Mark Blumenthal | October 14, 2008
Topics: Status Update
I delayed this morning's update to include the new Quinnipiac surveys that include pre- and post-debate samples in the battleground states of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We thus have 21 new statewide surveys logged since this time yesterday.
While most indicate progress for the Obama/Biden ticket since the last poll by the same pollsters, trends over the last week are less evident. The table above includes 12 new polls that are in states where the pollsters have released two surveys since October 1. Seven (7) of the 12 show net movement in Obama's direction, two in McCain's direction and three show no change at all in the margin.
Nonetheless, the new polls continue to improve the Democrats standing on our state trend estimates. In 10 of the 11 states we have been tracking, the new polls increased the Obama margin slightly.
Probably nothing shows how far the Democrats have come in just a few weeks than the states that shifted to our dark blue "strong Democrat" designation over the last 24 hours. The new surveys increased Obama's leads on our trend estimates to nearly 10 points (51.1% to 41.3%) in Michigan, 8 points (51.7% to 43.7%) in Colorado and nearly seven points (51.2% to 44.4%) in Florida, all enough to merit a "strong Democrat" designation. As such, we now show Obama leading by "strong" margins in states with 256 electoral votes, just 14 shy of the necessary 270 (and that does not include the 64 electoral votes classified as "lean" Obama).
Maine, where Obama leads by 7.5 points (50.7% to 43.2%) remains in the "lean category" because pollsters there typically use smaller than average sample sizes.
Virginia remains just barely in the toss-up column despite a 3.8 point margin for Obama over McCain (50.3% to 46.5%), also due mostly to smaller than average sample sizes there.
North Dakota, one state not listed above, shifted into our "toss-up" category on the basis of a new poll yesterday from The Forum and Minnesota State University Moorehead showing Obama with a 2-point advantage over McCain (45% to 43%). A better designation would be "not enough information necessary to classify. We have logged only four polls total in North Dakota since the conventions, and this new poll is the first new data since the Democrats started gaining in mid-September. Moreover, the samples sizes of the few polls are smaller than average. Our trend estimate still shows McCain ahead (47.4% to 43.8%) but not by enough to remain in the "lean Republican" column. Take that "toss-up" designation with a big grain of salt.
Finally, the national margin had narrowed a bit over the last 24 hours, but that is mainly because we started including Gallup's new likely voter results and because of a new tracking poll from Investor's Business Daily/TIPP that shows Obama leading by just two percentage points.