Romney winning independents 59%-35%

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Team Romney is drawing satisfaction and a growing sense of confidence from a new CNN poll that, while over-weighting Democrats, shows that Mitt Romney is running away with independents, the Big Kahuna in Tuesday's presidential election.

According to a new CNN poll, Romney is beating President Obama 59 percent to 35 percent among independents even when third party candidates are included. The poll has the race deadlocked at 49 percent, but the sample includes 11 percent more Democrats than Republicans, 41 percent to 30 percent, a bigger gap than recent elections have witnessed.

What's more, the poll found a slight edge for Romney when it came to those who call themselves "very enthusiastic" about voting. In that category, Romney beats Obama 42 percent to 37 percent.

"We are winning with independents and enthusiasm goes to us," said a Romney associate, who also pointed to the huge, 20,000-30,000 strong crowd that greeted Romney in Pennsylvania Sunday night as proof the Republican had regained momentum.

"If it's tied overall and we are crushing with independents and have enthusiasm on our side, and we get 30,000 to show up in Pennsylvania," a GOP advisor said, the election should turn to Romney.

Another Romney advisor said that GOP polls also show the race dead even, but "energy" and enthusiasm on the Republican side. They also see that the positive impact of Obama's aid to Hurricane Sandy victims wearing off.

But they are confident to a point: Insiders fear that the new Romney surge might still fall short by as few as four Electoral Votes, especially if he fails to win Ohio, which is a dead heat. Plus Team Obama shrugs off the Romney talk of energy and enthusiasm as "atmospherics, not cold hard facts like polls."