Pundits and pollsters are calling it a dead heat, but November's election may not be as close as it seems. Whichever way swing states lean could mean the victory for either of the candidates, and current polling data shows President Obama with a significant lead in those battleground regions. Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich looks at the numbers. While Gallup's presidential election poll has the president leading by two points, Rasmussen reports that presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is leading by three.
It's a different story in the swing states, however. Zwillich says that the latest polls give the president consistent leads in battleground states like Iowa, Wisconsin, and even Michigan, where Romney's father was governor. In Ohio, the Obama campaign has unleashed a constant barrage of negative ads, focusing mainly on Romney's past with private equity firm Bain Capital, which have met with success. While the former governor of Massachusetts is enjoying leads in North Carolina and Arizona, and is neck and neck with President Obama in the always-contested Florida, Zwillich says the consistency of the numbers gives the president a solid lead.
"Mitt Romney is in a position where he really needs to run the table on all of these swing states. Right now, he's nowhere close to doing it," Zwillich says. "President Obama, if you look at the swing states, is comfortably in the lead in this race." Electoral votes are what matter, and while the opponents are trading the lead back and forth in the national opinion polls, the president still has the advantage in the electoral college.
"[The Obama campaign has] to be happy with where they sit right now because of the consistent nature of the leads across these swing states," Zwillich says. "They can afford to lose Florida if they run the table on Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, [and] Pennsylvania."
In other Beltway news, the DISCLOSE (Democracy-is-Strengthened-by-Casting-Light-on-Spending-in-Elections) Act came to the fore in the Senate last night, with 51 senators voting for the campaign financing legislation and 44 voting against. To overcome a Republican filibuster, the bill would have needed 60 votes to pass. GOP lawmakers argued that the bill would give an unfair advantage to organized labor, as unions typically contribute to campaigns in smaller increments. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the proposed act "targeted speech suppression", arguing that it would unfairly target bigger campaign contributors.