|New Polls (Oct. 2)|
|Michigan||Public Policy Polling||+10|
|New Hampshire||St. Anselm||+12|
|New Mexico||Survey USA||+8|
Florida, Michigan and Ohio polls continue to indicate an increased level of support for Obama that is in each individual poll at or above the margin of error. And New Hampshire has followed suit, with a couple of polls that have the margin in the double digits for Obama, countering a handful of polls -- no not a string of them -- that had tightened to the 1-2 point range recently. In fact, New Hampshire is starting to look something like Michigan with these two new polls. Yet, it was among the states listed as targets in the McCain campaign's conference call yesterday concerning the decision to pull resources out of the Wolverine state. The Granite state was on the outside looking in in Politico's accounting of those targets. They only listed Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
We also see this in a few red states where the margins are closing. Georgia, Kentucky and Montana all show Obama gaining, but McCain is at or above the 50% mark in each of those states (in the polls above) and at this late point all three are likely too far away to make a real effort to swing. In North Carolina though, well, that's a different story. Surveys of the Tar Heel state continue to find Obama ahead there. Since the market downturn, Obama has been ahead in all the North Carolina polls save the ARG survey that was released earlier this week.
|Changes (Oct. 2)|
|Nevada||Toss Up Obama||Toss Up McCain|
|Virginia||Toss Up Obama||Toss Up McCain|
However, there were some exceptions to the conventional wisdom rule discussed above. But it wasn't all bad for McCain. Traditional red state, Nebraska didn't budge and the Ciruli poll out of Colorado had the Arizona senator within one point. In fairness, though, Nebraska is right where we'd expect it to be given the current climate and the median date in which Colorado poll was in the field was September 21 was the night the Lehman collapse became public knowledge.
And then there were the polls out of Minnesota and Virginia. After CNN's poll of the North Star state inflated the state's average, that poll was exposed -- and more time will ultimately tell the tale here -- as an outlier in the post-convention period for Minnesota. Still, this is the first poll McCain has led in Minnesota since the same one point margin was the result of a mid-March poll of state (also by Survey USA). We were in Jeremiah Wright land during that time though. That was during that stretch after McCain had wrapped up the GOP nomination and the Democratic nomination race was in the midst of that stretch of no contests before Pennsylvania's primary in late April. Similarly, CNN's poll of Virginia had the same effect as the one it did in Minnesota. And having that 10 point Obama lead lose the weighting that goes with being the most recent poll in our average, meant that Virginia moved back into McCain territory. This was the case in Nevada as well.
With Nevada and Virginia retaking their spots in the McCain toss up category, the map reverts to the way it looked two days ago: Obama 273-McCain 265. Again though, this underscores just how close it is in the three states of Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. Virginia actually jumped Ohio in the process of turning pink and that indicates the extent to which Ohio has drawn closer this last week.
|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.
***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.
You can see that Virginia jump well on the Electoral College Spectrum as well as Minnesota's move past New Jersey and closer to toss up status. The other change of note is New Hampshire swapping positions with Colorado on the stregth of the two new polls out there yesterday. Colorado is now the sole state occupying the role of Victory Line. If the candidates win all the states they are ahead in on the map and win Colorado (which is favoring Obama now by more than two points currently), that candidate will win the presidency. The Centennial state is the state each candidate needs to surpass 270 electoral votes.
|The Watch List*|
|Iowa||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Michigan||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|Missouri||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Nevada||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|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 McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Washington||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
Yet Colorado is not on the Watch List. In fact, none of the Obama toss up states are within a fraction of a point of switching categories. Correction, Michigan and Pennsylvania are, but that potential move is not toward McCain. The three McCain toss ups we discussed earlier are in that range, though, and any new poll out of Nevada, Ohio and/or Virginia should be watched closely now that we are almost under a month until election day. There were no additions to the list today, but Minnesota was its lone loss. The North Star state is now comfortably within the Obama lean category. Well, comfortably unless more polls show McCain ahead there. As always, we'll have to see.
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