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Morning Status Update for 10/18

Topics: Status Update

On Friday we added 13 new statewide database, and these new surveys mostly confirm what we already knew. Most represent updates since September and show the same progress for the Democrats we have seen or the last few weeks. Three new surveys in Florida suggest that Obama's lead there may be narrowing. Another new survey in North Dakota indicates that the surprisingly close contest in North Dakota is not a mirage and the national polls suggest a slight uptick in support for McCain nationwide.

081018 new polls.png

We had three new surveys yesterday in all-important Florida from the Times Union and Sun Sentinel/Research 2000 (Obama +4), SurveyUSA (McCain +2) and Democratic polling firm Hamilton Campaigns (Obama +4). These new surveys narrowed Obama's Florida margin on our trend estimate to 4.2 points (49.1% to 44.9%), which represents a 2.6 point drop on the margin from the 6.8 point lead we saw earlier in the week.


Research 2000 released a new North Dakota survey yesterday sponsored by the left of center web-site Daily Kos, showing the presidential contest deadlocked, 45% to 45%. The three new surveys this week in North Dakota are the first since mid-September and one of only six released there since the conventions. The other two give Obama a very narrow lead. When we have only a handful of polls, as in North Dakota, our system defaults to a linear trend estimate (relatively straight lines rather than the curved loess regression trend. Since the new polls indicate a sharp change in the trend lines, each new poll confirms and extends that trend. In most cases, a linear trend line works best in these situations, but in this case it produces an odd quirk: Today's 3.6 point margin for Obama (44.9% to 41.3%) ends up being greater than Obama's 1.6% lead on the average of last three polls (44.6% to 43.0%).

Based on the three new polls, North Dakota certainly looks like a true toss-up, at least for the moment, but in this case our trend estimate likely overstates Obama's current standing there.

As of this writing, Obama's lead on the national trend is just under seven percentage points (although today's tracking surveys, which may be added by the time you read this, will likely change that margin as they usually do). However, we now have enough polls to showing a slight narrowing in the national margin.

Any change in the trend line, as of this writing, does not appear to reflect reactions to Wednesday's debate. Yesterday's new national tracking polls did include interviews conducted on Thursday night, but these represent just a third of the interviews for five of the trackers and a quarter for two more. Unlike my standard table above, the table below shows how yesterday's releases compare to those from the day before. The changes show no consistent pattern. Two showed slight movement to Obama, two showed slight movement to McCain, one showed no change and one (Gallup) showed either no change or a one point improvement for Obama, depending on which population you look at.

081018 trackers.png

If the debates produced a change in vote preference, it was too small to be detected by the first post-debate release of the new tracking polls. We will have a much better sense of any post-debate trends tomorrow, when five of the trackers release their first full samples collected after the debate.

 

Comments
Allen:

An interesting analysis at http://election-projection.net/

"The race has begun to tighten slightly. This can be seen in the narrowing of the national polls, as well as a slight shift in the expected electoral vote totals. So far, the shift has occurred only in states that would give Obama "extra" electoral votes, beyond the 270 he needs to win, so it has not affected the probability of Obama or McCain winning the election. If however McCain can start chipping away at ME, MN, WA, CO, MN, WI, NH or IA while holding or improving his support in the other battleground states, he can then begin to increase his chance of winning. Nonetheless, Obama currently holds a commanding lead, and McCain has very little time left to get back in the race."

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bill kapra:

Hotline 49-42

Guys, not to look a gift horse in the mouth but it would be great if you could update fresh polls a little more promptly.

thanks for everything on this site!

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A very powerful argument for an Obama Win and Landslide is made by Paul Maslin in SALON.com

He gathers a lot of information about Historical Data on Young Voters.

Paul Maslin began his career as pollster and demographer on the 1976 Carter campaign. Later he was Howard Dean's pollster in the 2004 presidential campaign and played a similar role on behalf of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in 2007.

A modest increase of Turnout in Young Voters kills McCain. Specially with Virginia, Nevada and Colorado.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/05/29/youth_vote/

I also gather information on Millennials, Latinos, Toss Up States etc :

Vicente Duque

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jsh1120:

My guess is that Joe the Plumber notwithstanding, the narrative of the "last debate" will end up being simply the third act in a three act play, with Obama being declared by the public as the winner 3-0. If that's the case, there's likely not to be a discernible effect of the last debate except perhaps to solidify McCain's support very slightly among discouraged GOP voters who found his behavior over the previous couple of weeks to have been erratic, at best.

As noted in another post, I find it amazing that McCain's support is precisely where it was well over a year ago in a trial heat with a hypothetical Democratic nominee. This suggests, to me, at least, that the "McCain campaign effect" has been negligible and that he simply attracts precisely the portion of the electorate that any generic GOP candidate would attract.

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