As you read the daily polls on the presidential race, you should keep an eye on the number of undecided voters. In 89% of all presidential elections over the last 100 years, undecided voters break for the challenger. That is because they are already familiar with the incumbent and for one reason or another, does not support them. The challenger actually has a huge advantage with this crowd because not only are they willing to be swayed, they want to be persuaded.
Most polls are showing 8 to 9% undecided. Under normal circumstances, the challenger could expect to pick up 2/3 of those voters. That 3 % can take a close race and blow it open. Once a candidate gets momentum, other votes seem to follow closely. And secondly, this isn’t normal circumstances. Obama’s policies are wildly unpopular in most swing states. And the resurgence of Ohio Gov Kasich is not good for Obama there. Strickland, Kasich’s predecessor, burned through the 2 billion dollar rainy day fund and left the coffer empty for Kasich, along with a crippling deficit. The fund is now much healthier, although not up to previous standards, but it’s getting there. And he did it without raising taxes.
Before Kasich and under Strickland, Ohio was creating jobs at a dismal rate, at 46th in the nation. Kasich has turned that around and Ohio now ranks 5th nationwide and first in the midwest. A popular governor will not help Obama in this swing state.
Wisconsin is considered safe democratic but is it? Scott Walker’s favorability rating is now at 52% because the people of the state have seen what his policies have done for the state. In the annual ratings by CEOs of the best places to do business, Wisconsin has moved from 41% the year before Walker took over to 24th in just one year under Walker. In the second year, (2012) Wisconsin gained 6 more spots to finish at 11th nationally. Quite an improvement. And like Kasich, Walker balanced the budget and did away with a 3.6 billion dollar deficit without raising taxes. Do not be surprised if republicans win the open democratic senate seat and Romney could pull an upset here. At the very least, he can make Obama spend money in a state he shouldn’t have to.
Myself, I am not a big believer in polls, but I have found the Rasmussen poll to be the most accurate poll out there. Liberals decried Rasmussen when he predicted a landslide in the congressional elections, before anyone else did but they had no problem when Rasmussen predicted a huge democratic year in 2008. Polls are fun to watch, but keep an eye on the undecideds and the growing popularity of newly (somewhat) elected governors.