Yesterday, I blogged about why the independent vote matters, particularly in swing states. Today, I had the chance to look at Resurgent Republic’s memorandum documenting the trends behind President Obama’s support is collapsing among these group of voters.
The authors date the decline back to the early days of the Obama administration when his big-spending proposals began to raise eyebrows across the nation, particularly given an electorate “closer to the GOP on fiscal issues.” And during the campaign, they report that Romney has enjoyed a consistent lead among independent voters 00 even before the debates, Their movement toward the Republican accelerated in October. At the same time, they moved away from Obama at a considerable pace.
By “a 20-point margin, 56 to 36 percent”, independents “believe it’s time for someone else to be president”. Fewer that 40% of those surveyed approve of Obama’s record on the economy.
Meanwhile, independents have an increasingly favorable view of Mitt Romney, with 54% now having a positive feeling about the Republican nominee. Nearly an identical percentage, 53%, have an unfavorable opinion of the incumbent.
54% disapprove of Obama’s performance, with more (far more) than twice as many strongly disapproving as strongly approving. And those with strong feelings are far more likely to vote. On the top issue on voters’ minds, 60% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, with 49% strongly disapproving.
64% believe the economy has been “on the wrong track for almost the entire tenure of President Obama.”
Things don’t look good for the president with independent voters. Will that be the deciding factor in the election? We won’t know until next week, but as one electoral prognosticator put it, “the party that loses the contest has also lost independent voters.”
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