As President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential candidate former Gov. Mitt Romney head into the final, frantic day of campaigning, polls and campaign news are breaking literally by the minute. This is an ONGOING roundup of key campaign developments that will be updated all day and evening. Refresh TMV often to see the latest. Some stories may be also run as separate stories. Newest updates will go on top:
11:27 am PST:
— MSBC’s Joe Scarborough predicts Obama will win, with a bit of a hedge:
“I’ve got to say right now, as a practicing politician of 20 years, If I’m betting, I’m betting on the president,” he said. “Every poll has lined up for the president.”
But he added one caveat that is worth remembering as the conventional wisdom continues to predict an Obama victory:
“If you think about 1980, where every elite in Manhattan and Washington was sure Jimmy Carter was going to win — I don’t care what they say now,” he warned. “Nobody saw the Reagan Revolution nobody saw it coming.”
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/morning-joe-obama-win-2012-11#ixzz2BNUZxVVw
11:03 am PST:
—Democracy Corps’ latest poll gives Obama a four point lead:
The final national survey for Democracy Corps shows Obama ahead with a 4-point lead in the presidential race, 49 to 45 percent (actually, 3.8 points to be exact). This represents a slight improvement since our last poll, which fielded before the final presidential debate, when we had Obama ahead by 2 points among all voters but tied among the smaller likely electorate. With the enthusiasm gap narrowed and Obama almost back to 2008 levels of support with the new Democratic base of unmarried women and minorities, the President has brought this back to the contours that gave him the lead before the debates – and that is enough to win, especially since he has a 7-point lead in the 12-state battleground for the presidency.
10:45 am PST:
—City Paper: GOP poll watchers allegedly targeting black precincts in Pittsburgh:
Civil rights and other progressive groups have sent a letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez alleging that the Pennsylvania Republican Party and Pittsburgh Tea Party are targeting Pittsburgh precincts with large numbers of black voters “under the guise of combating alleged voter fraud.”
“We have seen their list and it strongly suggests that the Pennsylvania Republican Party is coordinating with the Pittsburgh Tea Party to target African American voters for intimidation at the polls,” according to a statement from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Associate General Counsel Nicole Berner. “The Pennsylvania Republican Party has serious questions to answer about where they are putting their poll watchers and why.”
According to the letter, the rights organizations obtained a partial list of targeted precincts distributed at a Pittsburgh Tea Party poll watcher training coordinated with the Republican Party. The precincts have a black voter registration of over 79 percent.
The Politico on how Democrats will spin it if Obama loses: Obama threw it away in Denver, the Bush economy killed him, it was the second-term vision thing, Citizens United, the super PACs and the Koch Brothers did it, he lost for a noble cause: national health care and it all comes back to race.
10:28 am PSG:
—The American Conservative (a highly thoughtful, serious site) on what it means if Romney loses:
As I have said before, Romney’s campaign has been mostly about nothing, which allows everyone to define a Romney defeat as they see fit. That always happens after election defeats to some extent, but Romney has provided a little bit of fodder for almost everyone’s recriminations. If the Romney campaign has assumed that the key to success was in mobilizing turnout of the party base, they do not seem to have done a particularly good job of doing this. For many of these voters, Romney inspires no confidence, and he is relying almost entirely on the dread these voters feel when contemplating a second Obama term…
…If Romney loses, it will be the third national election that the GOP has lost in the last four cycles. Losing in 2012 should alert Republicans to the limits of relying so heavily on anti-Obama sentiment and it should make them understand the diminishing returns of running against a fantasy record, especially on foreign policy. A Romney loss would be the second consecutive time that a candidate espousing an aggressive and confrontational foreign policy was rejected by the public. That should be taken as a signal that the GOP will not recover its reputation on foreign policy until it faces up to its failures in the Bush years and tries to learn from them. Considering how the party responded to the even more obvious repudiations of Bush-era foreign policy failures in 2006 and 2008, it seems unlikely that this is how most Republicans will interpret defeat, so it is something that will have to be repeated as often as possible in the near future.
If it happens, as seems likely, a 2012 Republican loss shouldn’t be at all surprising. The Bush administration truly was one of the three or four worst presidential administrations of the last sixty years, and Bush’s party still hasn’t come to grips with what that means for how the rest of the country sees them. In the wake of such a huge failure, it would be almost inexplicable that the public could entrust the Presidency to that same party after just four years. Assuming that Romney loses next week, the puzzle won’t be why he lost, but why he was ever within striking distance in the first place.
