For all of the polls that are flying out almost hourly now, there are two common trends emerging: Mitt Romney is leading independents by healthy margins, and who holds the overall lead is entirely dependent on the party split within the sample. As of last night, Romney has a razor thin lead of eight tenths of a point nationally against an average Democratic partisan advantage of 4.4 points. In 2008, Barack Obama won the election by 7.2 points (52.9–45.7) and Democrats outnumbered Republicans by eight points. Compared to the average today, Obama has dropped eight points while only losing 2.6 points of the turnout advantage. That is due entirely to Romney’s strength with independent voters, and reason enough to sound the alarm in Chicago.
But of all the polls that have been released, there are two polls that will have Team Obama waking up in a cold sweat knowing that if these polls are even somewhat accurate they might be on the other end of a dramatic victory on Election Day: The party-affiliation polls from Gallup and Rasmussen.
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