How about that race for the Whate House? Well, FHQ has not weighed in with an official gut/heart prediction, but as I said yesterday in the examination of other predictions out there, our 338-200 electoral vote tally is not likely to change between now and tomorrow. Florida continues to slightly favor Obama in the polls out Monday morning, North Carolina is drifting back toward McCain and Missouri is as close to a draw as it is going to get (...if our methodology is to be believed). Those are the only three states where a category switch would mean a shift in the electoral vote totals for either candidate and it doesn't look like any of the three will move from where they are now. [But I could be wrong. We're likely to get a lot of polling today.]
Those three states aside, FHQ's current electoral vote distribution is basically equivalent to the average of twenty other predictions now. Is that where we think things will end up tomorrow? I don't know, but my gut is telling me to stand by the statistics behind our map as a guide. I'll hopefully have something more official up in the morning.
|New Polls (Nov. 2)|
|New Mexico||Albuquerque Journal||+8|
|Virginia||Public Policy Polling||+6|
Regardless, Sunday brought 14 new polls from 12 states. And yes, Mason-Dixon shows McCain ahead in Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina, the latter two in which Obama has been ahead in recent polling. However, Obama hadn't been ahead in any of the previous Mason-Dixon polls of those three states. It should be said that Missouri held firm at +1 for McCain since the last Mason-Dixon poll and both North Carolina and Ohio moved toward McCain by 3 and 1 points, respectively. In fact, among that series of Mason-Dixon polling, the lead the firm showed for Obama in Virginia represented the first such lead in the state for the Illinois senator from Mason-Dixon.
|Changes (Nov. 2)|
|New Mexico||Obama lean||Strong Obama|
Speaking of Virginia, the Old Dominion along with Pennsylvania both appear to be in the midst of a waning campaign narrowing effect. Both states (or commonwealths) had flirted with or surpassed the ten point mark in recent polling, but have since seen that as a peak that has given way to a mid- to upper single digit group of polls in each. Neither, though, is at risk of switching categories at this point. Virginia is still solidly within the Obama lean category and Pennsylvania is too far into the strong Obama category to reverse now.
But, as I said, the 338-200 electoral vote distribution today is the same as it was a day ago. Obama's strong category was bolstered by the re-addition of New Mexico as day after the PPP poll of the Land of Enchantment work its way out of the most recent poll status. The Illinois senator is back up to 264 electoral votes in his strong category, just six electoral votes shy of what is needed to win. Claim Colorado and it is over. Of course, I'm sure the Obama campaign has its sights set on something a bit further beyond the victory line than that. And from the looks of the other predictions and the shifting of the MSM discussion to the Senate races, that's likely to be the case. How likely? Well, we'll know sometime tomorrow.
|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.
Right now, McCain either has to sweep the toss up states and win Virginia and Colorado or he has to sweep the toss up states and win Pennsylvania. That probably isn't the ideal number of paths to 270 for McCain. Things looked much better for the Arizona senator pre-Lehman.
|The Watch List*|
|Arizona||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Florida||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|Georgia||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Michigan||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|Missouri||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Nevada||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|New Hampshire||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|New Mexico||from Strong Obama||to Obama lean|
|North Carolina||from Toss Up McCain||to Toss Up Obama|
|Ohio||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|Virginia||from Obama lean||to Toss Up Obama|
|West Virginia||from McCain lean||to Strong McCain|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
Still, if you are watching the polls today, keep an eye on all the toss up states but pay particular attention to Florida, Missoui and North Carolina. If there are to be any electoral vote changes here before tomorrow it will come from some combination of those states.
FHQ vs. The Talking Heads
The Electoral College Map (11/2/08)
The Electoral College Map (11/1/08)