In any other election year, the incumbent president would be in big trouble if the economy is poor. President Barack Obama has clearly defied this trend. Most national and swing state polls are showing the president ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, though his lead is likely within the margin of error. Our own Voter's Pulse (as of 10/26), which measures support for the presidential candidates using factors such as unemployment rates and web search trends, shows Romney leading President Obama by 1 point nationally. The national trend continues to favor Romney after his strong overall debate performance.
With a little more than a week to go and a critical jobs report set to be released just days before the election, the momentum could swing either way. While the contest is deadlocked nationally, President Obama is ahead in many critical swing states including Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Romney is ahead in Virginia, Maine, Connecticut and Colorado. The others are either locked to a particular candidate or tossed up.
Simon's Voter Pulse (10/26) *NOT A PERCENTAGE
National: Romney 35 - Obama 34
Virginia: Romney 98 - Obama 96
Iowa: Romney 66 - Obama 71
Colorado: Romney 85 - Obama 83
Wisconsin: Romney 81 - Obama 88
Maine: Romney 85 - Obama 83
Minnesota: Romney 82 - Obama 84
Looking at the overall picture, it is entirely possible that Romney would win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. We could see a repeat of 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but lose the presidency to George W. Bush. The Obama's team has clearly done a superb job in helping the president gain support in swing states. Yet, the Romney's campaign still has plenty of unspent money it could use in the coming weeks to change the dynamics of the race. The money factor goes beyond TV and radio ads. The ground game and get-out-the-vote effort will be many times more critical than negative ads on TV.
The next and final update for this page will be on the Sunday before Election Day (November 6). In the meantime, I would like to ask you to be involved in encouraging your friends and family members, who have not registered to vote or do not intend to vote in this election, to fulfill in this important civic duty. Thank you!