Daily Polling Report 10/3
by CA Pol Junkie
At first blush, Survey USA's new poll out of Minnesota would appear to be a game-changer, showing John McCain ahead by a point:
Minnesota behaves unlike other states in some respects. Among women, there is movement to McCain, at a time when McCain is losing ground among women elsewhere. Among voters younger than Obama, there movement to McCain, at a time when Obama is consolidating support among young voters elsewhere. Among voters older than McCain, there is movement to Obama, at a time when older voters elsewhere are sticking by McCain.
So if your poll says that people under 50 favor McCain by 8 points, people over 50 favor Obama by 7, and there is almost no gender gap that means people in Minnesota are unlike the people in the other 49 states? Let me propose an alternative explanation to Survey USA: your poll is whack. It's still part of the poll average, though, since alot of polls are screwed up in one way or another but Survey USA is kind enough to pull back the curtain on itself. This is why so many analyses use poll averages, in the hope that collectively the polls hold more wisdom than they do individually.
Raising eyebrows on the other end of the spectrum are two polls out of New Hampshire showing Obama ahead by double digits, apparently gaining 5 points more there than he has nationally in the last week. Polls of North Carolina and Nevada follow the current consensus that Obama leads narrowly in both states.
The current prediction remains Obama 375, McCain 163 with Minnesota as the state that puts Obama over the top and Indiana as the closest state. Michigan and Wisconsin are now lumped in with Obama's base.
Obama Base (229 EV): California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, DC, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine
Competitive states, cumulative electoral votes, and new polls:
Pennsylvania (Obama +9.0) 250 EV
Muhlenberg 9/28-10/2 (9/27-10/1):
Obama 50 (50)
McCain 40 (41)
New Hampshire (Obama +7.7) 254 EV
Colorado (Obama +6.9) 263 EV
Minnesota (Obama +6.3) 273 EV
Survey USA 9/30-10/1 (9/10-11):
McCain 47 (47)
Obama 46 (49)
Ohio (Obama +4.2) 293 EV
Virginia (Obama +3.6) 306 EV
Florida (Obama +3.5) 333 EV
Nevada (Obama +2.7) 338 EV
Rasmussen 10/2 (9/11):
Obama 51 (46)
McCain 47 (49)
Missouri (Obama +1.9) 349 EV
North Carolina (Obama +1.7) 364 EV
Elon University 9/29-10/2 (9/15-16):
Obama 44 (35)
McCain 42 (41)
Indiana (Obama +0.5) 375 EV
West Virginia (McCain +0.9) 163 EV
Montana (McCain +6.6) 158 EV
McCain Base (155 EV): Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina
The poll averages are created by a magic spreadsheet. Self-selected (Internet and mail) polls are ignored; no favoritism is done among the remaining pollsters. Polls are adjusted to today's conditions by shifting them by the amount of change in the average of Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls. The weight of polls in the averages decreases geometrically each day such that 7 day old polls have 1/2 weight and 14 day old polls have 1/4 weight. The weight of state tracking polls is divided by the number of days in the sample. This method is very responsive to recent changes in both state and national polling.