Watching the Electorate

Read Your Brownstein

Obama +5, plus just how large will the Democratic advantage be next Tuesday?

Ron Brownstein is one of the best in the game, and he wouldn't put his byline on some b.s. poll, so I'd take this one seriously:

This final Congressional Connection Poll before the Nov. 6 election found that among likely voters, President Obama has reopened a slim advantage over Mitt Romney, while a narrow plurality prefers that Republicans maintain House control. By a wider margin, likely voters said they prefer that Democrats retain their Senate majority.

Overall, the survey found Obama leading Romney among likely voters by 50 percent to 45 percent, after the two tied at 47 percent each in a late-September Congressional Connection Poll. Conversely, the poll recorded a slight shift toward the GOP in House races. Now, 47 percent of likely voters say they would prefer that Republicans maintain their House majority, while 44 percent want Democrats to take over; Democrats held a 45 percent to 43 percent advantage in late September. Voters, by a solid 50 percent to 40 percent margin, now say they would prefer a Democratic Senate; that’s up from a 47 percent to 42 percent advantage for Democrats in September.

That all smells about right to me as of today. But this part surprised me a little:

In its likely-voter model, the Congressional Connection Poll projected that the 2012 electorate will be virtually unchanged from 2008, with Democrats holding an 8 percentage-point advantage among voters (compared with 7 points last time) and whites representing 73 percent of voters (compared to 74 percent last time).

The 73 percent doesn't shock me. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked to see the white portion of the vote hit 72 percent, as I noted in the most recent Tomasky-Frum video, which I now realize I have yet to plug. But the 8-point Democratic advantage does surprise me. If that's the case, Romney can't win. And, if that's the case, then the GOP will have some serious soul-searching to do about why, against a president with a nearly 8 percent unemployment rate, they couldn't attract more Americans to join the Republican cause.