|New Polls (Aug. 3-6)|
(With Leaners/ Without Leaners)
|Arizona||Public Policy Polling||+12|
|Florida||Public Policy Polling||+3|
Florida, after moving toward Obama in recent polling has shown a resurgence of support for McCain since August began. The Sunshine state is still considered a toss up here even when those August polls are included. However, only one out of four Florida polls in July favored McCain, but the two polls out so far this month have favored McCain.
In the blue states where new polling results were released, the news was mixed. Connecticut and Washington are still comfortably blue for Obama. Massachusetts is still a solid Obama state as well, but a single digit lead in the latest Suffolk poll (down 14 points since the firm last polled the Bay state in late June) was an eye-opening result out of a states that is a typically dependable Democratic state. FHQ sees Massachusetts similar to the way it viewed Arizona when it was on the Watch List (see below). It may be trending in a direction contrary to where you might expect, given the circumstances, but ultimately voters will pull the lever for the candidate of the party they have supported in recent cycles.
Despite the new polling, though, nothing changed as far as the outlook in the electoral college is concerned. Obama maintains 298-240 electoral vote advantage. Things did change in the rankings though. Pennsylvania remains the breaking point where each candidate passes (or would pass) the 270 electoral vote total necessary to claim the White House, but the states where polling has been released since Sunday generally moved in McCain's direction. Oklahoma suplants Utah as the reddest state and the remaining red states moved further into the red as well. Of the three blue states represented, Connecticut held its position while Massachusetts and Washington switched places. So, even though there was movement toward McCain, it didn't particularly help in terms of shifting any "blue state" electoral votes his way. In the case of Florida, though, the good news for McCain is that while it is still a toss up, it is now moving in his direction at least. That is a valuable 27 electoral votes the Arizona senator likely would not want to relinquish.
|The Electoral College State Rankings|
|* Pennsylvania is the state where Obama crosses (or McCain would cross) the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election.|
The new polling out of Arizona pulls the Grand Canyon state off the Watch List, and was replaced by the addition of Florida and Massachusetts. McCain likely will not win Massachusetts (and I doubt he is putting much effort in in the Bay state), but protecting his position relative to Obama in Florida is an important piece of his electoral college equation. On that, Florida's reappearance on the Watch List (as potentially shifting from a toss up favoring McCain to a more comfortable McCain lean) is certainly welcome news.
|The Watch List*|
|Florida||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Georgia||from McCain lean||to Strong McCain|
|Massachusetts||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|Minnesota||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|Mississippi||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Nevada||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|New Mexico||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|North Carolina||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Ohio||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Virginia||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Washington||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
Did Obama or McCain Win July?
About Those Rules: What Obama's New Florida/Michigan Stance Means for 2012 and Beyond
The Electoral College Map (8/3/08)