— Final impreMedia-LD tracking poll: if Latino vote is high, Obama will carry 4 key swing states:
ImpreMedia & Latino Decisions today released the last in a series of 11 weekly tracking polls with results suggesting President Obama is poised to win a record high share of the Latino vote, and in turn likely to win key swing states and enough electoral college votes to retain the presidency. [View complete week 11 results here]
During the course of the 11 weeks of tracking, there have been fluctuations in Obama’s favorability and attitudes about key issues among Latinos, but overall results indicate the President has retained consistent support and Latinos report they are likely to turn out in record numbers.
Sixteen percent of respondents indicated that they had already voted early, with another 73% saying they were certain to vote, reflecting increasing levels of enthusiasm over the course of this poll.
The President’s support continued its steady climb with 64% saying they are certain to vote for him on election day and another 8% leaning towards him. Romney’s supporters also remained consistent, but overall he was unable to make significant inroads with Latino voters. Week 11 polling found 22% said they were certain to or might vote for Romney, compared to 24% during Week 1 polling.
Among likely Latino voters, those with consistent vote history or have already voted, 73% say they plan to vote for Obama compared to 24% for Romney and 3% undecided. If Obama wins 73% or higher of the Latino vote, it would eclipse the 72% won by Bill Clinton in his landslide re-election in 1996, and mark the highest total ever for a Democratic presidential candidate.
—Talking Points Memo reports that Gallup will soon release a poll that puts Mitt Romney ahead by one point. When it is released it will go to the top of this site since Gallup is a highly respected polling organization. This will mean a final day of conflicting polls. However, what seems to be unchanged is the consensus on the part of a variety (but not all) of serious analysts that Obama will win in the electoral college — even as speculation grows that it could be a long night and that the election not even be decided on election night. Others, of course, disagree.
8:54 am PST:
–The New York Time’s Nate Silver (who has been under attack in recent weeks by some who don’t agree or like his findings)now puts Obamas re-election changes at 86& and predicts Obama will be 307 electoral votes to Romney’s 230. He looks at the emerging Republican claim that Hurricane Sandy broke Romney’s momentum, and that if Romney loses it’d be due to that. He disagrees. Part of his analysis:
But, while the storm and the response to it may account for some of Mr. Obama’s gains, it assuredly does not reflect the whole of the story.
Mr. Obama had already been rebounding in the polls, slowly but steadily, from his lows in early October — in contrast to a common narrative in the news media that contended, without much evidence, that Mr. Romney still had the momentum in the race.
Moreover, there are any number of alternatives to explain Mr. Obama’s gains before and after the storm hit.
Mr. Obama was adjudicated the winner of the second and third presidential debates in surveys of voters who watched them. The past month has brought a series of encouraging economic news, including strong jobs reports in October and last Friday. The bounce in the polls that Mr. Romney received after the Denver debate may have been destined to fade in part, as polling bounces often do following political events like national conventions. Democrats have an edge in early voting based on states that provide hard data about which party’s voters have turned out to cast ballots. Some voters who were originally rejected by the likely voter models that surveys apply may now be included if they say that they have already voted. Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney have been running lots of advertisements, which could have some effect, especially in the swing states. Mr. Obama’s voter-targeting operation may in fact be stronger than Mr. Romney’s and may have begun to show up in the polls. Mr. Obama’s approval rating is at 49 or 50 percent in many surveys, a threshold that would ordinarily predict a narrow re-election for an incumbent. Some elections “break” toward one or another candidate at the end as undecided voters tune in and begin to evaluate their decision.
Each of these hypotheses could merit its own article. But the point is that the causes for Mr. Obama’s gain in the polls are overdetermined, meaning that there are lot of variables that might have contributed to the one result.
8:34 am PST:
— Obama expands New Hampshire lead in new poll:
President Barack Obama has reached 50 percent and leads Mitt Romney by 4 points in New Hampshire, according to a poll released Monday, putting the incumbent in a solid position to claim the state’s potentially election-clinching four electoral votes.
The latest poll from the University of New Hampshire shows half of likely Granite State voters supporting Obama, while Romney trails with 46 percent. In UNH’s poll last week, the two were deadlocked at 48 percent.
