Beautiful: Two good indicators that Romney will take it by 4-6 points
Both Gallup and Rasmussen do party affiliation tracking. In 2008, based on tracking, Gallup over-estimated Obama’s lead at the voting booth predicting he’d take it by 10 points — he won with a 7.2 point lead. Rasmussen, based on their tracking, predicted he’d win by 7.1 and was right on the money. Gallup is out with it’s October tracking and Rasmussen is out with it’s September tracking (and September was a very bad month for Romney and was pre-debate bombshell) and both indicate Romney will win by between 4-6 points (Rasmussen’s points to a 5.7 victory margin).
Here’s the breakdown from National Review on the Gallup poll based on nearly 10,000 respondents with a +/- 1 pt margin of error:
Gallup finds the ten-point advantage for Democrats [Eds note: from 2008] has now turned into a one-point Republican advantage. The current party breakdown is now 35 percent Democrats, 36 percent Republicans, and 29 percent independents. And just in like 2008, that one-point advantage increases when independents are asked which party they typically lean to, with 49 percent identifying as Republicans and 46 percent Democrats. That number backs up the trends in other polling showing Romney leading among independents by large margins.
To get an idea of what this shift means, I plugged the Gallup 2008 and 2012 partisan numbers into the actual results from the 2008 election. Under Gallup’s breakdown, Obama would have won in 2008 by 9.8 points (he actually won by 7.2), and would eke out a victory against Romney in 2012 by eight tenths of a point.
But here’s why you can feel the panic emanating from Chicago: Romney is currently doing better with independents than Obama did in 2008. Obama won independents by eight, in 2008 while Romney is currently leading by 10.6 points on average. If the independent numbers are entered in to the 2008 results, Romney would have a victory of over four points. Even if Romney does not take any more crossover votes (Democrats who vote Republican and vice versa) than McCain got in 2008, he would still win by over four points on Election Day.
And here is the breakdown of Rasmussen’s smaller sample of 1500 (margin of error +/- 3)
In 2008 Rasmussen found Democrats with a 7.1 percentage point advantage in turnout, which was a perfect prediction of the Democratic turnout margin on Election Day. In September of 2012, Rasmussen has Republicans now edging Democrats by 2.6 percent, with a split of 34 percent Democrats, 37 percent Republicans, and 29 percent independents. Keep in mind that September was a brutal month for Romney between enduring Obama’s post-DNC bounce, the 47 percent video, and the media reaction to his Egypt embassy statement, meaning October, given the debates, could be even stronger than September was for the GOP.
Regardless, taking the Rasmussen partisan breakdown of 2008 and 2012 numbers and plugging them into the actual results gives Obama a seven-point win in 2008 and Romney a half-point victory in 2012. Taking the same scenario as Gallup and moving the independent results to match the current polling average changes Romney’s half-point victory into a 5.7-point victory. (As with Gallup, I’m assuming the Republican and Democrat voting margins stay the same as 2008.)
That last assumption is not a safe one from the Obama camp’s point of view because Dems are pretty unenthused this time around and are unlikely to turn out in such high percents as they did in 2008 (early voting shows about 2,000 less Democrats per day casting votes compared to in the 2008 early voting, while Republicans are turning out with approximately 700 more per day than occurred in 2008) and Republicans have their chevy’s revved. In other words, Romney may take it by an even wider margin.