Turning Indiana is a First Step to Victory for Romney

Posted: Oct 05, 2012 12:34 PM
Let's be honest: Barack Obama won an impressive landslide victory in 2008. He carried a few states it would not have been expected for a Democrat to carry. Mitt Romney's hopes of victory hinge on turning a few of those blues back red and then making inroads in traditional Democrat territory.

Step one is Indiana. With a strong in-state Republican machine, this will likely be the easiest state to swing into the R column. Townhall's PollTracker currently has Romney up by double digits. While a lot can happen in the next few weeks, Indiana is going to be lower than, say, Ohio or Florida on Romney's list, it's one that he'll need.

As Nate Silver writes, polling Indiana is sometimes inconsistent due to some of their rules.

Indiana has been sparsely polled, in part because the state is one of two in the country (along with North Dakota) that prohibits the use of automated surveys (or “robopolls”). Rasmussen Reports, which usually conducts robopolls, has tried a couple of approaches to work around the problem: Their Sunday poll used live interviewers, while another of their polls of the state in May was conducted online.

The online poll had shown just a 6-point lead for Mr. Romney; it’s a bit disconcerting that their different methods are yielding such different results. Nevertheless, there is not much sign that Indiana — which President Obama narrowly won in 2008 — is likely to be competitive this year; the campaigns have expended essentially no resources there. With the new survey, the model gives Mr. Obama just a 6 percent chance of winning Indiana — less than a couple of states, like Missouri and Montana, that he failed to win in 2008.

As Indiana may be the first step in a "3-2-1" strategy that Guy Benson spoke with the Romney campaign about, the state is important but not highest on the list of priorities.