|New Polls (Sept. 28)|
What emerged on Sunday was a trio of polls from states that seem pretty set in their ways. Connecticut is a strong Obama state, just as Kentucky and Tennessee are safe states for McCain. The Survey USA poll of Connecticut is certainly in line with FHQ's weighted average of the state's polls. In Kentucky and Tennessee, though, both results come in under their respective averages. The Mason-Dixon survey of the Bluegrass state, for instance, is about seven points under while Tennessee is only a few points under where the average would place the Volunteer state. The latter is within margin of error though. Kentucky is not. As Nate Silver indicated yesterday, that may bode well for Obama across the border in Ohio. What may have been a complete beating in the southern part of the state may only be a beating now. However, if turnout is solid in the areas of the state that favor Obama on paper, then a smaller margin in a traditionally poor area for Democrats may come in handy.
Regardless, none of the three results fundamentally [Yes, the overuse of this word has officially begun in the context of this race.] changes the map. Each was a strong state for their respective candidates before and each remains in the safe range after. The point to take away is that after two subpar weeks for McCain, there is some shuffling among some of those red states. They may not be slipping into a danger zone for the Arizona senator, but there has been some drop in Kentucky and Tennessee. Let me add that this is the first time Mason-Dixon has surveyed either this cycle, so we lack a true comparison here between these polls and previous polls from the same firm. We don't have a before and after comparison like that in the Muhlenberg tracking poll of Pennsylvania that shows a 3 point gain for Obama after the debate. But like Florida, I'll get to that one in tonight's update.
|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. Both states are currently favoring Obama, thus the blue text in those two cells.
On the Electoral College Spectrum, there isn't too much change. Neighbors on the map, Kentucky and Tennessee are neighbors in these rankings as well. Each holds its position here though. Connecticut switches places with Delaware, becoming slightly safer to Obama than the First state. In the black and white world of presidential election politics, that really doesn't mean much. Neither state is going anywhere come November 4.
|The Watch List*|
|Florida||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Indiana||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Michigan||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|Missouri||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Nevada||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|North Carolina||from McCain lean||to Toss Up McCain|
|Ohio||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Oregon||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|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.|
Finally, the Watch List doesn't budge and why should it based on three polls from overwhelmingly safe states. Nevada, Ohio and Virginia remain the states to watch the closest, but there are still a host of other states that are close to moving into or from the toss up distinction.
Is McCain Right? Does a Tie Go to the Runner?
The Electoral College Map (9/28/08)
The Electoral College Map (9/27/08)