Daily Polling Report 10/29
by CA Pol Junkie
Barack Obama got yet another day of great state polling. Quinnipiac, AP/GfK, and CNN/Time released multiple polls in competitive states. Obama has strong leads in Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, and Nevada while Florida, North Carolina, and Missouri remain very close. The national tracking polls have tightened a bit, but that trend hasn't hit the competitive states, at least not yet. In the last two weeks North Carolina, Florida, and Missouri have tightened into the narrowest of leads for Obama. Ohio, Indiana, and Nevada have moved toward Obama, however, while Colorado and Virginia have remained steady. What we are seeing in the national polls could be a real trend, the numbers could be cooked, it could be a regional trend, or it could be over tomorrow like several other poll bumps toward McCain in the last few weeks. Gallup moved back in Obama's direction today. Regardless, it's not cause for concern. The McCain campaign, all but lost in Colorado and Virginia, has laid its hopes on Pennsylvania but the magic spreadsheet still has Obama a 10 point favorite there.
TPM looked at the differences in 2004 between final week polling and election results. The average difference between results and polls in the analysis of 13 states favored Bush by 0.3 points. In 9 cases the error was less than two points and the maximum error was 4.4 points. By the standard used in the analysis, Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia are out of McCain's reach.
The voters who still show up as undecided in polls really aren't that interesting, as they don't swing elections one way or the other. Brian Schaffner at pollster.com finds that in the last four elections they have been pretty evenly split and have slightly favored the Democrat. Nate Silver analyzes this year's undecideds and figures they are not likely to lean much toward either McCain or Obama. Although some polls show undecideds on the order of 10%, when pushed most of those have a preference in search of final validation. Polls which push undecideds are currently showing about 3% who are truly undecided, which just isn't enough to swing this election.
6 days left before we make history!
The current prediction is Obama 367, McCain 171. Colorado is the state which puts Obama over 270 electoral votes while Missouri is the closest state. Indiana is a red state for now thanks to a favorable poll for McCain.
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 +6.3) 273 EV
Virginia (Obama +6.1) 286 EV
Nevada (Obama +4.8) 291 EV
Ohio (Obama +4.2) 311 EV
Florida (Obama +2.1) 338 EV
North Dakota (Obama +0.6) 341 EV
North Carolina (Obama +0.4) 356 EV
Missouri (Obama +0.2) 367 EV
CNN/Time 10/23-28 (10/11-14):
McCain 50 (49)
Obama 48 (48)
Indiana (McCain +0.8) 171 EV
Howey-Gauge 10/23-24 (8/29-30):
McCain 47 (45)
Obama 45 (43)
Montana (McCain +3.0) 160 EV
Georgia (McCain +5.1) 157 EV
CNN/Time 10/23-28 (10/11-14):
McCain 52 (53)
Obama 47 (45)
Arizona (McCain +6.6) 142 EV
West Virginia (McCain +7.5) 132 EV
McCain Base (127 EV): Alaska, 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.