Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Electoral College Map (6/29/08)

With Quinnipiac's decision to stretch beyond their typical Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania coverage, there came a bevy of new polls in swing states during the latter half of the week. Beyond that though, there were several changes that shifted things on the Watch List and altered the electoral college projection as well. Since Wednesday there were eleven new polls in ten states:

New Polls (June 25-28)
StatePollMargin
ColoradoQuinnipiac+2
KentuckyRasmussen+16
MichiganQuinnipiac+6
Minnesota
Quinnipiac
+17
Mississippi
Rasmussen+6
New Jersey
FDU+16
Ohio
Survey USA
+2
Tennessee
Rasmussen+15
Texas
Texas Lyceum+5
Texas
Rasmussen+9
Wisconsin
Quinnipiac+13

What's worth noting is that, with few exceptions, these polls put the momentum in Obama's direction. Even in the McCain states, where the Illnois senator is (or has been) trailing badly, he has improved upon his standing. States like Kentucky and Tennessee, where McCain had been ahead by more than twenty points for months, have suddenly tightened. And as Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight.com has eloquently pointed out within the last few days, history will tell us that the position of the two major candidates in the polls will converage (or settle into position) to some degree, the closer it gets to November and the general election. Even in states like Colorado have seen Obama's lead decrease but hold steady just outside of the margin of error--but still within the range of what we here at FHQ consider to be a toss up.

Changes (June 25-28)
StateBeforeAfter
MinnesotaObama leanStrong Obama
MississippiStrong McCainMcCain lean
OhioTiedToss Up Obama
TexasStrong McCainMcCain lean
WisconsinToss Up ObamaObama lean

And this is the case in the states where changes haven taken place since Wednesday. Obama "took the lead" in Ohio, breaking what had been a tie in our average. Still, Ohio along with Nevada, continues to be the tightest of states at the moment. Both are in Obama's column at the moment but could switch quite easily. Both Texas and Mississippi eased into the McCain lean category after being more solidly in the Arizona senator's favor of late. From the looks of things, neither will be Obama states in November, but the closer they get, the more McCain may be force to play defense in the Lone Star and Magnolia states. Meanwhile, due to the Quinnipiac polls, midwestern neighbors Minnesota and Wisconsin became more solidly blue; switching to Strong Obama and Obama lean states, respectively.
[Click Map to Enlarge]

Factoring in the changes, Obama's "strong" and "toss up" categories are bolstered by the addition of Ohio and Minnesota, while the "Strong McCain" states have been reduced with the loss of Texas and Mississippi. The Arizona senator continues to lose out on a majority of the electoral votes in the toss up states (Obama now holds nearly 70% of the electoral votes in those states.).

The Watch List*
StateSwitch
Alaskafrom McCain leanto Toss Up McCain
Georgiafrom McCain leanto Strong McCain
Massachusettsfrom Obama leanto Strong Obama
Minnesotafrom Strong Obamato Obama lean
Mississippifrom McCain leanto Strong McCain
Missourifrom Toss Up McCainto McCain lean
Nevadafrom Toss Up Obamato Toss Up McCain
New Mexicofrom Toss Up Obamato Obama lean
North Carolinafrom McCain leanto Toss Up McCain
Ohiofrom Toss Up Obamato Toss Up McCain
Texasfrom McCain leanto Strong McCain
Wisconsinfrom Obama leanto Toss Up Obama
*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.

As far as the Watch List is concerned, Alaska joins the list (a glaring omission from the last poll that came out there), and Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas and Wisconsin all made the switches that had them on the list prior to this week. However, they continue to be on the list because a change in the opposite direction is now possible (from Obama lean to Toss Up Obama in Wisconsin, for instance, after the switch from toss up to lean this week.). These twelve states then, are the ones to watch. New polls in any of them could cause a shift in categories.

I'll be back tomorrow with a look at how the polls shift over the course of the month. In other words, we'll examine just how much our electoral college projection has captured the "Obama bounce" since he secured the nomination at the beginning of June.


Recent Posts:
The National Popular Vote Plan...and Other Ways of Reforming the Electoral College

The Electoral College Map (6/25/08)

Vice Presidents Quiz

7 comments:

SarahLawrenceScott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anton P. said...

Hey Josh,

I think in the "change" table for Wisconsin you meant to put 'from strong Obama' to 'Obama lean'. Whereas right now you have from 'Obama lean' to 'Obama toss-up'.

SarahLawrenceScott said...

Anton and I both mangled that a bit, I think. One more try:

The change table should have Wisconsin as going from Obama toss-up to Obama lean.

Josh Putnam said...

Good catch(es). Fixing...

Josh Putnam said...

Alright, should be fixed now. I looked at that html code for too long last night. Thanks for the correction.

James said...

Hey!!! Where you get that map? :)

Josh Putnam said...

James,
The map template comes to FHQ courtesy of Paul Gurian, professor of political science at the University of Georgia.