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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

This is everything from today, including the Quinnipiac numbers that we discussed earlier:

This is generally a pretty good set of polling for Barack Obama. Abstract these numbers for a moment. If you had told a Democrat a year ago that, on the last day of July, their candidate would be ahead in Ohio and Florida, well ahead in Pennsylvania , way ahead in California, tied in Montana, within single digits in a couple of states that went really red in 2000 and 2004, they’d be pretty thrilled with that set of polling.

Generally speaking, the national polls in this cycle have been somewhat more favorable to Barack Obama than the state polling. Our projected popular vote margin, which is based on principally on state rather than national polling, has usually run a point or two behind the national polling averages at RCP or Pollster.com.

That pattern has somewhat reversed itself now. Our model likes these state polls for Obama, even as the national trackers have shown his lead shrinking to 2 points and 1, respectively.

The most interesting result today might be from Kentucky, where Rasmussen has Obama within 9 points once leaners are counted. Obama had trailed by 16 points in Rasmussen’s June poll of Kentucky, and 25 points in May. There is no longer a big education/income gap in this election — Obama has gained ground with lower-income, lower-education voters. That doesn’t mean that he’s going to win Kentucky. But something like West Virginia, where the candidates are already advertising since its markets overlap with Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, deserves monitoring.

The other interesting result may is Montana, where Rasmussen now shows the race tied after having shown Obama with a 5-point lead four weeks ago. The underlying demographics of the state still probably point to a McCain victory by a few points, but so long as Obama is engaging the state and McCain is not, it has to continue to rate as a toss-up.

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