Perhaps the most important number in the NPR poll released this morning is one familiar to those who have been following this campaign, 47%, President Obama’s share of the survey sample.
And 47% is where the Democrat has been stalled in Rasmussen’s surveys — and represents his recent high-water mark in Gallup.
Now, Democrats may point with glee to the number from the battleground states, showing Obama up by 4, but Ed Morrissey cautions that while the “national sample has a D+4 tilt, with a D/R/I of 35/31/34“, the sample in those battleground states “has a D+9 tilt at 40/31/27.” He asks, “In what reality does the Democratic advantage increase in battleground states to a margin wider than the 2008 turnout advantage?” And the sample size in those battleground states was paltry.
Once again, Romney holds a big lead among independents, breaking “hard nationally” as Morrrissey puts it
. . . for Romney, 51/39. In fact, only 29% of independents are certain to vote for Obama, a disastrously low number for the incumbent in any election cycle, especially with just seven days to go. Independents are harshly critical of Obama’s job performance, with a 42/54 approval rating that consists of only 17% strongly approving and 44% strongly disapproving. They’re even tougher on his economic performance at 39/60.
If we presume that the independent vote nationally will break as has that of the 90% in this survey who have already decided, we could see Romney capturing about 56% of the independent vote, with Obama at 43.**
* (like most national polls)
**UPDATE: Granted some of those independent voters may opt for third party candidates, so let’s lower the tally of each candidate, taking two points from Romney and one from Obama, yielding an independent split of 54-42.