A few days ago I wrote a post about the three things each of the presidential campaigns should fear going into the home stretch. For the Obama campaign, I listed polling, momentum and Independents.
Post hurricane Sandy and with reams of more data coming in, I’d like to add another troubling category for Obama’s campaign.
Both Gallup and Pew have now released polling data on early voters. They are remarkably similar in their assessments. Approximately 19% of the nation has already voted, and according to both Gallup and Pew there is a 7% advantage to Romney among early voters.
In fairness, the sample size is less than 20% of the either poll. However, consider this. In 2008 at a similar point in the campaign, Pew had Obama winning early voters by a 53-34 margin. To any reasonable observer, that was an insurmountable lead for Senator McCain to overcome. In the Pew poll, there is a 26% erosion of Obama early voters from 2008 to 2012.
That is monumental!
The polling which favors Obama is all predicated on Democrats holding roughly the same advantage they held in 2008. There is not one shred of objective evidence that indicates anything remotely close to those partisan advantages in 2012.
Colorado is a good example to prove my point. The state voted strongly for Obama and he won it by almost 10%. So far, over 1.1 million people have ALREADY voted in Colorado. Out of those voters, 439,269 are Republican and 404,870 are Democrats and 295,177 are unaffiliated or Independent voters.
Now, let’s assume that both Romney and Obama get 90% of their party to vote for them. And, let’s also assume that Obama and Romney split the Independents 50/50. If those assumptions are accurate, Romney will have won the early votes already cast in Colorado 51.2% to 48.8%.
At the risk of sounding like I’m selling Ginsu knives, but wait, that’s not all…
According to Scott Rasmussen’s most recent survey, Romney is actually winning Independents by 8%. So, if we reconfigure the calculator a bit and give Romney an 8 point win in that category, he has now won early votes already cast in Colorado 52.24% to Obama’s 47.76%.
It must have been great fun to work at Obama HQ in 2008 when early vote numbers rolled in every day proclaiming Obama the next President of the United States. In 2012, those same early vote numbers are the canary in the coal mine. The campaigns both see where this is going.