Sunday :: Sep 14, 2008

Weekly Polling Report: Return of the Culture Wars


by CA Pol Junkie

Sarah Palin has given John McCain a nice bounce in the polls. The McCain campaign strategy has found its only conceivable (if highly destructive) path to victory: double down on the Culture Wars. Sarah Palin energizes the right wing, and the justified attacks on her inexperience and lying only make the right wing lash out more. The strategy of dividing America worked just barely well enough for Bush to get two terms. John McCain is an unlikely culture warrior, but he is obviously willing to do absolutely anything to get elected.

Will it work? Probably not. Bush was able to do it with no room to spare, but with a down economy and demographic change it will be hard for McCain to get to 51%. McCain has certainly been polling well for the last two weeks, but his prodigious lies and Palin's unreadiness are becoming the media narrative. Convention bounces often take weeks to fade without external influences, but it's hard to see current polling as anything other than a Palin bubble which is bound to burst.

If Obama were ahead at this point, McCain's goose would be cooked. The polls don't move more than a few points after mid-September. We're not going to cruise to victory - it will be hard fought until the end. The good news for Obama supporters is that McCain has peaked in the polls, but the electoral college is a coin flip. Obama is holding all the Kerry states, Iowa, and New Mexico. If Obama wins either Colorado or Nevada or Virginia or Florida or Ohio, he wins the presidency. McCain pretty much has nowhere to go but down at this point, and I expect we'll see it in the next round of polling.

The poll averages used are mostly from pollster.com. A 10 point lead puts a state in the base for each candidate, which means it's not going to be the state to put one candidate or the other over 270. Since those states are boring, their status is not updated here. pollster.com recognizes Zogby Internet polls as something other than a complicated way to make stuff up. I think they are worse than worthless, but they are now skewing pollster.com's results in 11 states. Where I see them swinging a state from blue to red or vice-versa I will override pollster.com's rating. New Hampshire is currently rated as leaning McCain by pollster.com even though the only pollster to have him leading is Zogby Internet. I don't buy that any more than I believe the Zogby poll that has Obama leading in North Carolina.

The current prediction using adjusted pollster.com calculations would be Obama 273, McCain 265 with Colorado as the state that puts Obama over the top and the closest state. In competitive states, McCain has generally picked up 2-3 points from his convention bounce. He appears to have picked up much more in the deep South. Several Obama base states moved into the competitive range, but Iowa moved out of competitive status into Obama's base. Georgia joined McCain's base states. Montana, Virginia, and Ohio switched from blue to red.

Obama Base (164 EV): California, Hawaii, Illinois, DC, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, Iowa

Competitive states, cumulative electoral votes, and new polls:
New Jersey (Obama +7.8) 179 EV

Rasmussen 9/4-7 (6/17-22):
Obama 47 (49)
McCain 41 (33)
Marist 9/9-11:
Obama 50
McCain 41
Research 2000 9/5-8:
Obama 48
McCain 45

Wisconsin (Obama +7.7) 189 EV

Strategic Vision 9/5-7 (8/8-10):
Obama 46 (47)
McCain 43 (42)

Oregon (Obama +5.9 196 EV

Hoffman 9/8-9:
Obama 46
McCain 39

Washington (Obama +5.3) 207 EV

Survey USA 9/5-7 (8/11-12):
Obama 49 (51)
McCain 45 (44)
Rasmussen 9/10 (8/6):
Obama 49 (54)
McCain 47 (42)

Minnesota (Obama +4.7) 217 EV

Minnesota Star Tribune 9/10-12 (5/12-15):
Obama 45 (51)
McCain 45 (38)
Survey USA 9/10-11 (8/13-14):
Obama 49 (47)
McCain 47 (45)

Pennsylvania (Obama +4.3) 238 EV

Rasmussen 9/7 (8/19):
Obama 47 (48)
McCain 45 (45)
Quinnipiac 9/5-9 (8/17-24):
Obama 48 (49)
McCain 45 (42)

