|New Polls (Oct. 12)|
The three new polls, then, do nothing to change the dynamics of a race that has become rather static over the last week or so. Obama is ahead nationally and in most of the crucial battleground states, but with just one more debate between the two major party contenders, we have almost entered the "outside factors" phase of the race. In other words, it will take outside factors to disrupt the race in a way similar to the AIG/Lehman collapse to reshape the race at a time when both candidates will be making their closing arguments to voters.
The survey data out today is moderately predictable. Both California and Nevada are within a couple of points of FHQ's weighted average in each. The Pennsylvania numbers from Muhlenberg are outside of that state's average, but when we consider just the polls over the last three weeks -- since the economic crisis became a crisis -- the margin seems far more understandable. All it really does is move Pennsylvania further into the blue and further away from McCain. In the end, none of the three polls does anything to shift any of the electoral votes between categories or between candidates. Obama remains ahead by 84 electoral votes, and nothing in recent polling indicates that margin will do anything but get larger.
|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.
Of course, that easier to say when you are trying to get through a terrifically slow weekend for polling. If anything, the new week should be welcomed with open arms simply because it is likely to bring an increase in the frequency of polling. The states below --unchanged from a day ago -- are the ones where changes in categories, or more importantly for our purposes, changes in who is ahead are the most likely to occur. Florida is tops on the list. And if we know anything about our measure here, it is that when and if the Sunshine state turns blue, it is likely there to stay. Even with all the past polls being discounted according to when they were released, our model is still on the conservative side. So when changes occur they are significant and overwhelmingly likely to hold.
|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.|
I failed to go over the Electoral College Spectrum because it didn't shift at all from yesterday. The states in that middle column from Colorado down to Florida are where the real battle in this race is now. And McCain pretty much has to sweep all five to win. I say pretty much simply because there are other scenarios where McCain wins, but this one is the most likely. And the probability of that occurence is dropping with each passing day. 22 left to go.
A Follow-Up on ACORN
The Electoral College Map (10/12/08)
The Electoral College Map (10/11/08)