Friday, October 19, 2012
In 2008, Barack Obama won independents nationally, 52%-44%, on his way to a general election win.
According to TPM's Polltracker average of polls, Mitt Romney currently leads Obama among independents by 14%, nationally.
That's a 22% reversal nation-wide for Obama.
So with a few weeks to go, it's looking more and more like the president will lose independents in a big way, nationally.
But what about in the swing states where the election will be decided?
The news is a little better for Obama, but he's still falling short with independents in nearly every swing state, including Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and yes, Ohio.
I've included Obama's 2008 numbers with independents in each state, along with averages from the most recent polls of those states.
To make both partisans happy, I didn't use conservative Rasmussen or liberal PPP polls. That's unfortunate, because they're some of the most prolific state-by-state pollsters, but excluding both will hopefully make both sides happy.
Below, I've listed polls showing where the race is with indies, currently (based on polls where pollsters have made partisan breakdowns available).
a. Colorado = Obama won by 10% with indies in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +4%, Obama +1%, Romney +4%
b. Florida = Obama won by 9% with indies in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +3%, Romney +13%, Romney +4%
c. Iowa = Obama won indies by 15% in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +4%, Obama +7%.
d. Nevada = Obama won indies by 13% in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +18%, Romney +8%, Obama +5%.
e. New Hampshire = Obama won indies by 20% in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +3%, Obama +6%.
f. North Carolina = Obama lost by 21% with indies in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +25%.
g. Ohio = Obama won indies by 8% in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +8%, Romney +20%, Obama +4%.
h. Virginia = Obama won indies by 1% in 2008.
Most recent polls: Romney +12%, Obama +2%.
i. Wisconsin = Obama won indies by 20% in 2008.
Most recent poll: Romney +2%.
OVERALL: As you can see, Romney is doing better with independents in nearly every swing states; whereas, Obama won indies in every swing state in 2008.
So that's very good news for Romney.
The caveat is that winning indies doesn't guarantee a win in a swing state... at all. For example, Romney will have to win Wisconsin indies by a lot more than 2% if he wants to win the state.
But nevertheless, this is an awful set of numbers for Obama in swing states, and shows just how dramatic the Indie Exodus is looking like.
[Photo: White House/Pete Souza]