Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Morning Polls

The morning trackers show Obama holding or building on his lead with one (inexplicable) exception. Gallup moves from Obama +8 to Obama +9. Rasmussen holds steady at Obama +8. R2000 moves from Obama +12 to Obama +11. Battleground holds steady at Obama +7. But Hotline moves from Obama +6 to Obama +2. That's a pretty significant move for a day on which nothing significant seemed to happen. Looking behind their numbers, it does seem they've got a few too many Republicans in their sample.

By the way, Real Clear Politics has now added a Zogby tracker to their tally but they are still leaving out the R2000 tracker. Somewhere in America, Nate Silver is about to go ballistic on them for that maneuver.

More state polls are out this morning and the news is mostly good for Obama. Starting with the more red states, in Indiana, R2000 has the race tied but CNN/Time has McCain ahead by 5. In North Carolina, CNN/Time has the race tied. In Florida, Mason Dixon has Obama up by 2. In Ohio, CNN/Time has Obama up by 3. CNN/Time also has Obama up by 8 in New Hampshire and has Obama up by 5 in Wisconsin. Finally, SurveyUSA has Obama up by 15 (not a typo) in Pennsylvania and the Morning Call tracker has Obama up by 10 in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is gone folks. Aside from the polls, it is notable we haven't seen Obama, McCain, Biden, or Palin visit Pennsylvania recently. The map is really shrinking now for McCain. Bush got 286 Electoral Votes in 2004. McCain is not leading in any state Kerry won. But McCain is clearly losing in the following Bush states: New Mexico, Iowa, Virginia, and Colorado. He also appears to be losing in these Bush states: Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Nevada. And then there are these tossup states: Indiana and Missouri.

What I'm saying is that McCain cannot be thinking in terms of states right now. He has to think in terms of shifting the whole map in some important way. Tactical decisions about where to deploy staff or where to run commercials are irrelevant unless he does something to change the "fundamentals" (yeah, I used that word) of the game. And that's why we're seeing some really nasty moves (Ayers, Wright, etc.) from McCain.

Want to know McCain's real problem? Here's an interesting game. Take five seconds to try to answer the following question: What does John McCain propose to do about the economy? I really can't answer that question. I know a couple of minor details. He wants to drill for more oil and he wants to cut corporate taxes. But I follow this stuff VERY closely and the fact that I can't answer that question for McCain is a big, big problem for him. Average voters have no idea what McCain wants to do about the economy and the economy is all that matters to them right now.

What do average voters know about Obama's plan on the economy? Middle class tax cut, immediate stimulus package, assistance for struggling homeowners, create green energy jobs, eliminate tax cuts for companies moving jobs overseas, reduce catastrophic health care costs for small business helping them to afford premiums, etc.

OK, maybe average voters don't know all that. But they know some of it. I really can't think of anything John McCain is proposing that helps ... (wait for it, wait for it) ... "Joe Six-Pack" and "Hockey Moms." On the upside for McCain, as Stephen Colbert pointed out last night, with all her appeals to "Joe Six-Pack" and "Hockey Moms," Sarah Palin has really nailed down the votes of alcoholic parents driving your kids to afterschool sporting events.

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