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Do New Polls Spell the End for Romney? | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

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Do New Polls Spell the End for Romney?

Wednesday update: New NYT/Quinnipiac poll finds Obama widening lead in two key states, Ohio and Florida, plus the peripherals looks good. If he wins those two it's a wrap. And the lead is now massive: 10 percent in Ohio and 9 percent in Florida. So is the enthusiasm gap, which once favored Romney. In Ohio, women now favor the president by 25 percent, and folks under 35 by 35 percent.

New Bloomberg poll gives Obama a clear 6 percent lead. GOPers now reduced to claiming that the all of the polls (except Rasmussen, which finds race even) are wrong—their samples biased toward Democrats. And Ross Douthat of NYT with a blog post in which he wishes, dreams, that we could just have an up or down vote on Obama and get him out of office—without the messiness of people having to consider Romney as an alternative.

Go here for a rundown of the past week of polling, day-by-day

Earlier:

Just when the Barack Obama bounce coming out of the Democratic National Convention seemed to be evaporating, our old friend David Corn released the now-infamous video showing opponent Mitt Romney trashing “the 47 percent.” Polls since then, including yesterday’s startling Gallup report—Obama’s favorable/unfavorable index widened a shocking 7 percent in one day to 51/43—have nearly all shown very bad trends for the Republican plutocrat.

And it’s having a strong effect in other races. Many Democratic candidates for the House and Senate are showing better poll positions and more freely backing the president now. In a key TV debate with Senator Scott Brown this week, Elizabeth Warren turned it into a virtual referendum on the president in a state still mad at Mitt for his choppy tenure as governor. Brown has unusually high favorable ratings, so Warren argued, If you don’t want the GOP to control the Senate and block Obama completely, then—vote for me.

Nearly all polls in the state last week showed a sudden reversal—with Warren now in the lead, in some cases by several points.

Romney’s declining fortunes in the polls since his private arguments were revealed in the “47 percent” vid have emboldened GOPers such as Joe Scarborough, David Frum, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks and even Bill Kristol to slam Romney. Brooks on Meet the Press yesterday called Romney the “least popular” candidate ever and also a “faker” who has adopted positons he doesn’t much care about. Such criticism provoked a revealing response from Ann “Two Caddy” Romney, who told the GOPers to, literally, “shut up”—how dare they insult her husband, the man who would save the country and maybe the world?

And now her husband has betrayed growing desperation. You really have to read this amazing new New York Times account of Romney, on his campaign plane yesterday, bitching to reporters about why he’s behind in key polls: (1) Obama’s constant lies about his record and views; (2) Obama’s opting out of federal funding on campaign financing has forced Mitt (poor guy who is so cash strapped) to spend way too much time doing fundraisers; (3) fact-checkers have fallen down on the job (even though his campaign said it would ignore fact-checks); (4) and more.

Romney, who has been running ads that lie about Obama’s welfare policy for weeks, has the gall to say this: “I understand that politics is politics but in the past, when you’ve had an ad which has been roundly pointed out to be wrong, you take it out and you correct it and you put something back on.”

His chief funder, Sheldon Adelson, broke policy and gave a lengthy interview, in which he blamed Romney’s troubles on…wait for it…a hostile media.

And this week we may find that polls also show a negative bump for Romney based on the release of his 2011 tax return last Friday—and how it exposed that his tax rate was still lower than most people, despite his naked flim-flam move, raising the rate by not taking a full deduction for charitable giving. Gosh, now that SNL is back and roasting Mitt, we may even see some fallout from that, even if they don’t match their mockery of Palin.

GOPers are reduced to calling for more exposure for Romney’s running mate (remember him?)—and letting “Ryan be Ryan.” That sounds about as wise as asking the same of the B.J. Novak character on The Office.

Here’s a roundup of a few current polls. And just this morning there’s a new poll via Politico that shows Obama with only a modest 3 percent lead—But it finds that the number of voters who way they still might change their minds has declined from 1 in 5 to 1 in 10. So the chances for Romney to turn things around in the debates—already slim, as I noted here last week—may be evaporating completely.

  • Much-awaited Pew Research poll finds Obama a whopping 8 percent ahead. Go here for many details. Critically, Obama now tops Romney easily for “enthusiastic”support, 68 percent to 56 percent.

  • New NBC/WSJ/Marist polls in three of the few true tossup states all showed big surges for Obama. Colorado: Obama 50 percent, Romney 45 percent. Iowa: Obama 50 percent, Romney 42 percent. Wisconsin: Obama 50 percent, Romney 45 percent.

  • Fascinating report by Nate Silver on breakdown in polls this year. The ones that survey voters—some reached via cellphones—strongly back Obama; those that don’t, don’t. Bringing new meaning to the phrase “smart phones.” Of course, the demo may be somewhat different for cellphones, although not so great as years ago when they really skewed young. One key trend: “Mr. Obama’s advantage is also clearer in the swing states. The cellphone-inclusive polls give him an 80 percent chance to win Virginia, a 79 percent chance in Ohio and a 68 percent chance to win Florida, all considerably higher than in the official FiveThirtyEight forecast.”

 

For more on the fallout from Romney's "47 percent" video, check out John Nichols's latest appearance on Up With Chris Hayes.

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