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Today’s Polls, 5/16

You know it’s a different kind of election season when you’re having an easier time getting polling data for Alaska than for Michigan:

The headline today is that for the first time since we started tracking the state polls in early March, we are now rating Hillary Clinton as a favorite against John McCain. One of the big reasons why is that she is starting to consolidate her positions in blue states like Maine and Washington that previously looked like they might be somewhat vulnerable. What she needs now are some better numbers in Michigan and Wisconsin; if she gets those, her win percentage will go way up.

Barack Obama is also polling quite strongly in blue states recently. However, he appears to be backtracking somewhat in red states like Kansas. This is undoubtedly fairly typical for this point in the election cycle, when support begins to revert toward being more partisan. But the reason why we don’t yet show Obama getting a surge in his electoral math even as he has improved his standing in national polls is because we haven’t gotten a lot of data from key purple states recently, and what data we have gotten — as in Wisconsin and New Hampshire — has not been especially good for him.

There should be a lot of polling coming out next week, notably including SurveyUSA’s monthly refresh of data in 15 or 16 states, so we should have a better idea by then.

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