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Politics

We’re a little late with today’s polling thread. These have been the most hectic 24 hours I’ve had since book season. If you’ve sent me an e-mail, I probably haven’t had the chance to respond to it, but I sincerely appreciate all the support and I’ll be catching up over the weekend.

Four polls today, and they all look like pretty good news for Barack Obama. In California, the highly respected Field Poll has both Obama and Clinton leading John McCain by 17 points. The poll also shows that Obama is now preferred over Clinton among California democrats by a margin of 51-38, a reversal from the state’s primary result (a similar finding had previously been reported by SurveyUSA). As much as I tend to convey the impression that demographics have been destiny in the primaries, this is some of the strongest evidence that the race has in fact been dynamic.

Another deep blue state also looks safe for the Democrats: Clinton leads by 30 points and Obama by 19 in Rasmussen‘s poll of New York. The poll also suggests that about half of New Yorkers want Hillary Clinton to drop her Presidential bid. While home-state advantage is an electoral blessing, it should also be remembered that a candidate’s home constituency has conflicting incentives. New Yorkers would love to see Hillary as President, but they’d also like to see her get back to representing them in the Senate.

SurveyUSA shows Obama 6 points ahead in Wisconsin; no poll for Clinton. SurveyUSA’s results have consistently shown Obama ahead in Wisconsin, while other polls like Rasmussen see the state as more of a toss-up.

Finally, in Wyoming, Research 2000/Daily Kos has Obama trailing McCain by a relatively modest 13 points. While Obama is not going to win Wyoming, this improves our regression model’s impression of his prospects in somewhat more moderate states like North Dakota.

I’ve also noticed that the regression model seems to be giving progressively less and less weight to the fundraising numbers, which is causing some weird things like Obama not having quite the home-state advantage in Illinois and Hawaii that he probably should. It may be the case that the fundraising numbers are somewhat out of date, and that we should be focusing more specifically on how a candidate has fundraised over his past couple of months. Something else to explore when we can find a little bit of time.

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