Utah pollster Dan Jones has a pretty strong reputation — but being a pollster in Utah would seem to be the equivalent of being the Maytag Repairman. With the exception of the UT-2 congressional district, which Democrat Jim Matheson has somehow managed to win four times, rarely are federal elections in Utah close, and this year would appear to be no exception. According to Jones’ latest poll for the Deseret News, John McCain has a commanding 28-point lead in Utah, leading Barack Obama 57-29. This is actually a slight improvement for Obama from last month, when he had trailed McCain by 35 points.
The more serious concern for Obama is in Oregon, where SurveyUSA is out with new data showing his lead slipping to 3 points. This is the second consecutive Oregon poll to show Obama’s numbers in decline; he had fallen from a 14-point lead in Rasmussen’s May poll to an 8-point lead in their survey released last week. As I speculated at that time, we may be seeing the erosion of a mini-bounce for Obama that had coincided with the height of the primary campaign in Oregon. While Oregon still looks relatively safe for Obama, it has made its way into our swing state lists, ranking as the 10th most important state in this election.