Romney Gaining Support from Moderates and Liberals
Two weeks ago I wrote, Romney Regaining Support of Conservatives, that looked at the support for Obama and Romney based on ideology, and I promised a follow-up for today to look at any trend changes.
There has, in fact, been a significant ideological trend change but not at all what may have been expected since my last article. The trend is Governor Romney is holding steady with Conservatives, gaining slightly with Moderates but picking up a surprising number of Liberals.
The chart below represents more than 24 polls conducted in the last two weeks in eight swing states; Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Conservative support numbers are statistically even but Romney has a plus 1.2% delta with Moderates and a considerable 7.2% gain in support from self-described Liberals.
Clearly the halcyon days of 2008 are evaporating with Obama down 4.2% with Liberals, down 1.1% with Moderates and down 6.4% with Conservatives from his heady 2008 numbers. Meanwhile, when comparing Romney’s current support to McCain’s from 2008 he is up 1.2% with Liberals, down 3.9% with Moderates and up 6.1% with Conservatives.
It would seem the recent *move to the middle* by the Romney campaign has not affected his support from the base (though an increase there would be most welcome) but is having a positive impact on Moderates and Liberals.
Two weeks ago Obama had a lead in all eight swing states, albeit very small in some, but today is leading in just five and the average lead in all eight states is down to just 0.6% from 1.4% on September 30th. Both numbers are well within the margin of error but it’s a trend worth noting
Looking at the gains Romney has made over the last two weeks, and recalling that 7.2% net gain in support from Liberals, it can be verified the increases in every swing state can be primarily attributed to the change in Moderate and Liberal positions and not Others or undecideds.
The chart above shows just three states where the percentage of Others, which includes the undecideds, has decreased meaning some of Romney’s gains could have come from those voters deciding to support the Governor. In four of the remaining five states the Others have increased slightly which could be indicative of previously committed voters rethinking their position, and in all of them Romney has seen gains that substantially outpace the changes in the Others.
Maybe a bit confusing but the bottom line is the surge Mitt Romney has seen in the last two weeks is coming at the direct expense of Barack Obama’s loss of support from Moderates and, to a greater extent, Liberals and that has to be disconcerting to the Obama campaign.
As always these are purely mathematical analyses but they may portend of some things to watch closely over the next 23 days; will Obama try to regain his base in the remaining debates while risking a greater move by Moderates to Romney, are we seeing Liberals who may have been displeased with Obama but were still leaning his way now bolting from the President, and is this new found support from the middle and left enough to put Mitt Romney over the top on November 6.
It’s still too early to call this incredibly close race but if Obama cannot stem the tide and reverse the trends of the last two weeks it may well be the beginning of the end for his reelection chance.