Daily Polling Report 10/24
by CA Pol Junkie
John McCain got some good news from polls today. Republican pollster Strategic Vision had been showing alot of states looking very good for Obama, but their latest series of polls shows movement toward McCain. Rasmussen also gave the lead back to McCain in North Carolina. There's also some good news for Obama: the third poll in a row gave him the lead in Indiana while Insider Advantage puts Obama ahead by 10 in Ohio and by 1 in Georgia.
As far as polling in Georgia and North Carolina is concerned, there are two things we need to know: the percentage of white voters who support Obama and the percentage of voters who will be African-Americans. Pollsters can measure the first but need to assume the second. In North Carolina, Rasmussen has McCain getting 64% support among white voters while Obama gets 98% of African-Americans' votes. If the racial breakdown of North Carolina voters were the same as in 2004, Rasmussen would probably be right in their prediction of a very narrow McCain win there. In Georgia, Insider Advantage has Obama getting 28% of the white vote and leading by a point. For that assumption to work, the African-American turnout rate would need to be a little higher than their 29% fraction of registered voters. I think the early voting points to an electorate significantly more Democratic than 2004, but each pollster can stand or fall behind their own assumptions.
The Obama campaign had a conference call with details about how early voting is going. We know from the data that Obama is doing extremely well by any standard in Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina. The Obama campaign also claims better early turnout among new and sporadic (unlikely) voters. In Nevada, 40% of Democratic early voters are "unlikely" compared to 30% of early Republican voters. Republicans are doing about as well as they did in 2004 in Florida, although Democratic performance in early/absentee voting continues to improve as early voting continues.
The current prediction remains Obama 381, McCain 157. Colorado is the state which puts Obama over 270 electoral votes while Montana remains the closest state.
Obama Base (264 EV): California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
Competitive states, cumulative electoral votes, and new polls:
Colorado (Obama +6.4) 273 EV
Virginia (Obama +6.0) 286 EV
Ohio (Obama +5.0) 306 EV
Nevada (Obama +3.5) 311 EV
Indiana (Obama +3.3) 322 EV
Survey USA 10/21-22 (9/28-29):
Obama 49 (45)
McCain 45 (48)
Missouri (Obama +3.2) 333 EV
Florida (Obama +3.6) 360 EV
North Carolina (Obama +1.8) 375 EV
North Dakota (Obama +1.4) 378 EV
Montana (Obama +0.0) 381 EV
Georgia (McCain +4.5) 157 EV
West Virginia (McCain +5.6) 142 EV
McCain Base (137 EV): Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, 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.