[Granted, I say this from a rather selfish vantage point. I'm more interested in competitive races where I am than blowouts. It's more fun for a political scientist that way.]
|New Polls (Oct. 10)|
But the ominous signs for McCain on Friday weren't confined to just Georgia or rallies where he seemed to claim Obama wasn't some to be scared of as president. Florida and Ohio both turned in yet more results positive for Obama. [And I should note that I wrongly reported the numbers for the Strategic Vision poll of Florida yesterday. The Obama advantage in that poll was +8, not +7 as was listed in the table of polls.] Ohio has already crossed the partisan line to join the Obama states on the board and Florida continues to move in that direction as well. What we know about the recent polling in Florida and the methodology here is that when or if that switch takes place, it will likely be for good.
But it wasn't all bad for McCain. Michigan seems closer with the MIRS poll showing the Illinois senator's lead at just five -- a day after Rasmussen has the state at +16 for Obama. However, that poll comes with a caveat: it is a week old and likely didn't get a full picture of the reaction to McCain pulling resources from the Wolverine state. North Carolina, then was the lone survey that was positive for McCain. But that's indicative of how the perceptions are in this race currently. This looks great for McCain given the slew of polls lately that have had Obama ahead, but if you'd have told the McCain campaign a year ago that they would win the nomination and would have to defend North Carolina, they likely would not have liked their chances in November.
|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 New Hampshire (all Obama's toss up states), he would have 278 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.
***Colorado is the state 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. It is currently favoring Obama, thus the blue text in that cell.
None of the polls changed anything on the maps or in the Electoral College Spectrum, though. If our averages reflect how the states will go on November 4, then Obama would win with 311 electoral votes to McCain's 227. As we discussed, however, Florida is well within position to switch over to Obama. Like Virginia the other week, a poll with a 10 point margin in Obama's favor would just push the Sunshine state into the blue. Now, is that realistic? I hesitate to say since the last time I did a similar exercise -- in Virginia's case -- I surmised that it was not. But, the next day brought a 10 point margin in Virginia. Is it feasible, though? The ceiling for Obama in Florida during this post-Lehman surge in the polls has been 8 points on three separate occasions. From that perspective, 10 seems a bit much, but we'll see. With the way polling data has been coming in this weekend, we won't likely know until early in the week ahead.
|The Watch List*|
|Florida||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Georgia||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Indiana||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Iowa||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|Michigan||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|Nevada||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|New Hampshire||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|New Jersey||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|North Dakota||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Ohio||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Oregon||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Washington||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
Needless to say, Florida continues to be on the Watch List as do all the other 10 states on the list yesterday. The only addition is Georgia and the Peach state moves on based on the strength of that Insider Advantage poll. Georgia is still out of Obama's reach as it is positioned on the Electoral College Spectrum above, but in a landslide election, the Peach state is increasingly likely to get caught up in an Obama wave, should one occur.
The Electoral College Map (10/10/08)
Open Thread: An Obama Landslide: How Far Could It Go?
The Electoral College Map (10/9/08)