UNH conducted its latest poll Nov. 1-4 using live phone interviews with 789 likely New Hampshire voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
–One more political demonization and over-the-top smear for the road. Romney’s Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan:
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told a group of Evangelical Christians Sunday that President Obama’s plans threaten “Judeo-Christian values” — a dramatic charge aimed at the Republican base, and delivered during a conference call that did not appear on his public schedule.
In his remarks to what organizers said were tens of thousands of members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ryan said that President Barack Obama’s path for the next four years is a “dangerous” one.
“[It is] a path that compromises those values — those Judeo-Christian values that made us a great nation in the first place,” he said, referring to religious liberty and Obamacare.
Criticizing Obama over his health care bill’s coverage mandate for birth control, the Roman-Catholic Ryan noted that “my church is suing the federal government.”
“We should not have to sue the federal government to keep our constitutional freedoms,” he said. “Imagine what he would do if he actually got reelected. It just puts a chill down my spine.”
According to the group’s founder, former Christian Coalition official Ralph Reed, 17 million Evangelical voters didn’t vote in 2008, and the group claims it plans to muster between 4 and 6 million of them to turn out to the polls this year
On the call, Ryan said he has been “sustained” on the campaign trail by the people he has met who tell him that they are praying for him.
“I can’t tell you how important it is to have the prayers of the tens of thousands of people we meet across the country,” Ryan said.
(Footnote: I suspect Democrats and some independents are mentioning Ryan in their prayers, too, but perhaps not in the way he has in mind..)
–Vote for Republican me and the Democratic guy! From CT — which says something about the strength of winds in CT now…political Presidential winds in that normally Democratic state:
Connecticut Republican Party chair Jerry Labriola defended his party’s Senate nominee, Linda McMahon, after her minority-targeted doorhangers calling on voters to cast ballots for President Obama and her were discovered. But he acknowledged that calling for votes against the GOP’s presidential nominee may rub some Republicans the wrong way.
“It’s an effort by the campaign to educate people that they can split their ticket,” Labriola told the New Haven Register. He chalked up the surprising tactic to McMahon’s efforts to woo voters not usually in the Republican camp.
–Democratic leaning PPP Polling finds Obama up big now in Colorado.
—New information about Mitt Romney avoiding taxes? If this blossoms in coming days it’d be too late to impact the election…
—More enthusiasm in rallies for Romney? Morning Joe:
–Speculation is now starting about how conservatives will react if Obama is re-elected.
The Politico lists these arguments that’ll be used to explain the re-election of a highly vulnerable President: Romney was a historically bad candidate, Hurricane Sandy, Romney strategist Stuart Stevens blew it, immigration was a fatal blunder, it was a mistake to nominate a moderate — again, it was all the media’s fault.
The New Republic’s Alec MacGellis predicts we’ll hear some of these arguments: the election was stolen, the Benghazi cover-up, Hurricane Sandy and New Jersey Chris Christie’s “betrayal” (praising Obama’s response to the hurricane), Obama won dirty, his opponent was a joke (which MacGillis correctly says is unlikely since after the first debate conservatives discarded the longstanding demand that their candidate articulate conservative positions in favor of letting him do what he needed since it looked like he could win),
The fact you’re now seeing these pieces appear – coupled with the AP story where GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s associates speculated what Ryan would do if, just if mind you, the ticket is defeated — reflect the consensus heading into election day that in a tight race it’s more likely that Obama wins, even if narrowly.
—CNN’s new poll finds a dead heat:
It’s all tied up, according to a new national poll released two days before the presidential election.
And the CNN/ORC International survey not only indicates a dead heat in the race for the White House, but also on almost every major indicator of President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney that was tested in the poll.
Forty-nine percent of likely voters questioned say they support the president, with an equal amount saying they back the former Massachusetts governor.
The poll is the fourth national non-partisan, live operator survey released Sunday to indicate the battle for the presidency either a dead heat or virtually tied. A Politico/George Washington University survey has it tied at 48%; an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll indicates Obama at 48% and Romney at 47%; and the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll puts Obama at 49% and Romney at 48%.
A Pew Research Center survey also released Sunday indicates the president at 50% and the GOP challenger at 47%, which is within the survey’s sampling error.
—NBC’s First Read team notes the vote will be impacted by racial composition and turnout and sees polling and some trending breaking towards Obama:
*** Late momentum appears to favor Obama: The national NBC/WSJ poll provides good news for both Obama and Romney. For Obama, the past couple of weeks have been kind to the president: 41% of likely voters say that what they have read, heard, and seen over the past couple of weeks have given them a more favorable impression of Obama, compared to 40% who said it had given them a less favorable impression — which is up from his 38%-43% score on this question two weeks ago. Part of that more favorable impression is due to his handling of Hurricane Sandy, of which 67% of likely voters approve. By comparison, 45% of voters say they have a less favorable impression of Romney from what they have read, heard and seen over the past couple of weeks, versus 40% who have a more favorable view. But two weeks ago — fresh off his debate performances — Romney’s score here was tied, 44% more favorable, and 44% less favorable. So if there’s been a bump, it’s been in Obama’s direction. The caveat for Team Obama: Al Gore in 2000 and Gerald Ford in 1976 had the momentum in the closing days, and they ended up losing (both were representing the incumbent party).
*** But is this 1976 or 2004?: In other good news for Obama, his numbers in this national poll look almost identical to George W. Bush’s in the final NBC/WSJ survey before the 2004 presidential election, which Bush ended up winning 51%-48%. Obama’s approval rating among likely voters stands at 49 percent — exactly matching Bush’s 49% approval in the final ’04 NBC/WSJ poll. What’s more, 42% say the country is headed in the right direction, versus 41% who said the same thing in late Oct. 2004. And the head-to-head score between Obama and Romney — 48% to 47% — is identical to what it was in the final NBC/WSJ poll before the 2004 election: Bush 48%, Democrat John Kerry 47%.
*** Romney up with independents, on economy: The good news for Romney in this national poll is that 53% of likely voters are comfortable with the idea of him as president, which ties Obama’s percentage on this question (although 39% are “very comfortable” with Obama versus 26% who are “very comfortable” with Romney). Also, Romney is ahead of Obama among independents, 47% to 40%. And the former Massachusetts governor leads Obama by five points on which candidate is better prepared to create jobs and grow the economy, 47%-42%. However, a majority of voters — 52% — say the economy is recovering.
*** Undecided vote breaking in Obama’s direction? Here’s one last point we want to make about our national poll: The survey found that 9% of the likely voters are up for grabs (meaning they’re undecided or just leaning to a candidate), and these folks have more positive feelings toward Obama than Romney. Obama’s job approval with them is 48% approve, 41% disapprove. What’s more, Obama’s fav/unfav with them is 46%/29%, vs. Romney’s upside down 22%-49%. Bottom line: Our pollsters see more of an opportunity for Obama among these voters and more of an uphill climb for Romney.
Presidential elections are decided at the ballot box. This one could get a little assistance from the courtroom.
Lawyers for both parties are descending on key swing states, anticipating legal challenges after what could become a razor-thin decision that rests on how, where, and which ballots are counted. Such disputes could provide a coda to an election cycle that has been marked by state moves to limit early-voting days and require voters to provide photo IDs.
In one scenario already generating angst, small county election boards could determine the next White House occupant, with lawyers from both sides hovering over every decision in a replay of the 2000 election.
“We’re getting all kinds of lawyers,” said William A. Anthony Jr., director of the board of elections here in Franklin County. “You got voting rights groups, groups on the right, groups on the left. Some have been here awhile; some come out of the woodwork. They’ll all file lawsuits.”
On Sunday in Florida, a judge extended early-voting hours in several counties after the state Democratic Party filed a lawsuit because lines were too long on Saturday for some voters to cast ballots — or, in the case of a precinct in Orlando, voting was shut down for several hours because of a suspicious package.
At one point on Sunday, election officials in Miami-Dade County locked their doors and shut down voting an hour into what was supposed to be a four-hour voting period, according to the Miami Herald. The decision was later reversed, and voting proceeded.
Florida relied heavily on early voting in 2008, but the Legislature limited the number of days this year, leading to massive waits and long lines over the weekend.
Late on Friday in Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, issued a new directive telling election boards not to count provisional ballots if a section that is supposed to be filled out by poll workers is left empty. Federal law allows voters to cast provisional ballots when their identity or polling place is uncertain on Election Day.
Attorneys for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless are challenging the directive in federal court, saying that it is the poll workers’ responsibility — not the voters’ — to ensure that provisional ballots contain all needed information.
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