|New Polls (Oct. 25)|
|Arkansas||Research 2000/Daily Kos||+11|
|Colorado||Rocky Mtn. News||+12|
|Minnesota||St. Cloud St.||+5|
|Ohio||Univ. of Cincinnati||+3|
|South Dakota||Research 2000/Daily Kos||+9|
|Tennessee||Research 2000/Daily Kos||+16|
Colorado and Ohio were also among the targeted few states that had polls released on Saturday. [I almost said "among the toss up states," but Colorado isn't a toss up state anymore. It is receiving a fair amount of attention from the McCain campaign, though.] The Centennial state continues to move away from the Arizona senator and that Rocky Mountain News survey's 12 point margin matched the largest margin in a poll of the state all year. Of course, that one was a McCain lead way back in April, but the new one has swung 24 points toward Obama. To put things in perspective a bit, Rocky Mountain News' last poll right before the Democratic convention had McCain up by three points. That's pretty indicative of how things have gone for John McCain since the economic crisis began.
In Ohio the situation is similar. No, the margin in the University of Cincinnati's poll wasn't the biggest we have seen in Ohio during this cycle, but that three point advantage is the continuation of a trend in that series of polls toward Obama. The initial poll from the firm gave McCain a four point lead in the week after the Republican convention in St. Paul and then grew to 6 points a week later. The first October poll showed that McCain was holding onto a decreasing lead (two points), one that has now turned into a three point Obama lead. So, while this poll is far below what we have seen from some other polls from the Buckeye state this week, it is representative of a nearly ten point shift toward Obama in the time since the Lehman collapse.
And that's basically the story of the last month of this race in the toss up states -- current and former. Everything else on Saturday was pretty much par for the course. The Marist poll out of New York was a bigger margin than might otherwise have been expected, but the Empire state isn't going anywhere anyway. The rest of the notable data from the day was from the northern plains/prairie. South Dakota turned in yet another single digit McCain lead; the second time this week. But the Mount Rushmore state is probably safely red for John McCain except for the fact that the state will likely be much closer for McCain than it was four years ago for George W. Bush. To the east, in Minnesota, St. Cloud State University weighed in with its first poll of the cycle. And at five points in favor of Obama, the margin was much lower than what we have seen out of the North Star state over the last week or so. A big reason for that may have to do with the large number of undecided voters in the sample (12%). That's a wee bit high considering there are but 10 days left in the race.
|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.
Shake ups aside, there just wasn't enough movement as a result of adding these polls to our averages to push any of the states into different categories much less shift any state across the partisan line on the Electoral College Spectrum. With ten days left, then, the electoral vote tally still stands at 338-200 for Barack Obama. Florida is the closest state currently in blue, but it would require a seven point margin in the very next poll to swing the Sunshine state back into the red. On the other side of the partisan lie, Missouri is the closest of the red states at the moment. For the Show-Me state to turn blue, Obama would need an 11 point lead out of the next poll. In both cases, the magic number seems a bit too high to be feasible. But the momentum in both states is trending toward Obama and while an 11 point poll out of Missouri seems unlikely, a continued series of smaller Obama leads could also shift the state into the blue. There is no early voting in Missouri, so both campaigns have an opportunity to make last pitches to Missourians to tweak their positions there relative to each other.
|The Watch List*|
|Colorado||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|Florida||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Georgia||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Michigan||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Missouri||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Montana||from McCain lean||to Toss Up McCain|
|New Mexico||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.|
Missouri was the only state on the Watch List (those states most likely to change categories) to have a new poll released on Saturday, and really, the Show-Me state along with Florida are the states to watch most closely every day. They are the states where category changes have electoral votes switching sides involved.
Ten days left.
Early Voting and McCain's Home-Stretch Strategy
The Electoral College Map (10/25/08)
The Electoral College Map (10/24/08)