90 Percent Of Electorate Likely Decided Ahead Of 2012 Battle For White House

Given or take a few percentage points, additional evidence (from Pew) supports Jay Cost's claim at The Weekly Standard:

So I would say that 90 percent of the vote is pretty well set. And this is the biggest reason that I am skeptical of these predictive models -- they usually fail to account for the fact that there were simply more gettable voters for Ike in 1956, LBJ in 1964, Nixon in 1972, or even Reagan in 1984. They assume that a president today can still win 60 percent of the two-party vote -- even though this was a regular occurrence before 1988 but has never happened since. And it has not happened since because the two parties have finally, after years of struggle and back-and-forth, locked down roughly 45 percent apiece.

That’s why I’m keeping an eye on the fundamentals – rather than the horse race polls – until relatively late in the cycle. My instinct is that this swath of 10 percent or thereabouts is going to “break” late, but they already have pretty well-formed opinions about Barack Obama, especially regarding how he's handling the biggest issues of the day.

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-25 10:59:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy