Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

20 days remain to win Wisconsin

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Before the first presidential debate, Obama held an 11-point lead over Romney. But in recent polls, the Badger state could lean either way. According to the Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin, it isn’t normal for debates to have this large of an impact on the movement of polls.

This debate bounce for Romney has continued to hold him as a contender for the state. PPP’s most recent poll has Obama only leading by 2 points, 49-47. RealClearPolitics‘ poll also has Obama only leading by 2 points. Many have declared this state as a toss-up, but 538Blog continues to show the state as likely blue.

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What is going to decide who will win this election? Who do the candidates need to appeal to in order to secure the 10 electoral votes?
I find it interesting that a state that hasn’t voted Republican since 1984 and Obama won by 14 points in 2008 is such a toss up. Obama has continued to lead in all of the polls, but the gap has been narrowing.
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According to the 2010 census, Wisconsin is 88.4% caucasian. The minority vote is not going to be the determinant of this state; its women. Caucasian men in Wisconsin support Romney over Obama by double digits. Nationally, Obama appeals to women more than Romney. But women compose nearly 50% of the state’s population; this illustrates how important winning their vote could be.
Wisconsin’s key issues are:

The value of this swing state is important. 10 electoral votes could make or break either candidate. $21 million, combined for both parties, has been spent in Wisconsin on advertising alone (I know everyone is surprised- they were over 80% negative).

Judging the most recent data, I believe that Obama will barely will Wisconsin. He has continued to hold his lead, no matter how small, and in polls remains as the candidate that cares more about people personally. While the debates have helped Romney tremendously in the state, he has yet to pass Obama in any polling.
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