Since February 8th, Mitt Romney has led only once in the Rasmussen poll of likely Ohio voters, and that was ages ago in May. At the beginning of October, Obama was ahead by the thinnest of margins, just 1 point. But results from the Sunday, October 28th poll show Romney with a 2 point lead, 50-48, breaking the 48-48 tie of the previous week.
Nearly one third of Ohio voters have already cast their ballots; and among these early voters, Obama has a lead of 62%-36%. But according to Rasmussen internals, the good news is that “… Romney has a large lead among those who still plan to vote.”
And here are some possible reasons why.
Of those who have already cast their ballots, 35% are female; 55% are black; 41% are Democrats; 36% are liberal; and 37% are unmarried. These numbers are significant because they represent blocs of voters that favor Barack Obama. And when compared with groups that favor Romney and which have not yet voted in comparable numbers, it seems that the Election Day advantage will be with Romney.
Female voters favor Obama by 53-45, and 35% of early votes have been cast by females. But the male vote goes to Romney by a 14% margin, 56-42. And only 28% of the early vote was cast by males. Assuming approximate parity between numbers of male and female voters, more males are likely to vote on Election Day than females, favoring Romney by a potentially wide margin.
Blacks, of course, favor Obama by 98-2 over Romney. As 55% of the early vote was cast by blacks, the odds are overwhelming that whites, who cast only 29% of early votes, will turn out on Election Day in much higher numbers than blacks, even higher than the standard demographic difference between the races would suggest. And whites favor Romney by a near 20 point margin, 58-39.
Forty one percent of early voters were Democrats, just 27% Republican. Once again, these numbers suggest an Election Day advantage for the GOP, especially as the sample for this Rasmussen poll included an even split between Democrats and Republicans, 38-38 with 24% independent. Throughout the nation, Republican voter turnout is actually expected to exceed that of Democrats. If that is indeed the case, national election results will probably not be nearly as close as many media-sponsored polls suggest.
Thirty six percent of early voters identified themselves as liberal and 37 % as single, both representing groups favorable to Obama. Yet only 25% were conservatives and 29% married. As both groups favor Romney, each might turn out in higher numbers than their counterparts on the 6th.
Naturally, there is nothing certain involved in predicting voter turnout as I have in these examples. But as Obama has a near 2-1 advantage thus far and will certainly not win by any such margin, common sense alone would dictate a big Election Day turnout advantage for Romney. And if polls are correct about Republican voters outnumbering Democrats this year, Mitt Romney could clear 300+ electoral votes. If so, Ohio’s 18 will be among them.
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