Iowa State Of The Race
By David Kochel
Iowa Strategist for Romney For President
The thrill is gone. And in Iowa, the Obama firewall is burning. Today’s headline on Politico said it all:Obama to End Campaign In Iowa.
Mitt Romney is going to win Iowa on Tuesday, and the state that launched Barack Obama’s historic run for the White House will politely ask to have its vote back.
With a clean sweep of major newspaper endorsements, Iowans woke up this past week to an unexpected unanimity among editorial boards. And while two of the four newspapers switched from Barack Obama, they’re not alone. Thousands upon thousands of voters have switched their votes as well. It shows up in polling, early-voting metrics, and enthusiasm on the ground.
And although polling shows a tight race in Iowa, it’s important to note that, in 2008, Obama held a 14-point lead in the final Des Moines Register Iowa Poll published the Sunday before the election. He won by fewer than 10 points. He will again under-perform his Iowa polling, where he has yet to come close to the 50 percent mark in any survey of polling averages.
Here’s why Mitt Romney is going to win on Tuesday:
Democrats’ Early-Vote Margins Have Collapsed
Amid a much-hyped public relations campaign for in-person satellite voting, which included voting locations next to Obama rallies and visits from Hollywood stars like Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, the numbers tell a very different story. As of today, the Democrats are running 14,904 votes short of their 2008 performance, while Republicans are running 8,038 votes ahead of 2008. So instead of an 18-point margin, Democrats maintain only a 5-point margin.
With absentee ballots, Democrats lead in both requests and returns, as they have every cycle. And while Democrats have increased their AB and early-vote performance by 119 percent overall, Republicans have increased ours by 131 percent. So their raw-vote lead isn’t nearly as important as the dramatic slippage in margin. In combined absentee and in-person voting, their lead is barely 12 percent. That’s well within the margin Republicans need to be able to win on Tuesday, given our historic advantage among Election Day voters. In fact, the current Democratic margin is below the margin they held ahead of George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004, the first Republican to carry Iowa since Reagan.
And the key statistic our voting models point to is that the GOP has, as of today, 87,481 more high-propensity voters available to vote on Election Day because many more of our most committed voters have made the choice to vote on November 6. Tens of thousands more mid-propensity voters are also available, which will grow our Election Day margins even further.
Independents Have Turned Against Obama
Internal and public polling shows Obama losing independents in Iowa and nationally by as much as six points. With voter registration in Iowa at near parity and GOP intensity far stronger than Democrats, no-party voters in Iowa will decide the election. In 2008, Obama changed the electorate, registering record numbers of young people and bringing new voters off the sidelines. Four years later, those voters have slipped into complacency or are voting Republican in increasing numbers. Young people leaving college and facing record unemployment or under-employment agree that the thrill is gone.
Independents are voting early in record numbers. More than 50,000 more independents have requested absentee ballots or have voted early as compared to this time four years ago. With tens of thousands of independents voting in the days and weeks following Governor Romney’s stellar performance in the debates, these votes are already in the bank for our ticket. No amount of last-minute campaign stops by President Obama can change those independent votes already cast for the Romney-Ryan ticket.
GOP Intensity Results in Record Ground Game
In Iowa and nationwide, polls show GOP intensity between 8 and10 points higher than Democratic intensity. We’re seeing that in the swelling number of volunteers packing our Victory offices statewide. When contrasted with the empty Obama offices around Iowa, it’s clear the energy and momentum is ours.
More than 2 million voter contacts have been made by Iowa volunteers in support of Mitt Romney and the GOP ticket. That includes 100,000 calls and 30,000 door knocks in just the last three days. Team Obama’s memos talk about GOP robo-calls, but our voter contacts are made by neighbors calling neighbors and by volunteers knocking on doors. The Obama campaign doesn’t release these numbers because they can’t match the passion and intensity of our supporters.
Iowa Wave is Evident on the Pages of Iowa Newspapers
It’s been generations since all four of Iowa’s largest newspapers endorsed the same candidate. And it’s been 40 years since our largest paper, the Des Moines Register, endorsed a Republican. Each endorsement sounded out the key theme of this campaign: real reform and real change can only come with a change in leadership and a change in direction.
Each endorsement focused on the economy above all other issues. And in every public and private measure, Gov. Romney leads on the economy. Iowa editorial boards saw through the divisiveness and the distraction of the Obama ad campaign. Iowa voters, among the nation’s savviest, are seeing through the negative ads too.
First to Say “Yes, We Can” Will Be First to Say “Obama Isn’t Working”
On November 6, first-in-the-nation Iowa will once again lead in selecting Mitt Romney as President of the United States. And the following day, having launched President Obama to prominence in the January 2008 caucuses and the November 2008 general election, we’ll finally have the chance to lead the nation in the closing chorus to the song made famous by B.B. King:
I’m free, free now
I’m free from your spell
And now that it’s over
All I can do is wish you well
David Kochel is an Iowa Strategist for Romney For President, Inc.