac- had my first good laugh for the day. The idiot Greg clearly is under the age of 30, clearly has never lived anywhere near the deep south, clearly has an IQ hovering around 60, and would be quite uncomfortable in most southern and western states, which is fine with me. I am hoping, of course, that Greg will be eating his own words tonight. If not, I will be crossing the border to Mexico, where things are bound be better in four years than they will be here. This nation won't exist as we know it in four years if Obama is re-elected.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Dan in Pennsylvania replied:

Let me handle this one, Greg - this one is way too easy. Hey Bo - you ignorant idiot - Greg lives in Yakima. That is in Washington. That is a Western State. That is where Greg lives. Yakima, in Washington. Ok can carry on from here. You are one of the few cogent posters in this little teaparty sandbox of theirs. Any sensible posting will be met with responses accusing us of communism, socialism, facism, being gay, being a lesbian, being a Kenyan, being a Muslim, being a hippie, etc, etc, etc. There is no cure for stupid, and people like Bo verify that edict. Meanwhile...Bo do something useful with the internet other than spew your ignorance.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Just Saying in Idaho replied:

Dan, why are you here? Obviously not to be enlightened, nor to enlighten us, since you consider us beyond redemption.And what do you call someone that is OK with stealing from the producers to give to the moochers? Why do you want spread out misery, Dan? Why can't you just go out and make your own life, your own money, and pay for your stuff? Why do you prefer slavery on the government plantation to liberty, Dan? What is so enlightened about your position, whihc has been tried in many countries over many years?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM