Pols see polls point to Romney triumph; ‘hidden vote’ to crush Obama

  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks during a campaign stop at Meadow Event Park, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Doswell, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks during a campaign stop at Meadow Event Park, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Doswell, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes the stage as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes the stage as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a peanut butter and honey sandwich he made for himself as he looks over his iPad while seated in the back of his campaign bus with chief strategist Stuart Stevens, center, and senior adviser Kevin Madden as they leave a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, in Dowell, Va., for another rally in Virginia Beach, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a peanut butter and honey sandwich he made for himself as he looks over his iPad while seated in the back of his campaign bus with chief strategist Stuart Stevens, center, and senior adviser Kevin Madden as they leave a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, in Dowell, Va., for another rally in Virginia Beach, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds on in the back of his campaign bus with aide Garrett Jackson, center, and senior adviser Kevin Madden, left, after a campaigning at Meadow Event Park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds on in the back of his campaign bus with aide Garrett Jackson, center, and senior adviser Kevin Madden, left, after a campaigning at Meadow Event Park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va. as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va. as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign stop at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign stop at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picks up a baby as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picks up a baby as he campaigns at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Supporters cheer as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes the stage for a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Doswell, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Supporters cheer as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes the stage for a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Doswell, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves as he arrives on stage at a campaign stop at Meadow Event Park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves as he arrives on stage at a campaign stop at Meadow Event Park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, talks with Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, center, after a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, talks with Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, center, after a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Supporters wave American flags and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in his campaign bus for a campaign event at Meadow Event Park Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Doswell, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Supporters wave American flags and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in his campaign bus for a campaign event at Meadow Event Park Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Doswell, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, chief strategist Stuart Stevens, center, and and aide Garrett Jackson are pictured on the campaign bus as they leave a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, in Dowell, Va., for another rally in Virginia Beach, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, chief strategist Stuart Stevens, center, and and aide Garrett Jackson are pictured on the campaign bus as they leave a campaign event at Meadow Event Park, in Dowell, Va., for another rally in Virginia Beach, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets ready to film a video message for Get Out the Vote (GOTV) after he campaigned at Meadow Event Park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets ready to film a video message for Get Out the Vote (GOTV) after he campaigned at Meadow Event Park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl) Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl)
  • Accompanied by U.S. Secret Service agents, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Accompanied by U.S. Secret Service agents, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Supporters are reflected in a truck's mirror as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Supporters are reflected in a truck's mirror as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl) Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl)
  • Supporters cheer as they wait to hear Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speak at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl)  Supporters cheer as they wait to hear Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speak at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen tour Integrity Windows before a campaign event in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen tour Integrity Windows before a campaign event in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • A supporter holds up a sign as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes a speech at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl)  A supporter holds up a sign as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes a speech at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures while speaking at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl)  LOCAL TV OUT; SALEM TIMES REGISTER OUT; FINCASTLE HERALD OUT;  CHRISTIANBURG NEWS MESSENGER OUT; RADFORD NEWS JOURNAL OUT; ROANOKE STAR SENTINEL OUT  Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures while speaking at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Jeanna Duerscherl) LOCAL TV OUT; SALEM TIMES REGISTER OUT; FINCASTLE HERALD OUT; CHRISTIANBURG NEWS MESSENGER OUT; RADFORD NEWS JOURNAL OUT; ROANOKE STAR SENTINEL OUT
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, accompanied by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, talks with Bill's Barbecue owner Rhoda Elliott, in red, right, during his visit to the now closed restaurant, before attending a campaign event in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, accompanied by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, talks with Bill's Barbecue owner Rhoda Elliott, in red, right, during his visit to the now closed restaurant, before attending a campaign event in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, accompanied by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, talks with Bill's Barbecue owner Rhoda Elliott, in red, back to camera, during s visit to the closed restaurant, before attending a campaign event in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, accompanied by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, talks with Bill's Barbecue owner Rhoda Elliott, in red, back to camera, during s visit to the closed restaurant, before attending a campaign event in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Supporter Annie Lin, from Salem, Va., center, wearing plastic Romney lawn signs, cheers Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney while he speaks at a campaign event at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Supporter Annie Lin, from Salem, Va., center, wearing plastic Romney lawn signs, cheers Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney while he speaks at a campaign event at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • The shadow of a child applauding is cast against a truck as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)The shadow of a child applauding is cast against a truck as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures while speaking at a campaign event at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures while speaking at a campaign event at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves as he takes the stage for a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves as he takes the stage for a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • A silhouetted Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney steps off his plane at Roanoke Regional Woodrum Field in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, for campaign events. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)A silhouetted Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney steps off his plane at Roanoke Regional Woodrum Field in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, for campaign events. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters, including one wearing an elephant hat, left, as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters, including one wearing an elephant hat, left, as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters as he campaigns at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, accompanied by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, gestures while speaking at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, accompanied by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, left, gestures while speaking at a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Supporters are seen in a truck mirror as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is introduced by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen as they campaigned at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Supporters are seen in a truck mirror as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is introduced by Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen as they campaigned at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney poses for a photo with law enforcement members which escorted his motorcade before boarding his  campaign plane in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, enroute to campaign stops in Virginia. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney poses for a photo with law enforcement members which escorted his motorcade before boarding his campaign plane in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, enroute to campaign stops in Virginia. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen wave to supporters during a campaign at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen wave to supporters during a campaign at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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The tidal wave of anti-debt, anti-big-government voters that swamped Democrats in the 2010 congressional elections is readying itself again, poised to sweep Mitt Romney into the Oval Office, some political observers say.

“It’s very, very likely,” veteran Republican campaign pollster John McLaughlin said, predicting a Romney tsunami Tuesday.

Romney has surged in all the target states,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “The undecided vote is not really undecided. They overwhelmingly disapprove of the job the president has done and will largely vote against the incumbent. It’s a hidden vote that will vote against the president.”

His prediction flies in the face of most polling, which shows a tight national race between Mr. Romney and President Obama, and state polls that show Mr. Obama leading in most battlegrounds. The only poll that shows Mr. Romney clearly winning is the respected Gallup national tracking poll of likely voters, which gives the Republican nominee a 5 percentage-point advantage.

Gallup also correctly predicted the 2010 wave that powered the GOP to capture more than five dozen seats in the House — based in large part on a swell of intensity for Republicans.

Just ahead of Election Day that year, Gallup predicted: “The 2010 elections could be historic from the standpoint of producing unusually large Republican gains in Congress. But the elections are already historic for a midterm election in the levels of enthusiasm Americans, and particularly, Republicans, have for voting this year.”

Mr. McLaughlin, the GOP pollster, said he sees that same enthusiasm for Republicans boiling beneath pollsters’ sights this year — and so do some leaders of the tea party, which harnessed voters’ resentment against spending and government expansion.

“Not only is the coming wave taking place at the federal level, but the untold story is taking place at the state and local level, which will have massive political implications for decades to come,” said National Tea Party Patriots co-founder and former national coordinator Mark Meckler, who is predicting a Romney win by 6 percentage points. “That wave is already in motion and cannot be reversed.”

Toby Marie Walker, a tea party coordinator in Waco, Texas, said she sees the same momentum, which she said will deliver more Senate seats to the GOP than pollsters suggest, and will give Mr. Romney 54 percent of the national vote.

“I’m doing lot of phone calls talking to independents in other states,” said Ms. Walker. “I’ve seen a shift in the past 30 days, going from an even split to 60 [percent] to 70 percent saying they have no confidence in Obama. That’s not what I’m hearing from pollsters and pundits but from real people.”

Not all anti-debt rebels are drinking that tea, though.

Alaska tea partyer David Eastman waved off the prospects of a Romney tsunami, saying small-government voters don’t have much enthusiasm for Mr. Romney.

“For my own part, anti-big-government voters do not seem overly enthused by a Romney campaign that is anti-big government only insofar as it is contrasted with the excesses of the present administration,” he said.

Republican pollster Whit Ayres said he sees little evidence of a congressional wave this time because his polling shows an even split between Democrats and Republicans on the generic ballot, which asks voters whether they will be backing a Republican or a Democrat for Congress this year.

“Nevertheless, in the presidential race, independents who had voted by an 8-point margin for Obama are now voting against Obama by double digits,” Mr. Ayres said. “We saw this trend coming literally 18 months ahead of the 2012 election.”

Nate Silver, who wrote the FiveThirtyEight blog at The New York Times, said the election is moving in Mr. Obama’s direction. He said there is a 77 percent chance Mr. Obama wins, and his current forecast gives Mr. Obama nearly 300 electoral votes, up 10 from a week ago.

Mr. Silver’s data-driven approach to election predictions has won rave reviews from politicos. He said if Gallup is right and Mr. Romney’s lead is that big, then the Republican is a “virtual lock” to win Tuesday. But if the state polls, which generally give Mr. Obama leads in the key states, are correct, then the president will survive.

In his Wednesday post, Mr. Silver said: “Just about every method for evaluating the election based on state polls seems to hint at a very slight lead in the popular vote, as well as an Electoral College victory, for President Obama.”

Mr. McLaughlin, however, said the backlash against Mr. Obama from Hurricane Sandy is overriding all that.

“Those without power who are cutting down trees in the Northeast and are very upset post-hurricane — if they lack power through Election Day, they will not be kind to the incumbent president or his party,” he said.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
Ralph Z. Hallow

Ralph Z. Hallow

Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.

 

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