|New Polls (Sept. 19)|
|Alaska||Research 2000/Daily Kos||+17|
|Kentucky||Research 2000/Daily Kos||+18|
|North Dakota||Research 2000/Daily Kos||+13|
A day after the Big Ten surveys showed a tie in Iowa, Survey USA rebuts with a poll more in line with the numbers that have emerged from the Hawkeye state since the beginning of September. Among some of the other recent blue states, Maine suddenly looks tight. The standard line is that we'll have to wait and see if this one is an outlier or the beginning of a trend. However, we can say this: A month after Rasmussen charted the race in Maine as a 22 point lead for Obama, the firm had the Illinois senator up by just 8 in July. In August, the number was back up to 14 and September may or may not be another odd numbered month dip in the Pine Tree state. Similarly, the margins in Washington have decreased as well. However, there is a bit more information to back the trend up in this case. But to consider the Evergreen state as anything other than an Obama lean at this point is a stretch. In fact, the six point edge Obama has in the ARG poll would seem to indicate that that is very much in line with where FHQ has the race pegged at the moment.
Among the red states, North Dakota inches even further into McCain territory with a pair of solid poll results for the Arizona senator. The averages have corrected themselves over time, but I'm starting to look at Montana and North Dakota in the same way that I looked on Alabama and Mississippi earlier in the summer. Neighbors, Mississippi and Alabama hold a fair amount of overlap demographically and politically. But the polls showed Obama much closer (about ten points) in Mississippi than in Alabama. The margin isn't as wide on the prairie as it was in the South, but it remains something of a mystery to me that North Dakota has seemingly broken from Montana. Now, it could be that the 2 point McCain margin in the ARG poll of Montana the other day will be an outlier when the polls between now and election day are added in, but at the moment Montana doesn't look to be budging from its position among the toss up states, but North Dakota is gradually making its way onto safer ground for McCain.
[This is an awful lot of talking FHQ. What about the changes? You act like you're stalling.] Despite all the added information the map holds steady today. Obama not only maintains the eight electoral vote advantage he held a day ago, but there also was no shifting of states/electoral votes between categories; a strange occurrence in a post-convention period marked by a distinct uptick in the frequency of polling.
|The Electoral College Spectrum*|
|*Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.|
**The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, McCain won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (all Obama's toss up states, but Michigan), he would have 299 electoral votes. Both candidates numbers are only totaled through their rival's toss up states. In those cases, Obama's number is on the left and McCain's is on the right in italics.
***The line between Colorado and New Hampshire is the where Obama crosses (or McCain would cross) the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line.
The sad thing is that not even the Electoral College Spectrum changed in any way. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first instance of this ever having occurred. Typically, even paltry polling days shift the Spectrum in some way.
|The Watch List*|
|Alaska||from McCain lean||to Strong McCain|
|Delaware||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|Georgia||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Nevada||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|New Mexico||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|North Carolina||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Ohio||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|South Carolina||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Texas||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Washington||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Wisconsin||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
The status quo, however, was not maintained across all of FHQ's various graphics. The Watch List lost North Dakota with the introduction of two new polls pushing the state further into the McCain lean category. We're rapidly approaching a point when the Watch List idea will have to be revisited. At a point that has yet to be determined, we will have to look at switch states primarily. Those shifting from strong to lean just will not be that consequential with time running out in this race. The focus will then shift to those states on the verge of moving into or out of the toss up category. Toss ups will be focus and for the most part already had been the focal point in discussions of the list, but I will likely continue to include the other, "less consequential" moves on the list...silently.
I have a tangential question to pose as well, but I think I will offer that one up some time tomorrow as an open thread or something similar. I have a mixed bag of things that I'd like to throw out there and I'll likely do it then.
The Electoral College Map (9/19/08)
The Electoral College Map (9/18/08)
How Big Was McCain's Bounce?