Saturday, October 25, 2008

Morning Polls

Saturdays are slow polling days. It is kind of like when those Mercury capsules would go into communications blackout and we would have to wait to see if the astronauts were okay. But we do have some trackers and some state polling to go over and the trackers have more interesting news internally than they usually do.

Obama expands his lead in the Gallup Likely Voter Model II to 8 points. But the really interesting thing here is that all three of Gallup's models are starting to converge. Obama is up by 7 in their Likely Voter Model I and he is up by 9 among registered voters. The meaning of these numbers converging is that there is less and less disagreement among them on what the makeup of the likely voter pool is and that is REALLY bad news for John McCain. At least before, he could find hope in the idea that a turnout similar to 2004 would make the race closer. Now it is not so close. Meanwhile, Rasmussen continues to tick upwards for Obama and he now has an 8-point lead there. That is a big deal because Rasmussen weights by party ID so their numbers are a little bit conservative (less sensitive) by definition. This matches Obama's largest lead in the Rasmussen tracker all year and he is at 52%. More importantly, 48% of voters say they are "certain" to vote for Obama while just 40% of voters say they are "certain" to vote for McCain. Hotline holds steady at Obama +7. R2000 holds steady at Obama +12. Finally, lest you think R2000 is just some outlier, Newsweek's national poll came out last night and they had Obama up by 12 as well. Several national polls (CBS/NYTimes, Pew, and NBC/WSJ) have shown this kind of margin recently.

At the state level, we do have just a few polls:

Ohio (U. of Cincinnati) - Obama +3
Colorado (CBS4) - Obama +12
Pennsylvania (Muhlenberg) - Obama +11

No good news for McCain here. Little to no movement in Pennsylvania and a nice lead in Colorado. The Obama lead in Ohio in the Univ. of Cincinnati poll is smaller than some other pollsters show but my sense is this reading is about right.

The best news for McCain is that this will be a light polling day. Seriously, that helps. These poll numbers showing Obama with a lead surely take a toll on his volunteers and staff as they get demoralized thinking it is a losing cause. A day's respite from the stream of bad news might do them some good. So ... they've got that going for them.

By the way, some have asked me about likely voter models, why Obama seems to do worse in some than others, etc. Nate Silver had a good piece on this recently. Now, Mark Blumenthal of has a more detailed response to Nate's piece that is an absolute must-read if you're interested in such things.

Finally, in case you missed it, President Bush endorsed John McCain recently:

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