Karl Rove, whose precinct-to-precinct electoral expertise is almost unmatched in the pundit sphere, has asserted that Mitt Romney’s poll numbers give him a clear edge in the presidential election. Rove’s prediction? Romney 51%, Obama 48%, with Romney winning at least 279 electoral votes.
Here are Rove’s key points:
1. Of the 31 national surveys in the last week, Romney leads in 19, Obama in 7, and five show a tie. A key fact is that Obama is not over 50% in any poll, while Romney is over that number in 10 different polls.
2. The national average for Romney is 48.4%, while Obama trails at 47.2%. Even with the traditional 1% boost the incumbent always receives on Election Day, that still leaves Obama short.
3. The Gallup poll that was based on October suggested that the turnout looks as though the Republicans have a 1% lead, 36% to 35%, compared with 39% Democratic and 29% Republican in 2008. If that is true, that’s big trouble for Obama.
4. Gallup has reported that early voting has broken for Romney, 52% to 46%.
5. Gallup also found that the 63% who said they planned to vote on Election Day similarly supported Romney, 51% to 45%.
6. In battleground states, the 2008 edge in early and absentee votes for Obama has eroded.
7. Getting specific about Ohio, 530,813 Ohio Democrats had voted early or had requested or cast an absentee ballot, which is down 181,275 from 2008. But 448,357 Ohio Republicans had voted early or had requested or cast an absentee ballot, up 75,858 from 2008. That 257,133-vote swing is almost exactly equal to Obama's 2008 Ohio margin of 262,224. With most observers expecting Republicans to win Election Day turnout, those numbers look good for Romney.