GA: McCain +10
IA: Obama +7
MA: Obama +23
MI: Obama: +3
MN: Obama +13
NJ: Obama +6
NY: Obama +14
NC: McCain +2
OK: McCain +14
OR: Obama +8
WA: Obama +17
WA: Obama +18
WI: Obama +13
The shifts that emerge from these new polls are 1) Michigan slipping from a toss up to McCain to a toss up favoring Obama, 2) Washington jumping into the strong Obama category based on two polls with large margins in Obama's direction and 3) New Hampshire moving over to the Democratic side. Wait a minute, New Hampshire didn't have a new poll. Why the change? Transparency alert! I have made a slight shift in the averaging technique to account for the pace with which polls will be coming in now that the race has entered general election mode. In the past I had focused on the the three most recent polls and a discounted average of all other polls beyond those three. That method provided a conservative estimate of the changes from poll to poll and guarded against the volatility of focusing simply on the snapshot of just the most recent poll. However, that also caused a bit of a lag. Now that the general election campaign has begun and polls will be surfacing at a quicker pace that lag will not serve our purposes as well. As such, FHQ will begin looking at the most recent poll while discounting all the polls archived since Super Tuesday. The key to the change is to tread the balance between the average being responsive to changes in the polls but not responsive enough to be an ineffective measure given past information.
But that favors Obama! You're just doing this to help his numbers look better. Well, that is the case now. The change though is rather minuscule and really only affects the weighted averages at the margins. The average change from one measure to the other was actually 0.005 points in McCain's direction. In other words, there isn't that much change.
Having said that, though, there are several states that are on the lines between candidates as well as between each of the categories (Recall, and this needs to be added to the new map, that any average margin over 10% is rated as strong, any margin between 5 and 10 points is a lean and anything less than 5% is a toss up.). These are states where things could shift in the coming days and weeks:
The switches (toss up to toss up):
Strong to Lean:
Connecticut (Obama -)
Texas (McCain -)
Mississippi? (directly on the line between Strong and Lean)
Lean to Strong:
Minnesota (Obama +)
Toss Up to Lean:
Wisconsin (Obama +)
Of those "switch" states, Obama now leads in four of the five, and Ohio, the only likely switch in McCain's favor is trending in Obama's direction. As more post-nomination polls surface, these are the states to be on the lookout for. Any "Obama bounce" from wrapping up the nomination most likely would be reflected most clearly in those states. Thus far, Michigan is the only one of those five to have had a poll conducted since Obama reached the delegate mark for the nomination on June 3.
Alright great, but what about the map? What, you've read this far? Well, Washington's 11 electoral votes shifted into the strong Democratic category and both Michigan and New Hampshire moved from the GOP to Democratic toss up category. In the process, that shifted the outcome from a slight McCain victory in the electoral college to a slight Obama win. The amazing thing remains the even distribution of electoral votes among the candidates. McCain holds 202 electoral votes from states that are either strong or leaning toward him while Obama has 207 electoral votes from those states (non-toss ups) favoring him. The real action is among those swing states.
..and even that is close. Obama, by adding those 21 electoral votes, now leads there 71 to 58.
*Map template courtesy of Paul Gurian.
2008 Primary and Caucus Grades, Part Five
The Dry Erase Board Wiped Clean
2008 Primary and Caucus Grades, Part Four