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Evening Polling Update, 6/19

I very much do not want to set an expectation that we’re going to be running the numbers more than once a day, but with polling volume especially heavy lately, we’re making some accommodations. There is new polling out in Georgia and Colorado, each of which shows the race tightening.

Rasmussen conducted the Colorado poll, which has Barack Obama with a 43-41 lead. That 2-point advantage is down from 6 points a month ago. But in Georgia, Insider Advantage has that state tightening to a single point; John McCain leads 44-43, with 6 points going to Bob Barr. Insider Advantage’s prior poll in Georgia, which also included Barr in the match-ups, had John McCain ahead by 10.

Earlier this week, I ripped on the Obama campaign for designating Georgia as a swing state. No previous polling had shown Obama within single digits there — a Rasmussen poll conducted the day after the primaries ended had it McCain +10. I doubt that the state is truly within the margin of error right now. But it is certainly close enough — with the known unknowns of the Barr vote and African-American turnout — to be included in Obama’s ad buy, as the candidate is doing. This may also be a reminder that you can often infer something about a campaign’s internal polling in a state before the public data catches up. The McCain camp, for their part, seems as pleased as a peach:

The McCain campaign on Thursday said they welcome Obama’s expenditure.

“We’re obviously overjoyed when Barack Obama spends money in a state that we are very, very confident that John McCain will carry in November,” McCain spokesman Jeff Sadosky said.

As to the Colorado result: the patterns here are getting harder rather than easier to detect, but just as he’s gotten an especially large bounce out of Appalachia, there is a certain type of state where Obama has gotten little bump at all, or his numbers have even ticked downward. These are the states that I sometimes think of as the Great White North: places like Oregon and Washington, and Minnesota, and Colorado. These states have fair numbers of Democrats but, with the possible exception of Minnesota, they don’t tend to be as institutionally Democratic as states East of the Mississippi. They remain among Obama’s best states, but he may be running into some kind of ceiling in terms of partisan support.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

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