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Presidential Polls 2012: Gallup Puts Romney Ahead Nationally, in Swing States, and With Early Voters

It’s one week until Election Day, and President Obama is nowhere near where he needs to be to walk away with a second term on November 6. The latest presidential polls show former Governor Romney tied or ahead now in several key states. An average of the national presidential polls according to Real Clear Politics show Romney ahead of Obama nationally, 48% to 47.1%. 

Last week, supporters of President Obama were trumpeting his latest approval ratings, which Gallup had up at 53%. Despite the fact that Romney was beating Obama in several big polls, people believed that Obama would still win because they believe that an incumbent’s re-election is a lock with an approval rating above 50%.

Over the weekend, that all changed, as that same Gallup Poll showed Obama’s job approval rating dropped 7 points in 3 days. Gallup has Obama’s job approval fluctuating wildly. He would no doubt be much more comfortable with some consistency, because the 50% rule for an incumbent is not ironclad, and Romney is making too many gains too quickly for Obama to start celebrating. This close to an election, the approval index is often negated by other polls, such as the polls measuring likely voters in a head-to-head match-up. On Monday, Gallup released a poll showing Romney ahead of Obama, 51% to 46%. Rasmussen has Romney ahead of Obama, 49% to 47%.

Gallup released a shock poll on Monday that shattered Obama’s supposed lead amongst early voters. Romney is now up among early voters, 52% to 45%. This revelation comes after Gallup released a survey showing that the electorate this year will be more Republican than in 2008, and even more than in 2004, the last year the GOP won the White House.

That's right folks, 2012 will be the most Republican electorate in history. Because of this, President Obama could easily lose, even if his general Gallup approval rating remains at 50%. Party loyalty also becomes something to think about. Romney has the support of 90% of Republicans, while Obama has the support of 86% of Democrats. Seventy-five percent of registered Democrats express “high interest” in voting, compared to 85% of Republicans. In 2008, nearly 90% of Democrats expressed a high interested in voting.

One must also be sure not to forget Romney's staggering lead with independents, which ABC/WashPo Poll had last week at a record 20%. That same poll, which has been favorable to President Obama for most of the year, now has Romney pulling into the lead by 1 point. 

A new NPR/Democracy Corps Poll also has Romney ahead by 1, even though their battleground poll shows Obama up by 4. Why? Well, while their national poll has a D+4 advantage. Their battleground poll has a D+9. In a year where GOP turnout is expected to be at an all time high, this kind of skewing cannot be taken seriously at this point in the game.

Several big predictors are forecasting a Romney victory. The bipartisan Battleground Poll has recently released its “vote election model” is predicting that Romney will defeat Obama, 52% to 45%.

The Yale University Economic Model also is now giving the election to Romney. This model, put together by economist Ray Fair has accurately predicted every election except two since 1916. Those two were JFK’s victory in 1960 and Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992. And there's still the University of Colorado election predictor model, which has called every race accurately since 1980. This model still shows a victory of 330 electoral votes for Governor Romney, as well as a popular vote victory.

Despite the pendulum-like Gallup approval index, and despite New York Times pollster Nate Silver's now widely-panned and ridiculed optimism, Obama's not in safe territory. With one week to go, it's now blatantly apparent that Mitt Romney could very well be elected the 45th president on November 6. Like everything else, it's all in the math. As former Clinton operative Dick Morris breaks it down, electorally, it's very likely that Romney makes it to 270. 

McCain won 173 electoral votes in 2008. Romney's got all of those states in the bag. Because of the population redistribution, those states now cast 179 electoral votes. There are also two easy pickups that Obama won in 2008 that Romney will win this time around, Indiana and North Carolina. That's 25 more electoral votes for Romney, making it 204. Then there are three states that Romney looks projected to win, that are swing states where he has either been in the lead for weeks or making last minute gains in, which are Florida, Virginia and Colorado. Those three states carry a total of 51 electoral votes, bringing Romney's total up to 255. 

From this point on, Romney needs to win 15 more electoral votes to secure 270. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and even Pennsylvania and Minnesota are now in play. That's eight states with almost 95 electoral votes up for grabs. We're supposed to believe Obama is going to win all of them?

Romney will certainly win at least the 15 he needs to win.

Throughout the last month, it has become painfully apparent that Obama not only made the same mistake as Jimmy Carter by underestimating his opponent, but could be set to experience a similar outcome. For the record, the race was too close to call back then as well. Obama never expected to have to seriously work this hard for re-election. He wanted Romney, because he believed he'd be an easy target. However, his strategy of negative campaigning all came crashing down with the first debate, and now Romney looks poised to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. 

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