|New Polls (Oct. 22)|
|Maine||Pan Atlantic SMS||+12|
|West Virginia||Orion Strategies (9/22)||+11|
|West Virginia||Orion Strategies (10/21)||+5.7|
Anyway, Wednesday brought us 17 new polls from 11 states, including four polls from West Virginia. A couple of those Mountain state polls are back-dated, and even though there is some conflict between the results, the raw average is right around where the state is expected to be: right in the middle to upper end of the McCain lean category. Now, that raw average of those four polls runs a little above where our graduated weighted average has West Virginia currently, but both measures would put the state in the same category. West Virginia jumped into the toss up category recently following the ARG poll that gave Obama an eight point lead there, but since, the Mountain state has drifted back in McCain's direction.
And though West Virginia is still an interesting state to watch, it certainly isn't among the states that we should be eyeing most with just under two weeks to go until election day. Among those states closest to the partisan line -- those closest to having their electoral votes go to the opposite candidate -- Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia all had new polls on Wednesday. Mason-Dixon's small McCain advantage echoed the same one point margin for the Arizona senator that Rasmussen had shown earlier in the week. However, Florida holds steady in Obama toss up territory, but only just barely.
Mason-Dixon also had a poll out in Virginia that pegged the race in the Old Dominion as a two point Obama lead. Given the recent polling in Virginia and the other poll out of the state today -- CNN +10 -- Mason-Dixon's margin looks like an outlier. It could be, however, that it is a sign of a new trend, but we'll have to wait for more information to draw that conclusion.
CNN had polls in both Nevada and Ohio that showed Obama up 5 and 4 points, respectively. Each is on par with where the post-Lehman polling shows the two states. In fact, Nevada is on the verge of slipping off the Watch List (see below). The only reason that the Silver state remains on the list is that only after rounding up does the state's average reach one point. But Nevada is within a few one-thousandths of a point of joining Virginia in a more comfortable position within the toss up category -- if there is such a thing -- for Obama.
Other than those hotly contested states, the polls in the remaining states are right around where we've come to expect them to be in recent weeks. North Carolina is still noteworthy because there continues to be pro-Obama polling in the Tar Heel state. The result is that North Carolina is slowly but surely making its way closer to a complete dead heat in this race. [I'll have a little more on this as a follow up to our earlier North Carolina discussion later in the day.]
|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 Colorado (all Obama's toss up states plus Colorado), he would have 274 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.
But none of Wednesday's polls shifted any of the states represented enough to trigger a change in categories. The map and the underlying electoral vote distribution remain unchanged from a day ago. Obama maintains a 338-200 electoral vote advantage and is comfortable enough in enough states at this point that a win on November 4 seems more likely with each passing day; especially if that day is one where McCain has not been able to take over the media narrative. And even if there is a Bradley effect involved in the polling being conducted, it is likely not at a level that will affect the overall outcome projected here.
|The Watch List*|
|Colorado||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|Florida||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Indiana||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Minnesota||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|Missouri||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Nevada||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|New Mexico||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Ohio||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Pennsylvania||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Virginia||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
We have already mentioned the Big 10 and Quinnipiac polls out this morning and within each are five of the ten states on our Watch List -- the states most likely to switch categories given new polling. That said, find your way back over to FHQ for an update that incorporates those polls to see what effect they have had.
What the Bradley Effect Might Look Like
The Electoral College Map (10/22/08)
Map Update Coming...