|New Polls (Sept. 25)|
|New Hampshire||Strategic Vision||+1|
|New Hampshire||National Journal||+1|
|New Hampshire||Research 2000||+4|
|New York||Survey USA||+19|
There was a lot of blue on the board today. And it stretched all the way into North Carolina, where 2 point Obama lead in the latest Rasmussen poll of the Tar Heel state brought the state's weighted average down to nearly four. And on the eve of moving the toss up/lean line down to 4 points, North Carolina and Missouri -- after a slim 2 point McCain lead emerged from the Survey USA poll -- are within range of actually staying within the toss up distinction. Both looked to be on the chopping block as recently as the beginning of the week, but both are less than a tenth of a point on the McCain side of 4 points. And speaking of that line (It will be shifted from 5 points to 4 point for tomorrow's update.), Michigan is within a tenth of a point of actually moving out of the toss up category when the line is at four. But that is more a discussion for tomorrow.
|Changes (Sept. 25)|
|Alaska||McCain lean||Strong McCain|
While blue was the color of the day, it was actually in a red state where the day's sole category shift took place. Alaska moves back to a strong McCain state after some minor polling fluctuations triggered a quirk in the averages. [The 31 point margin in the Rasmussen poll of the Last Frontier immediately after the Republican convention overinflated the average. When it wasn't the poll receiving the extra weight, there was some regression to the mean. ] That has worked itself out now and Alaska is likely to stay a strong state for McCain now. I've said this a hundred times today and should probably heed my own advice: Never say never in this campaign. Regardless, I think we have a pretty good idea of the state of things on this one.
The end result is that the map doesn't fundamentally change in any way. The 273-265 electoral vote distribution still favors Obama, but there are three more electoral votes that move into safer McCain territory based on Alaska's shift. With that move there are now nearly an equal number of electoral votes in each of McCain's and Obama's strong categories. Obama, though, has an advantage in lean electoral votes while McCain currently has a lead in toss up electoral votes. And even with a rather large number of polls in three of the four Obama toss ups their ordering doesn't budge either. Michigan is still outside of Pennsylvania is still outside of Colorado is still outside of New Hampshire. The same can be said of the trio of closest McCain toss up states. But they -- Nevada, Ohio and Virginia -- are so close that one poll can make the difference in how they are aligned.
|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 and New Mexico), 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. Both states are currently favoring Obama, thus the blue text in those two cells.
Maine is doing its best Minnesota impression at the moment, drawing not as close as the North Star state, but closer all the same to competitiveness. It is now the least safe Obama strong state. But the Pine Tree state still is not close enough to be added to the Watch List. And is likely to remain safe, especially if the strong/lean line is shifted to a smaller margin as well. Other than Maine, Delaware is the only notable mover, moving off the list and much further in to safe Obama territory on the strength of a pair of 20 point poll margins. The First state jumped Maine, Massachusetts, California and New York to move into a tie with Connecticut.
|The Watch List*|
|Alaska||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Montana||from McCain lean||to Toss Up McCain|
|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|
|Virginia||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|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.|
That said, if the lines were moved today -- to 4 for the toss up/lean line and 8 for the lean/strong line -- Missouri and North Carolina would become McCain lean, but only barely, and Washington and Oregon would become strong Obama states. As I said, Michigan is right there on that toss up/lean line and West Virginia's average is actually equal to the potential new lean/strong line value.
Now I'm anxious to go see the effect this new Rasmussen poll in Virginia has. I'll be back later this evening (post-debate with that update.)
The Electoral College Map (9/25/08)
Now They're Trying to Take Away My Debate!?!
The Electoral College Map (9/24/08)