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September 29, 2011


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It looks like a definite gain for President Obama. Rasmussen shows 45% approval, and Florida is usually very close to national approval.

Incumbent Senators and Governors usually gain about 6% in vote share from the beginning of the campaign to the campaign itself. It's easy to see why; governing and legislating imply that one must make compromises of positions and make decisions that don't please everyone. So it is with the President. One can't please Business and Labor alike or energy-extractors and environmentalists at the same time. Good for both? Such usually isn't decided by politics. And then there is the budgetary process in which everyone's goose gets cooked. But once campaign season begins, an incumbent ordinarily gets to relate his achievements, he gets plenty of free coverage, and gets to make new promises. That is against someone who has yet to prove the ability to win the office in question (the incumbent usually has proved that) and who might not have as effective a campaign apparatus.

At certain points it might be about 6% for the President with the implication that an incumbent will get somewhere between 38% and 62% of the vote. Nobody goes over 62%, and nobody (unless there is a three-way split) goes under 38% of the vote. For a President with 40-47% approval in a state, one could reasonably expect a gain of about 6% because a campaign for the electoral votes of a State is much like a campaign for Governor or Senator. Under 40% approval at the time? The incumbent is likely to abandon the effort. Over about 50% in a state? The incumbent has better uses of his campaign appearances and his campaign might cut off the TV ads when the efforts simply offer to run up the score.

The 6% gain is not enough to save a turkey or rescue a candidate wallowing in scandal or diplomatic/military/economic calamities.

Sure it is within the margin of error, but it is the right way. The Republican nominee absolurely needs Florida.

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