Of the predictions I am making in this presidential contest, the one about which I am most certain is that Mitt “Romney will win independents, probably by a margin equal to, if not greater than, that Obama enjoyed in 2008 (i.e., 8 points).” This, I believe, is particularly significant in an election where the number of independent voters is surging.
As I seek to provide more information to make the case for this prediction, well, Ed Morrissey just, as I put it yesterday, “makes a conservative blogger’s job easier“. Today, that astute blogger provides a more in-depth analysis of Mitt Romney’s success among independent voters:
Christian Heinze at The Hill picks up on a months-long polling trend that I’ve noted for quite a while, but which has mostly escaped the media. Mitt Romney has consistently and clearly led among independent voters for quite a while, although Heinze only looks at the most recent polls to make his point about the nature of the race. . . .
(Read the whole thing.) Of those 5 polls, Romney’s lead among independents ranged from 4 in the Pew poll to 18 in the IBD/TIP poll. Averaging the 5 surveys, we see the Republican leading independents by 49.4 to 38.6, a margin of 10.8 points, a margin greater than Obama enjoyed in his 2008 victory.
That average, to be sure, leaves 12% still undecided.
When Jim Geraghty measured the undecideds, he found, citing pollster Bill McInturff that they “are ripe for the picking for Romney: 68 percent are white, 57 percent are married, 53 percent are men, 70 percent think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and 60 percent disapprove of how Obama is doing his job.”
The poll shows independents side with Romney by 44-32 percent. That’s a reversal from before the debate when it was 43-39 in Obama’s favor. One independent in four is undecided or will vote for another candidate.
As far as I can recall, this poll, the FoxNews poll, is the only one, since the conventions that has shown Obama up among independents.