With both parties about to head to key battleground states for their National Conventions, the time is ripe to delve into how these states—and 6 other crucial battlegrounds—have changed since the last time around. In our newest analysis of the numbers in the 8 presidential battleground states with partisan voter registration, we find:
Democratic registration is down 800,329, or 5.2%;
Republican registration is down 78,985, or 0.7%; and,
Can Republicans sell austerity? That’s the message Mitt Romney is sending by naming Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate.
The Ryan move signals a major redefinition of the Romney campaign. It’s no longer about creating jobs and turning around the economy. It’s about fiscal discipline and turning around the budget. That’s Ryan’s calling. He is, after all, chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Why is Romney doing this? Simple. The old campaign wasn’t working. Voters are getting the message: Romney’s experience was not in creating jobs. It was in creating wealth — for himself and his investors. That’s what private equity firms do. The polls, which have been virtually tied all year, are beginning to show an Obama lead. Romney is under pressure to change course — fast. Hence, Ryan.
“Every single remaining undecided vote is in the absolute center. There is no better politician that better exemplifies a successful centrist president than Clinton. As Obama and Romney compete for those remaining centrist voters, they want to claim some of the Clinton mantle.”
The number of registered Independents has increased since 2008 in many of the battleground states that will decide the 2012 election.
Democratic registration fared worse relative to both Republican and Independent registration between 2008 and 2011.
Republican registration gained relative to Democratic registration between 2008 and 2011.
Based on the combination of this general trend and the rise in both registration and self-identification of Independents since 2008, the most likely scenario for 2012 is that Independents will make up a bigger portion of the electorate than in any election since 1976, based on national exit polls.
Wondering what the public is thinking on national security issues? Third Way’s newest memo, The Politics of National Security, gives you the latest round-up of public opinion polling on a wide range of national security issues. In this memo we bring you the data behind:
President Obama’s strength on national security issues, which does not stick to Democrats;
The public’s gut opposition to defense cuts and how to overcome it;
The public’s wariness about present and future military interventions.
To re-read our earlier focus group work on national security, click here.
“Barack Obama is facing the most dangerous period of his presidency. The danger is that he will not appear to be in control of events. If that perception takes hold, voters will conclude that the president is not up to the job. And they will abandon him.”
Can President Obama get re-elected the same way President Bush did in 2004? The recall election in Wisconsin on Tuesday will give us a pretty good idea.
Bush got re-elected with a base strategy. He rallied conservatives with an “us versus them” campaign. Republicans demonized John Kerry and tried to discredit Democrats as soft on terrorism. It was an intensely divisive campaign that embittered the electorate.
The result was to drive up turnout, not just of conservatives, but also of liberals who were enraged by the Bush campaign. The strategy worked in 2004, but just barely. Bush got re-elected with 50.7% of the vote.
“Obama Independents are slightly center-left on the ideological spectrum, but McCain Independents lean to the right. On a 5 point scale—where 1 is liberal, 3 is moderate, and 5 is conservative—Obama Independents are at 2.73 and McCain Independents at 3.73, a full point apart. With 60% of Obama Independents identifying as moderates, there are more moderates in this group than any other, including all voters (44%), Democrats (47%), and all Independents (56%). By contrast, 42% of McCain Independents call themselves conservative and barely half say they are moderate.”