In Pew Research’s national survey that found President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tied, there was an interesting but significant nugget: for the first time in the 2012 cycle, Pew found a majority of registered voters who support Romney are voting for Romney instead of against Obama.
In Pew’s June survey, 58% of those who said they were voting for Romney said their votes were against Obama while only 38% said their votes were for Romney. In Pew’s most recent survey released this week, 57% of Romney’s voters now say their votes are affirmative votes for Romney while only 39% said their votes were against Obama.
As Pew explained, this is yet more proof of how much the dynamics of the presidential race shifted after the first presidential debate. Democrats and the mainstream media had noted two months ago that Romney would be vulnerable on Election Day if a majority of his supporters were not affirmatively voting for him. Now this will not be the case.
Voters who go to the polls to vote for a particular candidate are more likely to turn out on Election Day, especially if the weather is far from perfect, so these numbers bode well for Romney and Republicans on Election Day.
According to Pew:
For the first time this year, a majority of registered voters who support Romney (57%) now think of their vote as a vote for Mitt Romney, not as a vote against Barack Obama. As recently as September, just over half of Romney voters (52%) said their main motivation was their opposition to Obama.
By contrast, registered voters who favor Obama have consistently described their vote as a vote for the president. Currently, 73% of Obama’s supporters say they are voting for the president, while just 24% are voting against Romney.