I say, forget the top line, Obama-versus-Romney numbers, and focus in on some numbers that tell the real story. I honestly think that some number of people, who are responding to the polls, are actually lying about their support of Obama. As a result, Romney should win handily. Here's why:
- The Direction of the Country. In almost every poll, on a 5.4-to-4 basis, people are saying that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Yet, in those same polls, a majority would vote for Obama anyway. This makes no sense. People have to be lying. I find it almost impossible to believe that those thinking the country is on the wrong track would actually vote for Obama so as to continue in that wrong direction.
- The Decline in Obama Job Approval and its Relationship To Votes. When Obama was swept into office, he did so with a higher than 60% job approval and with 53% of the vote. In essence, this means that 88% of the people who approved of Obama actually voted for him. Now, if that relationship were to hold true in this coming election, it would mean that Obama will only get 44% of the vote. This based on his current 50% job approval in the Real Clear summary of polls (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html). Keep in mind that John McCain lost to Obama with 46% of the vote.
- A Majority of Independents Side With Romney. In 2008, 52% of all independents voted for Obama; this according to CNN's exit polling ( http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=USP00p1 ) Today, Romney is winning the independents by as little as 7 and as much as 12 percentage points; depending on the poll. This means that if the turnout is anything like 2010, where almost as many Republicans voted as did Democrats, Romney could have a landslide win; nicely handed to him by the independents.
- The Gender Gap Is Gone. In 2008, Obama won easily with women; winning by 12 percentage points (see above noted CNN exit poll data). Now, Romney and Obama stand near even (see CBS story: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57539891/poll-gender-gaps-all-but-gone-in-white-house-race/). With that 12 point advantage gone and assuming that women will again vote in higher numbers than men, this can only be an advantage for Romney.
- Youth Vote Could Be Down Severely For Obama. In 2008, Obama garnered 66% of the youth vote (Pew exit polling: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1031/young-voters-in-the-2008-election). He did so because they believed Obama could make a difference. Given the fact that half of all college grads can't find work and the fact that youth unemployment is still extremely high at 12%, it is difficult to believe that Obama will repeat 2008. Again, advantage Romney.
- The Incumbent Rule Will Give Romney The Win In Tight States. Proven to be historically true, the Incumbent Rule should give Romney 80% of the late deciders on election. See my blog post of October 25th: http://cuttingthroughthefog.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-incumbent-rule-should-give-romney.html
Lastly, if those being surveyed have been lying to pollsters, then, expect the exit polling to be way off also.