Romney’s momentum is ongoing

The National Journal writes how Obama’s efforts to push early-voting as a backstop to his inevitable challenge on election day:

Hey, remember how the Obama campaign’s fantastic get-out-the-vote operation was going to create this impregnable firewall of key swing states, and run up such an enormous advantage in the early vote that Romney would never be able to make up the difference?

First interesting indicator of the morning from early voting: I mentioned Tuesday that early voting in Cuyahoga County, Ohio – the Democrat vote stronghold that includes Cleveland – slipped behind the pace of 2008 after running ahead for the first twenty-eight days of early voting or so. (We don’t know how these early voters are voting, but Obama won this county 69 percent to 30 percent last time around, so we can presume he’s leading this cycle on a somewhat comparable rate.) Well, the early vote collapsed Tuesday and Wednesday. Of course, a big chunk of that dropoff is from the remains of Hurricane Sandy dumping snow and wind and miserable weather on the Cleveland area. But if we see early voting continue to be slow in these final days, it will be a bit of evidence that the Democrats get-out-the-early vote effort in Ohio isn’t really expanding their total share of the vote; they’re just getting their traditional Election-Day-voters to vote earlier.

Republicans are also growing in confidence that a Romney victory is not only a possibility, it’s becoming a probatility:

Republicans have never been more confident that President Obama will lose re-election, according to the latest National Journal Insiders Poll, but Democratic conviction their party’s leader will earn a second term still hasn’t wavered.

On average, GOP insiders polled by National Journal gave Obama slightly less than even odds he’ll occupy the White House another four years. The 4.6 average score – based on a 1 (no chance at re-election) to 10 (virtual certainty) scale — was a precipitous drop since the last Insiders Poll, a late September survey in which Republicans pegged the score at 5.8. That poll was taken before the first presidential debate in early October, after which Mitt Romney‘s support surged. In April, Republican Insiders rated Obama at exactly even odds.