Did Hurricane Sandy shift momentum to Obama? From New Hampshire to Colorado, President Obama leads Mitt Romney in 13 of the 15 polls released today with two polls showing ties.
As we head into the final weekend of campaigning, it looks like momentum is moving towards the incumbent. In Colorado, the Reuters/Ipsos poll of the state shows the candidates tied, 46%-46%. A PPP poll of the state has Obama leading Romney, 50%-46%, and a Denver Post/SurveyUSA poll has Obama leading Romney, 47%-45%. Reuters/Ipsos has Obama leading Romney 48%-46% in Florida, and a Gravis poll has Obama leading Romney 49%-45% in Iowa. Republican and Democratic pollsters both agree that Obama leads Michigan. Republican pollster Rasmussen has Obama leading Romney 52%-47%, and Democratic pollster PPP has Obama leading in Michigan, 52%-46%. A new Mellman poll has Obama leading Romney 50%-44% in Nevada, and a New England College poll shows Obama leading Romney 50%-44% in New Hampshire.
President Obama leads Mitt Romney in three of the four new polls of Ohio. Obama leads Romney 50%-47% in the latest CNN/ORC poll, 47%-45% in the Reuters/Ipsos poll, and 50%-46% in the We Ask America poll. Republican pollster Rasmussen has Ohio tied at 49%-49%. In Virginia, Obama leads Romney 48%-45% according to Reuters/Ipsos, and 49%-48% in the We Ask America poll. Mitt Romney was hoping to turn Wisconsin red, but according to We Ask America, Obama holds a seven point lead over Romney 52%-45%.
What should be very troubling to Republicans is that of the 16 swing state polls taken Obama is at 50% or better in eight of them. Mitt Romney is not over 50% in any of today’s polls. Another three polls on the list have Obama at 49%. This means that in 11 of the 16 polls released today Barack Obama is either one point away from, or at 50% or better.
It is important to remember that these polls are only indicators of which way the political winds are blowing. They aren’t evidence of victory. In fact, President Obama holds small, but significant leads in most of these polls. If voters don’t come out and vote, small polling leads can transform into losses without supporters casting their ballots.
However, the consensus within these polls suggests that momentum is on the president’s side. The trendline will become more visible over the final weekend of polling, but it is very possible that voters are following their electoral historical precedent and moving towards the incumbent as the election approaches.
So far, that late breaking wave that the Romney campaign is counting on hasn’t materialized.
Early voting may be putting Iowa and Nevada out of reach for Romney. Obama is piling up enough of a margin during Ohio’s early voting that Romney will require at least 53% of the election day vote in order to be competitive in the state. To put Romney’s task in Ohio in perspective, the Republican will have to improve on his current poll performance by 4-8 points to even have a chance at winning the state.
We’ll see on Tuesday if Obama’s excellent performance after Hurricane Sandy gave him extra momentum heading into election day, but it is becoming clear that while Romney is limping towards the finish line, Obama is surging into the final weekend of the 2012 campaign.