Five days to go until the final poll is taken and the next president is elected. Voter turnout is expected to be high in the battleground states, and Sandy may still impact voter turnout in the Northeast. Romney has resumed campaigning, while Obama continues to focus on recovery from Sandy. Fox News has Obama and Romney tied in their latest poll released Wednesday evening. ABC News/Washington Post also has Obama and Romney tied in their poll released on Wednesday.
Real Clear Politics has Romney and Obama in a virtual tie in the national polls, however virtually all pollsters have Obama leading in the Electoral College. Conservative political wonks continue to question the polling schemes, however even the pollsters they like, e.g. Rasmussen, have Obama leading in electoral votes
Nate Silver, of the NY Times, who has become the darling of the left and the concomitant animus of the right says, “if Obama is performing well in swing states, but is only tied in the popular vote nationally, that means he must be under performing in noncompetitive states.”
Sam Wang’s Princeton Election Consortium "Meta-margin," which shows how much state polls would have to swing toward Romney to tie the race has Obama up by 2.18%. Wang’s “Meta-Analysis” snapshot indicates Obama winning with 303 electoral votes to 235 electoral votes for Romney.
The number of battleground states fluctuates between 8 and 12, depending on the poll and this race appears to be Obama’s to lose, as his lead is waning in what were once thought to be blue states (including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota).
Electoral-Vote.com noted that the after effects of Sandy may not be immediately recognized but will undoubtedly have an impact on the election. The site notes that the impact may be wide and varied including:
Early voting, which is especially important to the Democrats, will be disrupted. Polling stations and electronic voting machines may be without power on election day. Voters whose houses have been damaged may skip voting to try to get their houses repaired. Get-out-the-vote efforts by both parties could be badly impeded. Mail trucks with absentee ballots may have been washed away and the ballots lost. Voters who were hoping for government help quickly and didn't get it could blame Obama.
Electoral-Vote pointed out that elections are usually administered by the secretary of state and politics could play a role in any emergency procedures enacted by a state to postpone, cancel, interrupt, adjust or support the elections. Sandy has had some impact on Republican led states like Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida where there have been a varying amount of voter suppression efforts thwarted by voter rights advocates and the courts.
“Secretaries of State decide, for example, which precincts to close down due to a shortage of personnel, whether to increase voting hours, and where to allocate scarce paper (and provisional) ballots if there is no power for voting machines” said Electoral-Vote.com.
In the meantime, while we wait for the next wave of analysis, I have put together the ultimate Romney press conference meme. Enjoy.