Another fairly strong polling day for John McCain:
The University of Cincinnati’s highly-rated Ohio Poll has John McCain leading by 4 points in the Buckeye State. There are no particular demographic quirks in these results; Barack Obama is simply a little behind where he needs to be across the board. The U. of C. (no, not the real U. of C.) had surveyed Ohio once before in February, at that point showing Obama with a 1-point lead, but that was a poll of registered rather than likely voters so the results are not directly comparable.
Rasmussen, meanwhile, shows John McCain closing to within 2 points in Washington, a state in which Obama has generally held large, safe-looking leads. This seems to confirm SurveyUSA’s finding from earlier in the week, which showed Obama’s lead diminishing to 4 points. The Pac Northwest has a decently-sized evangelical population that may be taking well to Sarah Palin. Still, our model can’t imagine Obama losing Washington except in a catastrophic landslide. Oregon, on the other hand, might merit watching. (Edit: Although it looks like there’s an Oregon poll out that shows Obama up by 7; it came in too late for our early deadline today).
North Carolina’s results have been all over the board, but a new Research 2000 survey for Daily Kos would tend to confirm the pessimistic assessment of Obama’s position offered up by SurveyUSA, showing Obama down by 17 points. Whether or McCain’s lead in North Carolina is in the double digits or the single digits, it is pretty far removed from being a tipping point state.
Finally, in Missouri, Rasmussen has McCain ahead by 5. This is actually not a terrible result for Obama, as Rasmussen’s August poll of Missouri had shown him down 7. Although Obama is clearly losing Missouri, it has moved closer to his national averages as those numbers have regressed, and so retains some currency as a potential swing state.