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September 19, 2012

AP Poll Has Obama By One; Gallup/USAToday Swing State Poll By 2; Gallup Itself by 1; Rasmussen Swing State Poll Has Romney Ahead by 1

So the bounce is all but gone.

And Obama might even be behind.

A point I would notice about this: While the race shows a stability that causes, I'm sure, heartburn on both sides, there can still be swings within a narrow bands of variance. There is still some 5-8% of the public which is making up its mind in some way, and we can see the big impact of that in these swings.

In swing states, 22% of voters say they could change their minds. That's a huge number, and it casts doubt on the "almost everyone's made up their minds" storyline.

I don't know if this is mostly True Independents actually swinging from Obama to Romney and back again; or if it's a Base Mobilization effect, such as disillusioned Democrats deciding, based on Clinton's speech, that instead of saying they're undecided they'll say they're supporting Obama.

Romney probably doesn't have a similar Base Mobilization effect. I figure it this way: If, at this point, you consider yourself "conservative" but are strongly inclined to give Obama a second term, you are not making political decisions as most people know them, but are playing some kind of "long game" which probably involves a revolution or general societal breakdown by 2015, so you're not likely to be swayed by a Romney or Ryan pitch that they can make things better. At this point, if you're "right"-leaning but still favor Obama, you probably see "making things better" as exactly what you don't want.

So the parts in motion seem to me to be Luntz's Dunces and another group of dunces, a group of Democrats which understands that Obama's actual record is horrible but if someone gives a nice speech or has a nice appearance on Letterman, well, that's good enough for them.

I don't have any secondary conclusions about this (like, what to do about it), but it is worth noting that despite the Conventional Wisdom that "almost everyone's mind is already made up," we can see the big impact of that small group of people still deciding shifting this way and that.

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posted by Ace at 01:23 PM

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