Thursday, December 29, 2011

Independents 2012: Don't Bet Your House

  • Unaligned N.H. vote a test for Mitt Romney - Independents could change the momentum in GOP (By Sarah Schweitzer, Boston Globe) Undeclared voters - who are commonly called independents, and who account for more than 40 percent of New Hampshire’s registered voters - don’t appear poised to derail Romney’s longtime lead over his rivals in New Hampshire. With 39 percent of the overall vote in the UNH Survey Center/Boston Globe poll released Sunday, he had a comfortable margin, and significant support among the independents. Among those independents who have declared their allegiance, 32 percent say they back Romney. 
  • Youth vote won't return for Obama in 2012, report says (By Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio) In a report on Wednesday, Curtis Gans, director of the Washington-based Center for the American Electorate, predicted voter turnout overall (as a percentage of the eligible voting population) would be lower than in 2008 or 2004. He argued those two elections fired up voters, particularly Democrats, in a way neither party will in 2012.
  • New Iowa Poll May Understate Paul’s Support (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/ FiveThirtyEight) The recent Public Policy Polling survey, for instance, estimated that 24 percent of Iowa caucus participants are currently registered as independents or Democrats and will re-register as Republicans at the caucuses. This month’s Washington Post/ABC News poll put the fraction at 18 percent. There is room to debate what the right number is but it will certainly not be zero, as the CNN poll assumes.
  • Democrats Lag in Voter Registration (By LAURA MECKLER, Wall Street Journal) Today, far fewer people are registering, and the enormous Democratic advantage among new voters in North Carolina has vanished, according to new data from Catalist, a group with Democratic ties that studies voter rolls. That illustrates a broader challenge for the president's party. Democrats still hold an overall registration advantage in many states, but Obama campaign officials and other Democrats say it is important to bring new Obama voters onto the rolls—both to replenish voters who drop off and offset possible losses among independent voters, who have been skeptical of Mr. Obama's job performance.

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