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Today’s Polls, 8/24

An unusually large amount of polling for a Sunday, as everybody tries to have their say before the convention:

Mason-Dixon, whom we haven’t heard much from thus far, is the principal actor today, having released polling in six Western states. And their numbers are a little … weird. Obama winning by 3 in Colorado, but losing by 4 in New Mexico? McCain with a larger lead in Nevada than in Arizona? Mason-Dixon has a pretty good track record, but these polls have unusually small sample sizes of 400 persons each, which makes this sort of thing more likely. The only state that Mason-Dixon had surveyed before was Nevada, where John McCain had been 2 points ahead in mid-June.

Quinnipiac also has their take on Colorado: John McCain has a 1-point lead. That’s down a hair from 2 points last month, but better for him than their June edition, when Obama had led by 5. And Public Policy Polling gives Obama a two-point lead in Virginia, the same margin he’s held in their two prior polls of the Commonwealth.

Colorado, Virgina and Ohio remain the three principal focal points of Obama’s offense. Our model makes Obama a very slight favorite in Colorado with a 53.0% probability of winning. Obama wins the election 95.9% of the time that he wins Colorado in our simulations.

Obama remains a small underdog in Virginia, winning that state 43.1% of the time. But he wins the electoral vote 99.3% of the time that he does win Virginia.

And Obama is a slightly longer underdog in Ohio, winning there 39.6% of the time. However, it is nearly impossible for him to lose the election when he wins Ohio, as he takes the election 99.8% of the time that Ohio swings his way.

See some of you in Denver.

Nate Silver founded and was the editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.