|New Polls (Oct. 1)|
|New Jersey||Strategic Vision||+9|
|Pennsylvania||Franklin & Marshall||+5|
The rest of the polling out today wasn't much better for John McCain. Four new polls in both Florida and Pennsylvania all favored Obama and by pretty sizable margins. Half of those polls were the pre- and post-debate surveys from Quinnipiac. All had already shifted toward Obama prior to Friday night and those gaps grew larger afterward. This held true in the other state covered by Quinnipiac as well, Ohio. The Buckeye state, though, held firm just slightly on the McCain side of the partisan line.
|Changes (Oct. 1)|
|Nevada||Toss Up McCain||Toss Up Obama|
|Virginia||Toss Up McCain||Toss Up Obama|
But Indiana and Missouri drew closer too and Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin all moved farther away from the Arizona senator. Even Mississippi and Texas turned in tighter results, though, not to the point that either will become competitive. At the end of the day, all McCain has to hand his hat on today are the polls in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Neither of those state has had the type of single digit margins that Mississippi and Texas have had over the course of this campaign. They were never in doubt.
The map, then, changes for the first time since Nevada moved over into McCain's column following the Republican's convention in St. Paul. With the addition of Nevada and Virginia, Obama now pads that paltry 8 point advantage he held with 18 more electoral votes. The edge the Illinois senator has is now up to 44, much further below some of the other electoral college estimates out there. But, to be honest, all of the pink states are now within the margin of error and are technically in play. Even if FHQ has lowered the toss up/lean line down to 3 points last week, all of those McCain toss ups would be under that line with the exception of Missouri. So while none of those states are likely to change, they have slipped away from McCain and within Obama's grasp, both in reality and in the perception game.
|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.
For the first time in a while then the partisan line and the victory line (the point at which either candidate would surpass 270 electoral votes) aren't right up against each other. That cushion that we referenced so many times in discussing the likelihood of Obama has returned. And, as was so often mentioned in that context, the number of paths Obama has to 270 is greater as a result. The Illinois senator once again has states to give. In other words, he could lose both of the two states in which he just pulled ahead and still get to 270.
|The Watch List*|
|Iowa||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Michigan||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|Minnesota||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Missouri||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Nevada||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|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|
|Pennsylvania||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|Texas||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Virginia||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Washington||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
The big question now: Which state is next? Well, it isn't assured that Nevada and Virginia will hold their current positions, so they could shift back toward McCain. But that seems less likely in the current environment where Obama is surging in the polls both nationally and on the state level. What we do know is that Florida and Indiana are now off the Watch List and have been replaced by Iowa, Minnesota and Texas. For the moment, let's excluded Texas; the Lone Star state isn't going anywhere. The other four have moved significantly toward Obama based on today's and other recent polling. Iowa and Minnesota are safer for Obama and Florida and Indiana are much less safe for McCain than they were.
Bad continues to get worse for McCain.
Here's the Deal...
The Electoral College Map (10/1/08)
The Electoral College Map (9/30/08)