Thursday, October 11, 2012

Is this still a debate bounce or a Libyan bounce?

One thing seems to be remaining true throughout the past week...Romney continues to see a bounce in polling and it seems that with each new poll released we see the trend line going further in the Romney column. Some predicted an end to this bounce as early as Monday, but few can see the evidence of such a assertion now. In fact few can make sense as to why this bounce continues long after the Romney dominated debate with little sings of a receding of the numbers as is typically the case with these types of swings. Not that Romney will suddenly lose all the ground that he had gained, but generally the momentum begins to wane and things take on a new sense of normalcy. While some liberals have been eagerly picking apart the data each day and explaining why the Romney momentum has reached a grinding halt. The facts are that even today's polls from NBC/WSJ/Marist and CBS/NYT show that the numbers compared to their previous polls are still trending towards Romney as a whole, but in fairness these numbers are bound to show Romney in a better position then what he was a week ago in the midst of the DNC post-convention bounce. More telling is that the average of all the recent polls continue to show the race tightening in the swing states and a statistical dead heat in general election polling. So what does all of this mean as we enter into the VP debate tonight?

The primary assertion that I am making is that his bounce is more then just a post-debate bounce. The size and margin of the bounce continue to be at near record highs and even of greater importance is that it continues way beyond the typical time limits of convention or debate bounces. I tend to think that something else is keeping this momentum going, which leads me to consider the Libyan terror plot. As new information is revealed we hear of more obvious lies and distortions that have come from the Obama Administration. What has been more amazing then the new data showing their previous explanations to be wrong and the refusal to add the additional security that was requested from those with direct knowledge of the situation has been the fact that few political insiders and journalists seems to catch the gravity of the situation. Sure these types of things happen in every administration, but generally not in the heat of an election with the race being so close. What complicates matters even more for the president is that he consistently has a large lead over Romney on the issue of who would be better for foreign policy. If their is any shift in these numbers it would have potential dramatic implications, since Romney has generally shown a lead in who would be better for the economy. I believe we are already seeing evidence of this in today's polling. Let us look at the difference from the polls released overnight and the previous poll on October 3 from NBC/WSJ/Marist.
Virginia Poll
Who would be better for the economy?
October 3rd poll among Likely Voters: Romney 47-46 advantage
October 11th poll among Likely Voters: Romney 48-45 advantage (Note: Among Registered Voters it is only a one point swing)
Who would be better on foreign policy? 
October 3rd poll among Likely Voters: Obama 51-41 advantage
October 11th poll among Likely Voters: Obama 49-44 advantage (Note: Advantage cut in half)

Why are these numbers compelling? The debate last Wednesday was on domestic policy only and the shift in numbers is coming more from voters views on their foreign policy. In the October 3rd poll Obama was in front by 3% and now that has changed to Romney leading by 1%. It looks as if these changes came more from who voters trust on foreign policy. This does not mean the debate did not have a great impact, but it is possible that the debate was merely the beginning of the tides being turned.
Does this mean that Romney would win the election if it were held today? Probably not. Does this mean that this Libyan crises could become a much larger issue following the debate tonight, assuming Ryan chooses to address it? Probably.

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