Friday, September 21, 2012

Mitt Romney's Path to Victory is Narrowing

At the clip is last night's "Hard Ball with Chris Matthews." If you're a progressive, it's the best of times. The "47 percent" line is a perpetual final nail in the coffin, and the leftists just keep hammering it in with every mention of the "SECRET VIDEO." Tacked on at the end is a discussion of that Fox News battleground states poll I flagged on Wednesday. Chris Matthews is positively giddy at the numbers, and while I don't recall watching Alex Wagner, she's completely writing off Romney's chances. John Heilemann from New York Magazine, who I respect, also comments, highlighting especially the defections by top Republicans from the Romney/Ryan camp.

Meanwhile, here's the latest from the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist battleground states poll, "Headwinds for Romney in Latest Poll Results"  (at Memeorandum):

Mitt Romney's path to victory is narrowing, new polling data suggest, presenting challenges for the Republican nominee at a moment when he is trying to rebound from a week of bad headlines by refocusing on federal spending.

President Barack Obama has opened an eight percentage-point lead in Iowa and maintains a five-point edge in Colorado and Wisconsin, according to Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll surveys of the three presidential battlegrounds released Thursday.

The new poll results are significant in part because the Romney campaign views the three states as steppingstones to an Electoral College majority, given Mr. Romney's slippage in polls of two of the largest battlegrounds, Ohio and Virginia.

The margin of error in the polls for likely voters was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points in Colorado, 3.2 points in Wisconsin and 3.3 points in Iowa.

The new Journal surveys were taken just as video surfaced earlier this week of Mr. Romney telling donors that nearly half the country "sees themselves as victims" and is dependent on government.

Coming amid other poll data, the new results show Mr. Romney with ground to make up in a large number of states amid a shrinking pool of undecided voters. One measure of the hurdle he faces: Even if Mr. Romney were awarded all the states in which the president leads by less than three percentage points in aggregated poll results—states such as Colorado, Florida and Iowa—Mr. Obama would still win re-election based on his leads in Ohio, Virginia and smaller swing states.

The results come as public opinion is on the verge of turning into votes cast at the ballot box. So far, on-the-ground data from two early voting states, Iowa and North Carolina, are mixed for the two candidates. In North Carolina, Republicans have requested nearly 7,000 more absentee ballots than Democrats, out of nearly 50,000 requests, according to state officials.

But in Iowa, Democrats have requested roughly 100,000 ballots, compared with 16,073 ballots requested by Republicans.

"I see the early vote numbers, and I grimace a little bit," said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party and editor of a popular blog, The Iowa Republican. "It feels like an Obama state….The president has been more accessible to voters than Romney and Ryan."

The Romney camp dismisses most of the recent polling as a "sugar high" for Mr. Obama left over from the party conventions. "Polls are going to go this way and that way," Mr. Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, told donors during a fundraiser Thursday night in Washington. "But at the end of the day, if we do our jobs right, and we will, the country will have a really clear choice."

Among other factors, Romney supporters point to polling that shows Republicans hold a modest edge in voter enthusiasm and data that shows a large percentage of Americans still think the country is moving in the wrong direction. "We feel like we're in a very close contest," said Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign. "We feel like Romney is likely to win."

In all three of the new Journal surveys, Mr. Obama had backing from at least 50% of likely voters, suggesting that Mr. Romney will have to strip supporters from the president to win. In Iowa, Mr. Obama held 50% of the vote to 42% for Mr. Romney. Mr. Obama led his GOP rival 50% to 45% in Colorado and Wisconsin.
Not that much of a silver lining there, eh?

The line for conservatives has to be that the MSM polls are biased in favor of the Democrats and that Republican enthusiasm will translate into massive turnout for Romney on November 6. Another way to put it is that correcting for polling bias, and of course the boost for Obama from the Democrat-Media-Complex, the race is still basically a dead heat. If so, the October debates take on outsized significance. These are the chance for Romney to grab Obama by the throat and kick the African Marxist interloper to the curb. Screw timidity. This is the time to go bold and encapsulate four years of tea party, conservative grassroots frustration with all the left's lies, corruption, and political violence. Will that help? Who knows? But at least Romney can say he threw everything at the f-ker and have no regrets when it's all over.

We'll see.

Now, checking around the horn, I should give another shout out Nate Silver, who I dissed a week or so back but who now might be getting on the right side of the data. See, "Sept. 20: Obama’s Convention Bounce May Not Be Receding."

And don't be confused by Allahpundit's headline at Hot Air. He's got a roundup of the polls and he's just scratching his head, "Gallup tracker: Romney now even with Obama at 47." (Via Memeorandum.)

I'll have more. But remember, no sugarcoating.