Monday, October 27, 2008

Morning Polls

The national trackers are not all on the same page. The Gallup Likely Voter Model II moves from Obama +9 to Obama +10 and Obama is now at 53% in this model. The "traditional" model holds steady at Obama +5. Rasmussen drops from Obama +8 to Obama +5 though Obama's number only drops from 52% to 51%. The write-up from Rasmussen does not explain the significant overnight change so we'll have to wait and see if there is real movement going on in their poll or not (it is possible this movement is the result of a strong Thursday night sample for Obama moving out of the tracker). R2000 moves from Obama +11 to Obama +8 and the overnight sample had Obama up by just 5. The Hotline poll holds steady at Obama +8.

At the state level, we have a few polls that do not show any real movement towards McCain:

Arizona (Rasmussen) - McCain +5
Connecticut (Hartford Courant) - Obama +25
Iowa (Marist) - Obama +10
Mississippi (University of S. Alabama) - McCain +13
Missouri (SurveyUSA) - Tied
New Hampshire (Marist) - Obama +5
Virginia (Washington Post) - Obama +8
Virginia (SurveyUSA) - Obama +9
Virginia (VCU) - Obama +11

Zogby has a bunch of polls out today which I don't post because I don't have any faith in what Zogby is doing. But there are not many major surprises among his polls this time around and the most interesting thing about his series of state polls is that all 8 of the states Zogby chose to poll are states Bush won in 2004, underscoring the point that this election is (until now at least) being played on red turf. Among the polls above, there are no real surprises or movement towards McCain. The Marist poll in New Hampshire is a little closer than others have it but still a lead for Obama. The Marist poll in Iowa has Obama ahead by 10. I guess McCain succeeded in shaving Obama's lead from 13 to 10 by visiting the state. Nice one! Missouri is about where we figured it is. Obama holds a solid lead in Virginia in three different polls of the state and Mississippi and Connecticut are not close.

Now, let me say something about that Arizona Rasmussen poll because it is of more than passing interest. We saw two polls in Arizona yesterday with similar narrow margins for McCain though those polls had a greater number of undecideds. I have much more faith in this Rasmussen poll which shows a very slightly larger margin for McCain and fewer undecideds and shows McCain at 51%. Still, this is really bad news for McCain. Why? What does a 5-point lead in his home state tell you about the other three battleground states nearby (Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada)? By all measures, Hispanic voters have moved heavily towards Barack Obama (Obama leads by 24 points among Hispanics in Arizona, according to Rasmussen, and by more in other western states) and tiny Nevada is actually quite critical to McCain's math. The McCain campaign seems to be moving all its chips in gambling on an upset in Pennsylvania (while still holding onto Ohio and Florida). But let's just say McCain wins Pennsylvania (and Ohio and Florida). If he loses Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia, he still loses. A 5-point lead for McCain in Arizona tells me McCain is behind in Nevada and that is the one where McCain has the best chance for an upset.

8 days to go!!! Breathe in, breathe out.

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