New Mexico (Obama +3.9) 243 EV

Rasmussen 9/8 (8/20):
McCain 49 (44)
Obama 47 (48)

New Hampshire (estimated Obama +3.0) 247 EV

CNN/Time 9/7-9:
Obama 51
McCain 45

Michigan (Obama +2.7) 264 EV

Public Policy Polling 9/6-7 (7/23-27):
Obama 47 (46)
McCain 46 (43)
Strategic Vision 9/5-7:
Obama 45
McCain 44
CNN/Time 9/7-9:
Obama 49
McCain 45
Insider Advantage 9/10:
McCain 45
Obama 44
Rasmussen 9/10 (8/7):
Obama 51 (49)
McCain 46 (45)

Colorado (Obama +0.4) 273 EV

Tarrance Group 9/2-3:
McCain 47
Obama 45
Rasmussen 9/7 (8/13):
Obama 49 (48)
McCain 46 (49)
Public Policy Polling 9/7 (8/5-7):
Obama 47 (48)
McCain 46 (44)
Insider Advantage 9/10:
Obama 49
McCain 46

Ohio (McCain +1.4) 265 EV

Strategic Vision 9/5-7:
McCain 48
Obama 44
Rasmussen 9/7 (8/18):
McCain 51 (48)
Obama 44 (43)
Quinnipiac 9/5-9 (8/17-24):
Obama 49 (44)
McCain 44 (43)
Insider Advantage 9/10:
McCain 48
Obama 47
University of Cincinnati 9/5-10:
McCain 48
Obama 44

Virginia (McCain +2.1) 245 EV

Survey USA 9/5-7 (8/8-10):
McCain 49 (48)
Obama 47 (47)
Rasmussen 9/7 (8/12):
McCain 49 (48)
Obama 47 (47)
CNN/Time 9/7-9:
McCain 50
Obama 46

Nevada (McCain +2.3) 232 EV

Insider Advantage 9/10:
McCain 46
Obama 45
Rasmussen 9/12 (8/11):
McCain 49 (48)
Obama 46 (45)

Montana (McCain +3.0) 217 EV

Rasmussen 9/4-7 (7/29):
McCain 53 (47)
Obama 42 (47)

Florida (McCain +4.1) 214 EV

Rasmussen 9/6-7 (7/30-8/2):
Obama 48 (46)
McCain 48 (48)
Public Policy Polling 9/7 (8/18):
McCain 50 (47)
Obama 45 (44)
Quinnipiac 9/5-9 (8/17-24):
McCain 50 (47)
Obama 43 (43)
Insider Advantage 9/10 (8/11):
McCain 50 (48)
Obama 42 (44)

Indiana (McCain +4.2) 187 EV

Howey-Gauge 8/23-27:
McCain 45
Obama 43

North Carolina (McCain +4.8) 186 EV

Survey USA 9/6-8 (8/9-11):
McCain 58 (49)
Obama 38 (45)
Public Policy Polling 9/9 (8/20-23):
McCain 48 (45)
Obama 44 (42)
Civitas 9/6-10 (8/14-17):
McCain 47 (46)
Obama 44 (40)
Garin-Hart-Yang 9/5-7:
McCain 49
Obama 46
Research 2000 9/8-10 (7/28-30):
McCain 55 (47)
Obama 37 (43)

North Dakota (McCain +5.2) 171 EV

Rasmussen 9/8 (7/8):
McCain 55 (43)
Obama 41 (43)

Arizona (McCain +5.4) 168 EV
South Dakota (McCain +6.1) 158 EV

Insider Advantage 9/12 (7/13):
McCain 54 (47)
Obama 37 (43)

Missouri (McCain +5.5) 155 EV

CNN/Time 9/7-9:
McCain 50
Obama 45
Rasmussen 9/11 (8/7):
McCain 51 (50)
Obama 46 (44)

Texas (McCain +7.1) 144 EV
Arkansas (McCain +7.1 110 EV:
South Carolina (McCain +7.5) 104 EV

McCain Base (96 EV): Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alaska, Georgia

CA Pol Junkie :: 8:26 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!