|New Polls (Oct. 7)|
|Minnesota||Minnesota Public Radio||+14|
|North Carolina||Survey USA||+3|
|Ohio||Public Policy Polling||+6|
Well, that's it for McCain and the rest is all Obama. Pennsylvania is rapidly being taken off the table. Double digit margin after double digit margin keep popping up in the polling of the Keystone state. That trend seems to be stretching to New Hampshire and Wisconsin as well. Just yesterday I was thinking about how tightly compact Wisconsin's polling has been -- relative to say, Minnesota -- and now even the Badger state is shifting toward Obama.
|Changes (Oct. 7)|
|Nevada||Toss Up McCain||Toss Up Obama|
|Ohio||Toss Up McCain||Toss Up Obama|
But the trend goes beyond the states around the line between Obama toss ups and Obama lean states. The recent rise in the polls has also been applied to the closest of states. Nevada and Ohio join Virginia on the blue side of the partisan line. The effect of this cannot be understated. Not only does that provide Obama with an added cushion in terms of how his campaign strategizes about the race, but it pushes him past 300 projected electoral votes. This cushion can certainly be discussed in terms of states, but in actuality it should probably be applied to electoral college votes. At 311, Obama has 41 electoral votes to give while still being able to claim outright victory.
Obama remains relatively safe -- outside of toss up status -- in states totaling 260 electoral votes, but now has 25 additional votes in the blue with Nevada and Ohio switching over. Again, the discussion has shifted rapidly from one focused on how far McCain could push into Obama territory (Could he pick up Pennsylvania and Michigan, for example.) to one centered on how far down that middle column on the Electoral College Spectrum below Obama can extend. Florida, Indiana and Missouri are right there. And North Carolina is similar to Virginia, but how similar is the question. Geographically speaking, Indiana and Missouri are both in kind of a border region between a group of blue states and another group of red states. But that rule doesn't really apply to Florida. Then again, the Sunshine state is closer than either of the other two in our rankings. Are those realistic "gets" for Obama? Perhaps, but we'll have to see what transpires over this next month to find out.
|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.
Finally, the Watch List is only slightly different today than it was yesterday. Obviously, Nevada and Ohio are still close enough to be vulnerable for Obama. The momentum, however, is certainly with the Illinois senator. The big news is that Pennsylvania is off the list. The Keystone state has moved outside of the 3-5 point range. With the graduated average margin there now above five, Pennsylvania has even jumped New Mexico above on the Spectrum. Was McCain's Michigan move last week designed to be more aggressive in Pennsylvania? If so, it isn't working. Not yet at least. Those resources may be better utilized in states like Virginia and Florida.
|The Watch List*|
|Florida||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|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 Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|New Jersey||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|North Carolina||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|North Dakota||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Ohio||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Oregon||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|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.|
With last night's debate not really changing much, McCain is seeminly up against it in this race. The media is set to jump on any move toward negativity that the campaign makes and with just one more debate left, McCain is running out of opportunites to make the case that Obama is the risky choice. Then again, Obama only seems to be helping the combat that charge in these debates.
Live Blog and Open Thread: 2nd Presidential Debate: Town Hall Meeting
The Electoral College Map (10/7/08), Part II: The Changes
The Electoral College Map (10/7/08)