New York Times/CBS/Quinnipiac is out with surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, all of which have big leads for Barack Obama. One person I know declared the race over after seeing the polls. Jim Geraghty weighed in noting that Ohio is D+9, compared to D+8 in 2008, Pennsylvania is now D11, compared to D+7 in 2008, and Florida has gone to D+9 compared to D+3.
Each poll shows a massive exodus from the Republican party. with turn-out in the high 20's in each state. Florida and Pennsylvania are states Republicans regularly win the vote for most statewide offices and Ohio is one that's more evenly split. If there were such party divides I don't see how Republicans would win any statewide elections in these states.
One explanation floated out there is that Republicans have decided to stop identifying themselves as Republicans and are now identifying themselves as independents. Some independents are now identifying themselves as Democrats. The problem here is that the Republicans now calling themselves independents are voting like independents, splitting their vote between Romney and Obama as Romney has little advantage even though Democratic leaning independents are supposedly moving to that party.
Jim Geharty offers the explanation he's hearing is that they are Tea Party people who are fed up with the GOP. Of course they were still identifying themselves as Republicans in 2010 when the Tea Party was really angry at Republicans and they're voting Obama. Does that sound like any Tea Party people you know?
Jay Cost also weighs on this situation, quite skeptically.
What people aren't noticing is the racial vote. McCain won Ohio Whites 52%-46% in 2008. Here Romney is winning them 49%-46%. McCain won Florida Whites 56%-42%. Romney is winning them 52%-46%. McCain won Pennsylvania Whites 51%-48%. Obama and Romney are tied at 48%. Contrary to all the polling how Obama is declining dramatically with White voters, New York Times/CBS/Quinnipiac has Obama surging.
I'm still waiting for an intelligent defense of these samples.