Originally Romney was going to hold his Fairfax, VA speech at the Recreation and Athletic Complex, which seats 1500 plus standing room (say 3k total?). High demand pushed it to the Patriot Center, which seats 10k (inside!). There were thousands of people OUTSIDE the Patriot center who weren’t let in by the fire marshall.
At this point, Nate Silver predicts a 92% chance of an Obama victory. So I guess there’s no better time to double down on my own prediction.
I still think the presidential election will be close, and that Romney will win with less than 300 electoral votes. The independent vote has gone from +8 Democrat to (variously) +22 R (!), or +1 D, or +7 R. And party affiliation has moved from +7.6 D to +5.8 R. Republicans actually outpolled Democrats in 2010, and as the party affiliation survey shows, there has been consistent movement in the R direction.
Most polls count likely voters as 75% or more of the registered voters. The CNN poll counts 75%, most other polls are higher (Rasmussen being a counter example). But the highest percentage of actual voters in 2008 was less than 73%, and no one believes Obama will get the vote out as much as he did then. His audiences are much, much smaller now. In 2004, less than 70% of registered voters voted. In 2000 it was even lower. UNlikely voters swing Democrat, so a lower percentage of voters voting is likely to decrease the percentage of Obama votes.
Romney has drawn 30k+ in several swing states:
Ultimately, I agree with the conclusion from this article:
We can’t know until Election Day who is right. I stand by my view that Obama is losing independent voters decisively, because the national and state polls both support that thesis. I stand by my view that Republican turnout will be up significantly from recent-historic lows in 2008 in the key swing states (Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado) and nationally, because the post-2008 elections, the party registration data, the early-voting and absentee-ballot numbers, and the Rasmussen and Gallup national party-ID surveys (both of which have solid track records) all point to this conclusion. I stand by my view that no countervailing evidence outside of poll samples shows a similar surge above 2008 levels in Democratic voter turnout, as would be needed to offset Romney’s advantage with independents and increased GOP voter turnout.
And if Barack Obama wins, I agree with this article: he will be a huge lame duck, unable to work with mounting opposition in congress. Especially if he wins the electoral vote while losing the popular vote. That would be the worst case scenario, a demonstrably unpopular president backing his way into office.
I hope, and think, that’s not going to happen.