Well, who else shed a tear when yesterday came and went with no primaries and no promise of any further contests for another four years? Hey, if we're lucky there may even be a primary or two in 2011. My guess is that it won't be Florida or Michigan that triggers New Hampshire or Iowa breaking beyond the January 1 barrier. But hey, we'll see.
Regardless, primary season is over and the general election campaign has begun. With that change comes a change in how FHQ will be examining the electoral college. Yes, Hillary Clinton has been dropped (The polling firms forced our hand on that one.), but we are also unveiling a new map (courtesy of Paul Gurian) to track the shifts in the electoral college projections. Part map, part cartogram, the new template resizes the states to match proportionally with the number of electoral votes each state has.
That's great, but what about the numbers? To the map!
Not much changed this week as the polling was light following the conclusion of the Democratic nomination race. There were nine new polls in nine states. With new polls in South Carolina and West Virginia for the first time since February, the fall map was clarified a bit further. South Carolina, which has been a toss up favoring McCain, inched into the McCain Lean category and while West Virginia remained a Strong McCain state, the new poll from Rasmussen brought the weighted average closer to the line between the strong and lean distinctions. Other new polls in Alabama, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas and Wisconsin confirmed what was already apparent in each state. Wisconsin and Missouri are both still toss ups leaning toward Obama and McCain respectively, but both are trending toward Obama with this latest round of polling.
With that said the underlying electoral vote breakdown remains the same as a week ago. Based on the shift of Michigan from a toss up favoring Obama to a toss up leaning toward McCain, the Arizona senator maintains a 281 to 257 electoral vote advantage over the newly designated, presumptive Democratic nominee.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, FHQ will be shifting to a bi-weekly update of the electoral college maps. I'll be back on Sunday with tales of all the new polls. Hopefully the polling firms will oblige with a series of new polls.
***Please see the right sidebar for links to Updated Electoral College projections.***
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