There are two competing factors at work for Mitt Romney among independents.
One is that he’s winning their vote, but the other is that they’re less enthused about voting, and that malaise is damaging Romney’s overall performance in polls.
Romney edges out President Obama among independents by 1.2 percentage points in Talking Points Memo’s aggregation of national polls, even though the president leads the GOP nominee, overall, by 3.9. That’s because independents tend to be less enthusiastic about voting than supporters of either party, and so they’re having a smaller effect on overall preference.
The phenomenon of Romney winning independents but losing overall is one that’s persisted since early in the cycle. When the general election effectively began in April, Romney led among independents in 12 of the first 14 surveys, even though he trailed in most of those polls among all voters.
That phenomenon continues to play out, even after both parties have completed their conventions. Since September began, Romney has led among independents in five major national polls, while Obama has led in just two. Continue reading “The Romney conundrum: Winning independents but losing overall”