miércoles, 19 de septiembre de 2012

USA TODAY/Gallup: hay un alto número de votantes persuadibles en los estados indecisos

USA TODAY/Gallup toma la temperatura a los 12 estados más indecisos (que incluye algunos dudosamente indecisos como NM o PA):
A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of Swing States, completed Monday night, shows Romney lagging President Obama by only 2 percentage points, 48%-46%, well within the survey's margin of error and a point closer than their contest last month.

(...) Of the nine Swing States polls taken since October, in only one has either candidate scored an advantage outside the margin of error — that was Obama, in March. In seven of nine the candidates have traded a lead within 2 percentage points of one another. The survey is in the 12 states likely to decide the Electoral College: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The new poll of 1,096 registered voters Sept. 11-17 has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

That history might leave the impression that the electorate is so firmly set in their choices that there is nobody open to persuasion, despite news developments on everything from the unemployment rate to Middle East violence, and in the face of an estimated half a trillion dollars spent so far on TV ads in the swing states.

But the new poll finds a surprising number of voters not yet firmly aligned with one side or the other. More than one in five registered voters say they don't know who they are going to vote for or that there is at least the possibility they will change their minds. Romney supporters are slightly more set in their choice: 21% of Obama's supporters and 14% of Romney's supporters say there is "some" or a "slight" chance they will switch their vote.

Who are those persuadables?

Four in 10 are independents, with about equal numbers leaning Democratic and Republican, and a third are moderates. Almost a third are younger than 35. More than nine in 10 say they weren't swayed by the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Besides deciding who to vote for, however, they also will have to decide whether to vote. This group is far less enthusiastic than those who are certain about which candidate they'll support. A third of them say they are "not at all" enthusiastic — which may mean they won't be counted when the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll moves to include only likely voters next month.

There is one front on which the Democrats have scored clear and perhaps crucial gains. The "enthusiasm gap" that favored Republicans by 11 points a year ago suddenly has moved to a 9-point advantage for Democrats — a crucial asset when it comes to turning out supporters to the polls.

The percentage of Democrats who say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting has surged from 53% last month to 73% now. Republican enthusiasm has risen but by not nearly as much, to 64% from 55%.

Those gains in enthusiasm might reflect the effectiveness of the conventions in boosting base supporters: 16% of Democrats but just 6% of Republicans said the political conventions had "a great deal" of impact on their vote.