Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Electoral College Map (10/9/08)

Wednesday was a surprisingly slow polling day, especially for a week day. And for the first time in a while you'll see a group of polls that is majority red. Sadly for the McCain campaign, all that red is from one state, Oklahoma, where a slew of backlogged polls got some attention from the poll-gathering sites. When that factor is accounted for, the impact of that red diminishes.

Other than the Sooner state, Georgia is the only other red state on the board for the day. The Peach state has tightened some recently, but it doesn't look as if the gap between McCain and Obama there (Well, here actually, for me.) will close enough to make it any more competitive. Obama is running behind Jim Martin's numbers in the senate race pitting Martin against incumbent, Saxby Chambliss. Much of Martin's gains recently can probably be attributed to the financial crisis. Chambliss pulled the classic "he was against it before he was for it" move on the bailout plan, and anecdotally speaking, some Georgia Republicans aren't happy about that switch. But Obama and Martin aren't on the same page on that issue and that could be part of the answer as to why the Illinois senator is lagging behind Martin's numbers against Chambliss. Of course, early voting had a disproportionate number of African American voters compared to their share of the total electorate so far in Georgia. And as Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight demonstrated earlier this week, that could have a real effect on the margin McCain has in Georgia should those numbers persist.

New Polls (Oct. 8)
StatePollMargin
Georgia
Rasmussen
+9
Minnesota
Rasmussen
+7
Oklahoma
Tv Poll (9/7)
+38
OklahomaTv Poll (9/14)
+42.2
OklahomaTv Poll (9/21)
+39.3
OklahomaTv Poll (9/27)
+41.1
OklahomaTv Poll (10/5)
+36.4
Pennsylvania
West Chester Univ.
+10.3
Wisconsin
Research 2000
+10

On the blue side of the ledger, Obama continues to look more and more comfortable in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Sure, the seven point margin Rasmussen found in Minnesota is below where some of the other polling firms have found the race in the state to be recently, but it is a continuation of the mounting evidence against the validity of that Survey USA poll out this past weekend -- the one that showed McCain up a point. The Rasmussen poll is the one closest to where FHQ's graduated weighted average of Minnesota is, though. [...I'm just saying.]
[Click Map to Enlarge]

Taken together, though, none of these polls are in any of our toss up states, and that nearly eliminates the potential for changes to the electoral vote distribution. In fact, there was no change to that tally. The most likely candidates for change of the electoral vote totals are Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia and none of those states were polled yesterday (Oh, but PPP already has a poll out from Virginia this morning.). Obama, then, maintains the same 311-227 electoral vote edge that he held in yesterday's map.

The Electoral College Spectrum*
HI-4
(7)**
ME-4
(157)
NH-4
(264/278)
MT-3
(158)
LA-9
(67)
VT-3
(10)
WA-11
(168)
CO-9***
(273/274)
ND-3
(155)
KY-8
(58)
RI-4
(14)
IA-7
(175)
VA-13
(286/265)
GA-15
(152)
KS-6
(50)
MD-10
(24)
OR-7
(182)
NV-5
(291/252)
TX-34
(137)
TN-11
(44)
DE-3
(27)
NJ-15
(197)
OH-20
(311/247)
MS-6
(103)
NE-5
(33)
NY-31
(58)
MN-10
(207)
FL-27
(338/227)
AK-3
(97)
AL-9
(28)
IL-21
(79)
WI-10
(217)
IN-11
(349/200)
AR-6
(94)
WY-3
(19)
CT-7
(86)
PA-21
(238)
MO-11
(360/189)
SC-8
(88)
ID-4
(16)
MA-12
(98)
NM-5
(243)
NC-15
(375/178)
AZ-10
(80)
OK-7
(12)
CA-55
(153)
MI-17
(260)
WV-5
(163)
SD-3
(70)
UT-5
(5)
*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.

Sadly for us, the lack of any polls in those four states, means that there aren't that many changes to the Electoral College Spectrum or the Watch List. The latter is unchanged and the former saw only Oklahoma move, jumping Idaho in the rankings. The Sooner state and the Gem state are battling it out to see who can be the most supportive of McCain behind Utah. Actually, based on all those Tv Poll surveys, Oklahoma is now just behind Utah, a fraction of a point from overtaking it as the most intensely Republican state in this presidential race.

The Watch List*
StateSwitch
Floridafrom Toss Up McCain
to Toss Up Obama
Iowafrom Strong Obama
to Obama lean
Michiganfrom Obama lean
to Toss Up Obama
Nevadafrom Toss Up Obama
to Toss Up McCain
New Hampshirefrom Toss Up Obama
to Obama lean
New Jerseyfrom Obama lean
to Strong Obama
North Carolinafrom Toss Up McCain
to McCain lean
North Dakotafrom Strong McCainto McCain lean
Ohiofrom Toss Up Obama
to Toss Up McCain
Oregonfrom Obama lean
to Strong Obama
Virginiafrom Toss Up Obama
to Toss Up McCain
Washingtonfrom Strong Obama
to Obama lean
*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.

The dynamics of the race remain the same, then. That leaves the McCain campaign just 26 days to figure out a way to shift the momentum back toward the Arizona senator. And with just one more debate -- now a little less than a week off -- the number of high profile opportunities to do that are waning.


Recent Posts:
Update: The Electoral College from a Different Angle

Talk About Bad Timing

The Electoral College Map (10/8/08)

6 comments:

Jack said...

I assume, too, and perhaps you can fill me in on this, that Martin is significantly more conservative than Obama?

SarahLawrenceScott said...

So, on a slow polling day, here's a question:

Supposing we do get a true Obama landslide, which state or states listed as McCain solid or lean are most likely to go for Obama? I could make arguments for or against several different ones under that scenario.

Josh Putnam said...

Jack,
Here are some of Martin's various interest group ratings. I think it is safe to say that he is less liberal than Obama based on where he is running. He isn't going out of his way to link himself to Obama, for instance.

He does do well on the liberal group rating, and doesn't get slammed on the conservative rating. So, less liberal than Obama, but we are comparing Georgia General Assembly work to work done in Congress.

Josh Putnam said...

Scott,
Let's put this question in an open thread of its own. It is too good to be lost in the comments to this post. Not that there's anything wrong with this post. Ha!

Josh Putnam said...

Still a slow day, but here are some new numbers from ARG.

Josh Putnam said...

Should have looked first.
ARG WV: Obama +8.

What!?! I'm assuming that one will be talked about some.