|New Polls (Oct. 14)|
|Missouri||Public Policy Polling||+2|
|North Carolina||Public Policy Polling||+3|
|South Carolina||Survey USA||+14|
If the clear message from that series of polls from Quinnipiac was the fact that Obama was comfortably ahead in those four states, that message was echoed throughout the rest of Tuesday's polling. Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio -- all Bush states just four years ago -- continue to move in Obama's direction. The Illinois senator has pulled ahead in Ohio and Missouri and North Carolina are 1.5 and 2.7 points on McCain's side of the partisan line. The latter two continue to close with each new poll.*
The only red state poll of the day was in South Carolina, where McCain remains safely ahead despite what is going on in neighboring states, Georgia and North Carolina. The Palmetto state has quickly reverted to form for the general election. Early on, following a competitive Democratic primary in the state, it looked as if South Carolina may be closer than usual, if still comfortably Republican. Now, South Carolina just looks safe for the Arizona senator.
All that blue, but no change to the map. All 50 states held firm in their current categories, leaving Obama up by the same 311-227 margin he was up a day ago in the electoral college tally. Again, the shift since the economic breakdown just a few short weeks ago has been stark. The playing field on which this race is being contested has shifted to the right on the Electoral College Spectrum below. Instead of McCain marching into the states in the second column, as it looked like was possible in the aftermath of the Republican convention, has once again shifted to the middle column and is gradually working its way to the bottom.
|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.
Next on the list is Florida, which is the most vulnerable state at the moment for McCain by our measure. Of course, the Sunshine state is not nearly as susceptible to Obama's efforts there as Nevada is to McCain. The Silver state is more likely to switch over based on a minimal lead for McCain in a new poll. However, the Florida for Nevada trade is probably not what the McCain campaign has in mind currently. While Obama has some wiggle room, McCain absolutely cannot win the election without winning two out of the three of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. If the Arizona senator and his team can crack that code though, they may as well go ahead and sweep all three just to be sure.
|The Watch List*|
|Florida||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|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 Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|Ohio||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Oregon||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
The Watch List waves goodbye to Washington today. The 16 point margin in the latest Survey USA survey of the state, has pushed the Evergreen state outside of the range that puts it at risk of changing from a strong Obama state to an Obama lean state. As mentioned above, Florida, Nevada and Ohio remain the states to watch when new polling is released.
*The gap in Missouri has closed more quickly than the North Carolina margin simply because we have a lot more information from the Tar Heel state. That makes it more resilient to new polling information than a state like Missouri which has had around 15 less polls conducted in it over the course of this campaign year.
How Big a Margin is Too Big to Make Up?
The Electoral College Map (10/14/08)
The Electoral College Map (10/13/08)