With only eight days left before the general election of 2012, polls across the country have indicated a shift in voter preference that has been underway for several weeks. The shift began just after the first debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. But nothing has happened in the intervening weeks to prevent the ongoing momentum enjoyed by Romney, and after three debates several distinct trends have come into sharp focus.
The first pattern that began to develop revolves around some of the states that went for Obama in 2008. To everyone’s surprise in 2008, North Carolina shifted into the Democratic column after decades of voting for the Republican nominee. This year, however, North Carolina has shifted into the Republican column, and Romney has the lead just outside the margin of error in most polls.
A similar trend has been noted in Florida, where Romney has a very slight edge. Although the race is much closer in Florida than North Carolina, with current trends it is difficult to envision the state going into the Obama column as it did in 2008.
Virginia is another state where Obama is in deep trouble. Despite the fact that the state is now home to a large sector of government employees who work in Washington but live in Virginia, the rest of the state appears to have soured on Obama’s policies. But polls show Obama and Romney running neck and neck, and today Romney has a slight edge with 50 percent of those polled.
Another trend that has emerged since the first debate is the so-called “women’s vote.” The gender gap prior to that debate was pronounced as it appeared that many women believed the Obama meme that Romney did not have their best interests at heart and was totally cold and oblivious to what some focus groups refer to as “women’s issues.”
Apparently most women saw something in Romney during the first debate that led them to question the caricature of him being painted by the Obama team. The gender gap is not only gone but the latest polls show that Romney now has a slight lead among women.
The same shift occurred with independent voters. The data shows that independents are breaking for Romney in large numbers.
Yet another trend that has been most disturbing to the Obama team is Romney’s sudden strength in swing states and even in states that are traditionally solidly Democratic. Romney and Obama until now have been tied in Ohio and Colorado. Today, however, Romney has pulled ahead by 2 percent in Ohio. Some polls show Romney with a solid lead in the swing state of Iowa. And some polls show the Romney team has pulled within four percentage points of Obama in the solidly Democratic states of Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
These trends point to a seismic shift in voter preference just under the surface, highlighting big problems for Obama and a potential big win for Romney in spite of national polls showing a razor thin race.
A new entry in my regular series Musings After Midnight is now posted at my blog, The Liberty Sphere. It’s titled “Is This the Last Election of the American Republic?”
Visit my ministry site at Martin Christian Ministries.
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