In an incisive column in the Washington Examiner, the dean of political analysts, Michael Barone, analyzes just why Mitt Romney is doing so well. Barone postulates that suburbanites who are more affluent are flocking to Romney. He notes that the firewall that the Obama campaign counted on has eroded, with Obama strategist David Plouffe omitting Florida and Virginia in a list of key states.
When Barone turns to Colorado, which is in Romney’s column now, and former Obama 2008 states Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Romney is closing fast, he points out that the only way Michigan and Pennsylvania can be close is if suburbanites are leaving Obama for Romney.
Barone also makes the cogent analysis that the reason Ohio is still narrowly Obama’s is that unlike Pennsylvania and Michigan, where the affluent suburban counties comprise one-fourth of the vote, in Ohio those counties only amount to one-eighth of the vote.
And Barone has hard evidence for his claim; the 2008 exit poll showed Obama narrowly carrying voters with incomes over $75,000, while 2012 post-debate Pew Research and Battleground polls have shown Romney winning the affluent suburbanite votes by statistically significant margins.
In a truly stunning development, Barone reports that college-educated women have been moving toward Romney since Oct. 3. Barone likens this election to 1980, when he notes:
“…vast numbers of voters switched from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan after their single debate one week before the election. In that debate, the challenger showed he had presidential stature and the incumbent president seemed petulant and small-minded … Most voters dislike Obama’s domestic policies and are dissatisfied with the sluggish economy. And now they seem to believe have an alternative with presidential stature.
Suburbanites for Romney. College-educated students for Romney. There is big trouble in Obama’s paradise.