Pollsters read the tea leaves one last time before Election Day | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Pollsters read the tea leaves one last time before Election Day

Posted: November 4, 2012 - 8:51pm

It’s been a long, hard fought campaign for president. It’s one of the most contentious battles for the White House since Bush-Gore in 2000. But here we are just one day before the elections and the pollsters are reading the tea leaves one last time.

In the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll has Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in a tie at 48 percent. In the Washington Post/ABC News poll Obama was in the lead with 49 percent to Romney’s 48 percent. Gallup has Romney ahead 52 percent to Obama’s 47 percent.

While most of U.S. voters will wait until polls open tomorrow to vote, Gallup reports that 15 percent of registered voters in the U.S. have already cast their ballots by Oct. 31.

“Early voting this election year is most prevalent in the West, followed by the South and the Midwest, but is relatively light in the East,” Gallup reported. “These differences largely reflect regional differences in state laws on absentee and mail voting, with two states — Washington and Oregon — focused exclusively or mainly on mail-in voting. One in four voters in the West say they have already voted, and another 30 percent plan to vote before Election Day. The combined 55 percent in the West contrasts with 40 percent in the South, 23 percent in the Midwest, and 9 percent in the East.”

Voters in the East may have wished they had joined the 9 percent who did cast their ballots earlier.

It appears that in those communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy military vehicles will be set up as polling places. Super storm Sandy has caused extensive damage along the eastern seaboard, which may impact voter turnout.

While the hours before polls open tomorrow, the slumping economy remains the major issue in this campaign. However, Investor’s Business Daily spotlights six primary concerns heading into tomorrow’s voting: The future of ObamaCare, the size and intrusiveness of government, tax rates, America’s standing in the world, and the long-term makeup of the Supreme Court. Hmm, apparently the economy is slipping in importance among Wall Street folks. It will be interesting to observe voter comments as they leave the polling places around the country.

Keith Hansen