Ohio and Virginia are swing states that will play a strong part in the upcoming senatorial and presidential elections. Ohio has a long history of switching parties. In 2008 and 1996 the vote was for a democratic president. In 2000 and 2004 Ohio voters selected George Bush. Today Ohio voters have senatorial and presidential candidates running neck and neck according to recent polls.
On September 7th and 8th Gravis Marketing presidential polls showed a 4 percent increase for Obama in Ohio. Their September 5th, poll showed Obama/Romney at 44% to 47% while on September 9, 2012, Public Policy showed Obama leading 50% to 40% in Ohio. Gravis Marketing senate polls on September 7/8 showed Sherrod Brown, the Democratic senate candidate, increasing in popularity.
On September 8-9, a Gravis Marketing Virginia poll showed Romney leading Obama by 49% to 47%. The same poll showed republican candidate George Allen leading the senatorial poll with 47% support against Democrat Tim Kane at 42%. Check with gravismarketing.blogspot.com for a full analysis and cross-tabs.
According to Gallop.com people have ambiguous feelings about polls. While most people feel that polls are good at predicting election results, they feel skeptical about the science behind the polls, which typically have 1,500 to 2,000 participants. Americans have difficulty believing that such a small sample size can realistically represent a preference of Americans in general.
With senatorial races and presidential races so close according to polls, it’s interesting to speculate on what events or factors can sway the outcome towards a particular candidate. Some of these factors might be the growing number of Latino voters, changes in employment statistics, voter turnout and voter id laws. 2012 is the first year in which the number of Latinos and African Americans has exceeded the number of non-Hispanic white voters. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 2012 CES Preliminary Benchmark Revision will be released on September 27, 2012. Clearly if these figures look good, they will favor the Democrats, and if they look bad, voters will be thirsting for change. Energizing those voters who feel like their vote doesn’t count could sway the election towards the most persuasive party. Voter id legislation can restrict voting to exclude the poor and the marginal. According to voxxi.com, voter id regulations adversely affect the ability of old people, poor people, youth, Latinos and African Americans to vote. These regulations are becoming increasingly widespread.
Michael Gerson of the Washington Post says the electorate is highly polarized. With the lack luster performance of the US economy, it seems strange that Romney is not doing better. On the other hand, Romney has been receiving tons of negative publicity, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting his ratings. Gerson suggests that the American public has lined up along ideological boundaries and as a result voters will not be easily swayed from their strongly held positions. In this environment, spending millions on TV commercials makes little difference.
Each and every voter has the ability to influence the election by turning out to vote. In the up and coming senatorial races and presidential race everyone counts, and your vote can make a difference. The senatorial and presidential elections as shown by polls are very tight. In this political climate each of us has a vote that matters.