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November 02, 2012

Is There a Hidden Conservative Vote Lurking Out There?

I've been resisting this notion, but Obama drew out new voters, didn't he?

So why shouldn't it be that this election we'll see some of our own new voters?

I keep thinking about the Night of the Living Dead in Ohio in 2004. Kerry thought he had won Ohio -- but then the returns came in from the Bush counties. And came in. And came in. And came in. A storm of unexpected Republican votes just kept coming in, first equaling his tally from the cities, then surpassing it.

Liberals called it The Night of the Living Dead, because the zombies -- eh, I'll take it; we determined and plain of purpose -- just kept marching in to the polls.

Daniel Henninger thinks evangelicals might make their might known on November 6.

Back in April, the policy director of the Southern Baptist Convention, Richard Land, predicted that evangelicals in time would coalesce behind Mitt Romney. Yesterday he endorsed Mr. Romney, the first time he has done so for any presidential candidate.

Ralph Reed, the president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, has been spending a lot of time in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the belief that evangelical support for Mr. Romney could be decisive. He notes that when George W. Bush won Ohio in 2004, the Kerry camp thought their dominance of Democratic Cuyahoga County around Cleveland had the state locked up. But Mr. Bush's solid support in evangelical-dominated counties from Cincinnati to the West Virginia border carried Ohio by two percentage points. [The Night of the Living Dead -- ace.]

...

Mr. Reed notes that in several opinion polls—NBC, Pew and ABC—the percentage of evangelicals claiming to support Mr. Romney has been in the mid-70s. "We estimate that in 2008 there were 350,000 evangelicals who didn't vote in Ohio," Mr. Reed says. "Obama carried the state by 260,000." If that support of 70% or more holds for Mr. Romney in Ohio, and if the share of the evangelical vote increases by a point or two, then the challenger could carry the Buckeye State.

...

The president of Ohio Christian University, Mark A. Smith, says, "The intensity of voters in the faith community is as high as I've seen it in the last 12 years." The driver of that intensity is religious liberty....

Mr. Smith says that if evangelicals in Ohio's rural communities repeat their turnout levels from 2000 and 2004, they will offset the Obama advantage in Cuyahoga County. "Six different faith groups are out there" for Romney in Ohio, he says. "That didn't happen the last time."

Ben Domenech coins a term -- I think he coins it -- an "undertow election." Unlike a wave, you aren't aware of the the undertow until it grabs you by the ankle and pulls you down.

[A]s much as I question their strategic minds, it's been clear from day one that Romney's operational prowess is second to none, and getting out the vote isn't a question of strategy but operation. Even given that the state Republican parties are shouldering much of this effort, and even given all the advantages Team Obama was likely to have in that arena, if Team Romney could end up close to matching them in this respect, we could be looking at an undertow election like none we've seen before. This would reflect not so much a groundswell as a cave-in, one where independents did not shift to Romney but away from Obama, where the bottom truly drops out of the Obama effort, and the story the left focuses on for the next year is why in the world those people stayed home.

If this happens, it won't be a late night after all.

Michael Barone sees Romney playing well in affluent suburbs of the midwest better than any other Republican candidate within the past twenty years.

Cultural affinity is important; a lot of northerners or midwesterners didn't like Bush simply because of his southern/Texas identity. The same reason a lot of southern conservatives were suspicious of Romney -- he seemed of a different culture -- is the same reason suburbanites in Pennsylvania and Ohio (and Minnesota, and Michigan) might give him a whirl.

The only way Pennsylvania and Michigan can be close is if Obama's support in affluent Philadelphia and Detroit suburbs has melted away.

This also helps explain why Romney still narrowly trails in Ohio polls. Affluent suburban counties cast about one-quarter of the votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan but only one-eighth in Ohio.

A pro-Romney affluent swing is confirmed by the internals of some national polls. The 2008 exit poll showed Obama narrowly carrying voters with incomes over $75,000. Post-debate Pew Research and Battleground polls have shown affluent suburbanite Romney carrying them by statistically significant margins.

In particular, college-educated women seem to have swung toward Romney since Oct. 3.

Rasmussen Ohio: 49-49.


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posted by Ace at 02:52 PM

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