Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Electoral College Maps (4/9/08)

The past week has seen only moderate changes to the way both the electoral college maps and the companion "McCain margin*" maps for Clinton and Obama look (Links to all past maps are at the bottom of the post.). New polls in Alabama, Iowa, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee did little to move the dial in either candidate's head-to-head match up with John McCain. In fact, for the third week running the electoral college numbers have come out exactly the same in the hypothetical McCain-Clinton race. The Arizona senator still leads the former first lady by a margin of 314-224 with 140 possible toss up electoral votes.
The McCain-Obama pairing has a similar result with one exception. The new polling in Pennsylvania had the effect of breaking the tie in the state between the presumptive Republican nominee and the junior senator from Illinois. With only three electoral votes separating the two last week, Pennsylvania proved decisive. The new polls and the resulting average have swung to McCain, giving him a 278-260 victory in the electoral college with 165 toss up electoral votes. While the McCain-Clinton margin has held steady over these three weeks, the Obama victory in the first map series shifted to a virtual tie and now, in the third week, to a McCain win. It will be interesting as new polling data emerges to see if the downward Obama trend continues and if Clinton lags that much further behind. The electoral vote McCain margin between the two candidates has obviously closed some as well; moving from a 98 electoral vote advantage for Obama in week one to a 72 electoral vote advantage this week.
How have the new polls changed the difference each candidate makes in each state (their McCain margin)? Very little change in the above data directly translates into small changes here as well. Clinton stretched her margin in Tennessee relative to Obama, but both candidates continue to lag behind McCain in the Volunteer state.
Iowa continues to produce an interesting McCain margin in favor of Obama. The Hawkeye state is an Obama lean (nearly pushing into the Strong Obama category) while Clinton lost ground to McCain in the state in this week's new polls (moving from McCain lean to Strong McCain). In a state that was one of the few to switch parties from 2000 to 2004, this is a unique example in these analyses and continues to be a state where Obama's appearance on the ballot as the Democratic nominee is consequential.
*McCain margin refers to the difference between Obama's state-to-state margins against McCain and Clinton's margins against McCain.

Past maps:
Electoral College Map (3/27/08)

Electoral College Maps (4/2/08)

McCain margin maps--How much difference does Obama or Clinton make (4/3/08)

And an Update for 4/16/08

Update for 4/23/08

Update for 4/30/08

Weighted Averages 4/30/08

Weighted Averages 5/7/08

Update for 5/14/08 (weighted)

Update for 5/21/08 (weighted)

New Maps? (5/25/08)

Update for 5/28/08 (weighted)

Update for 6/3/08 (weighted)

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