Three new polls out this afternoon from Rasmussen. In Wisconsin, Barack Obama holds a 45-43 lead over John McCain. Rasmussen’s March and May polls had shown McCain with a lead in Wisconsin, so this brings them into line with other polling in the state, all of which shows a small lead for Obama. The McCain team may need to decide relatively early on whether they want to make a serious play in Wisconsin, or concentrate more exclusively on Michigan and Ohio, each of which look somewhat more favorable to them. Both candidates get pretty good favorability scores in Wisconsin, but Obama’s support is firmer, so McCain may be playing for a smaller-than-usual number of swing voters.
In New Jersey, Obama leads by 9 points. New Jersey has not been polled as much as it probably should be, but this is another case of the polls coalescing a little bit, as Rasmussen’s prior polling in New Jersey had shown the state to be a toss-up. If there’s bad news here, it’s for Frank Lautenberg, since the poll seems to indicate that many Dems are thinking about splitting their ticket.
Lastly, in Texas, McCain holds a 52-39 lead. This is a “pre-bounce” poll, as the field work was conducted last Monday. Nevertheless, this is yet another case of Rasmussen’s numbers gravitating back toward what other pollsters like Research 2000 and Baselice have found in the state. Obama may make some pretense of competing in Texas, but it will be pretense only.