Has anyone ever won an election with winning the independant vote?
here's one statistic we don't hear much about: Gallup reports that 22 percent of swing-state voters say they may still change their minds. Those one-in-five who say they might change their minds includes 10 percent who currently say they support Obama and 7 percent who support Romney.
Whatever happened to the all-important independent voters Obama won by a large margin in 2008—52 percent for Obama to 44 percent for McCain—and who make up a record 38 percent of the electorate? According to Pew Research's numbers this summer, only 32 percent of voters identified themselves as Democrats, and 24 percent Republicans. Nearly 4 in 10 voters now are independents, the largest margin ever.
You have to look hard to find mentions of independents at all. If you dug deep into a CNN poll taken earlier this month of both registered and likely voters—which showed an overall lead of 52 percent for Obama to 46 percent for Romney—you'd find that Romney led Obama among likely independent voters by a whopping 14 points, 54 to 40 percent.
In swing states like Ohio and Florida whose voters were polled by Gallup, a 20-point increase in Democratic enthusiasm made the headlines. This fact did not make the news: From June to September, the number of independents who are "extremely or very enthusiastic" about voting this year has similarly jumped 18 points, from 25 percent to 43 percent.
In both Ohio and Florida, Barack Obama’s “clear leads” all come from heavy over-sampling of Democrats, not from winning the crucial Indie vote. In fact, most of the polls that show Obama with big leads also show Romney handily winning Independent voters. Yet, somehow, Obama manages to increase his performance from 2008 despite Independents now opposing him. Let's take a look at how Romney is competing among Independents in recent polls: