On Sunday before Election Day, the Pew Research Center released its final prediction on the outcome of the election: President Obama would win, beating Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney, 50 percent to 47 percent. When all votes were tallied, Obama beat Romney, 50.6 percent to 47.8 percent.
Pew acknowledged that the president’s virtual takeover of the media in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy just before the election persuaded some who were undecided to vote for the president. According to Pew:
Obama’s handling of the storm’s aftermath may have contributed to his improved showing. Fully 69% of all likely voters approve of the way Obama is handling the storm’s impact.
Even a plurality of Romney supporters (46%) approve of Obama’s handling of the situation; more important, so too do 63% of swing voters.
In its final pre-election survey of 2,709 voters conducted from October 31 through November 3, Pew began to see how the electorate was moving. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters supported Obama strongly, whereas just a third of them strongly supported Romney. Noted Pew: “In past elections … the candidate with the higher percentage of strong support has usually gone on to win the popular vote.”
Among women voters, Pew noted the most dramatic shift towards Obama, favoring him 53 percent to just 40 percent for Romney — a 13-point margin and a six-point improvement from just a week before.
Meanwhile, Pew noted that among voters age 65 and older, Romney’s support began to fade down the home stretch. Romney’s 19-point lead in Pew’s previous poll had declined to just nine points in the latest one.
On Wednesday, November 7, Pew released its post-election analysis and noted that its prediction was spot-on, with women, young people, and minorities breaking strongly for Obama, overcoming the advantage Romney held among older white voters. Here’s how Pew described the shift:
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Photo of President Barack Obama: AP Images