Rove: Battleground State Polls Will Move Toward Romney

Sunday, 28 Oct 2012 05:44 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Mitt Romney’s lead in national polls — which he’s enjoyed since the first presidential debate — soon should be seen in individual battleground-state polls, strong evidence that Romney will win the Nov. 6 election,  Republican strategist Karl Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

And because the state polls reflect the national mood, Romney may begin to see states such as Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania come into play for his electoral vote count, Rove said.

“If the margin is as big nationally as it appears in these national polls, then you will have the state polls follow,” he said. “Now we may have something else at play here, though, which is, we're endowing all of these polls with the precision they don't have... These states have been states that have moved from Obama to lean Obama. If there is a national trend, as it appears to be since the first debate, moving in Romney's direction there might be [changing].”

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As an example, Rove said he thought that Ohio polls could be off because of wide leads among both Republicans and independents in that state. With leads in those groups, he said it was hard to believe that Romney won’t win the state.

Rove told show host Chris Wallace that Democrats have had 109,000 fewer requests for absentee ballots than in 2008. Republicans, on the other hand, have already requested 4,000 more and the deadline to request them is not until Monday, Nov. 3.

Among absentee ballot requests by voters, he said that 72 percent of Republican requests have come from people who voted in zero, one or two of the last three elections, compared with only 57 percent of the same group for Democrats.

“At this point polls are less important than looking at the early voting numbers, the actual people who are voting,” Rove said. “There is a shift there of maybe 120,000, 130,000 absentee ballots towards Republicans in the state won by the Democrats.”

He credits this movement, in polls and absentee voting, to an outreach effort that “busted the metrics” for the effort to reelect President George W. Bush in 2004. Thus far, the campaign has made six million contacts and knocked on two million doors in Ohio alone - and they expect to see good results in other states as well, he said.

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The Romney campaign purchased TV time in Minnesota so it could reach voters in the far western counties of Wisconsin, according to Rove. He said, however, that Michigan and Pennsylvania could move away from President Barack Obama.

“Right now we're at a point in the campaign where there is little movement,” he said. “Sort of the momentum was on Romney's side. The closer you get to the end, one of two scenarios happens: It is 1980 and there is rapid movement in one candidate's direction, or we're seeing what I think we are seeing now which is movement toward Romney but slowing simply because we're getting down to very thin groups of people left undecided.”

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