I don’t know about you, but my head is just about ready to explode as we approach the big day tomorrow. As a political junkie of sorts as well as a fan of numbers and statistics, I am naturally drawn to polls. It’s a match made in, well, maybe not heaven, but it’s something I can’t stay away from. For over a year now, I’ve been following polls such as Rasmussen on a daily basis and have learned quite a bit about the whole polling science, although I am far from a pro. If I see another analysis of this year’s D/R/I breakdown and how it compares to past years, I think I’ll go crazy!!
Pundits on both sides, professional and amateur, paid and volunteers, are making different projections about the polls and tomorrow’s outcome. How can respected, knowledgeable folks on both sides be making such widely diverging predictions in such a confident manner – everything from a Obama landslide to a Romney romp? I am perfectly aware of the partisanship involved and evoked in those sentiments, but it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before.
Somebody will be seriously wrong.
I would be more than happy to quote you the D/R/I splits from the latest CNN poll, or how much Romney leads on behalf of independents in most polls, or how most polls appear to be using voter turnout models closer to 2008 than 2010 and 2004.
But sometimes you gotta go with your gut along with the numbers.
I think it’s going to be excruciatingly close. The popular vote will be within 3% either way. The electoral vote is more complex, but I don’t see either candidate getting to 300. The barrage of polls showing a tight race nationally and in swing states can’t in the whole be wrong. Also, I don’t assume that all of the 2-3% of undecideds will break for Romney. Most of them probably will, but I never underestimate the pull of an incumbent president with approval ratings right around 50%, despite his failings. I also don’t underestimate Team Obama’s ability to mobilize and do whatever it takes to get their people out to vote.
It will be an almost even party affiliation split this go-round. That means it’s almost inevitable that it will be very close. Some may say, “but independents are leaning towards Romney“. Yes, they are, but even here I see inconsistencies in how polls identify independents. How can a poll such as CNN’s have independents up by 22 and others by only a few % points (Rasmussen’s latest Ohio poll has Obama leading non-affiliated voters by 8%)? Doesn’t quite make sense. Someone is very wrong.
So…a close race, one that might not be over tomorrow. Ohio is the big nail biter, but Pennsylvania and others may be as well. My heart wants a Romney win, any way he can get it. The bigger, the better and I would be happy to accept any “I told you so’s”. My mind and gut however, suggest a very close race, one that may very well end up going for Obama.
My mind has been in knots the past several weeks. No doubt my gut will join in the fun tomorrow night.
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