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Morning Status Update for Monday 10/20

Topics: Status Update

As noted here last night, John McCain has slightly narrowed Barack Obama's lead on our national trend estimate over the last week, but aside from the critical battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida (and possibly West Virginia), we do not see evidence of that trend at the state level. New polls logged yesterday show continuing progress for Obama in Wisconsin and Minnesota and a new poll in Montana nudges that state back into our toss-up category.

In addition to the seven new polls entered on Saturday, we logged another eight yesterday:

081020-daily.png

On Sunday, we added a new PPP survey in West Virginia that moved that state back to our "lean" McCain category. Yesterday, NBC released a new Mason-Dixon survey there, showing McCain leading by six points (47% to 41%), confirming the results from PPP and increasing McCain's margin there to nearly five percentage points (48.4% to 43.5%) on our trend estimate.

The new NBC/Mason-Dixon survey in Wisconsin , showing Obama leading McCain by 12 points (51% to 39%) nudged Obama's margin on our trend estimate to just over eight percentage points (50.7% to 42.6%), enough to shift Wisconsin to the "strong" Obama category.

Meanwhile, two new surveys in Minnesota from the Star Tribune and Daily Kos/Research 2000 show Obama solidifying his standing there. Obama's margin in Minnesota extends to seven points (50.5% to 43.5%), although the margins on the new polls are both "above trend."

Finally, in Montana, where we have seen just three surveys so far in October, the latest DailyKos/Research 2000 poll narrows McCain's lead on our trend estimate to just 3.7% (49.0% to 45.3%), just enough to move it into our yellow "toss-up" category.

081020 trend.png

Again, if you look at where are trend estimates are now as compared to where they a week ago, only Ohio, Florida, West Virginia and possibly Indiana show a narrowing Obama margin. All the other states show continuing progress for the Democrats, so the slightly narrowed national margin is something of a puzzle. As several readers have noted, the seven daily tracking polls have largely dominated the national trend over the last week. Since the daily trackers include three surveys (Ramussen, Battleground/GWU and Reuters/Zogby) that typically show narrower margins than the other national polls, their greater influence on the trend over the last week may help explain the narrowing. New data later this week will solve the puzzle.

 

Comments
DTM:

Thanks for the note on the trackers currently dominating the national chart (I know I may have sounded like a broken record on this subject, but it did strike me as noteworthy). And it will indeed be interesting to see if non-trackers reentering the chart have any effect on the trend estimates--although we may have trouble sorting out that effect, since it looks like the trackers may be trending back up a bit.

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Loyal:

I had read on another site (Kos, maybe) that the intitial presentation of the change couls have been explained if more Republicans had entered the likely voter pool, perhaps through re-invigoration by the third debate. I haven't looked at this, but I find the notion intriguing. Loyal

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C.S.Strowbridge:

On a side note, the two daily trackers that have moved to most to McCain over these past few day moved to Obama today. (DKos +1 and Zogby +2.7)

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IMind:

The trackers have been all over the place since the last debate... so showing a tightening race, some showing a growing Obama lead. I think what we've seen is no real drop off in support for Obama, but some mild consolidation of support for McCain... I'm betting McCain's debate performance scored well with his base.

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wagthedog1001:

I'm curious.

RCP shows Obama leading 49.8% to 40.5% nationally IF you include Barr and Nader. Isn't this more realistic as those two will be on the ballot? Do these other polls only ask a preference between the two candidates? If they are asking an unrealistic question it seems they are not getting the answers they are looking for.

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s.b.:

Shouldn't the national trend be light blue with only a 5.3% spread?

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Allogenes:

For the record, I believe the explanation cited by Loyal comes from Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com. I mentioned it in a comment on dKos, so it's conceivable Loyal saw it there.
Anyway, I also find it interesting.

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With a .1 shift toward McCain, I'm definitely heading to Philly from NYC to canvass next weekend.

But why does this bloviator get air time on CNN?

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differentcoloredhats:

This tightening to me is not surprising, when you consider the fact that one week ago, the state polls and national polls reflected two entirely different races.

I crunched some numbers last week and this week, looking at the two candidates pollster-composite percentages on a state by state basis, weighted them by the number of EVs, and calculated the approximate popular vote support based only on state polls.

This should have lined up with the national polling, and it did not. Last week, Obama had a 49-46 lead in calculations based on state polls and a 50-42 lead in the national polls: a significant discrepancy. Today, based on state polling data, Obama shows a 49-45 lead, compared to the 50-44 lead he shows in the national poll composite: numbers which are basically in line with each other.

So polling which have shown the race tightening on a national level and leads widening for Obama on the state level are actually consistent, since, national polls were overstating Obama's advantage and state polls were understating it.

This is very good news for Obama, where only a 4 point lead in national polls actually translates to an electoral college landslide.

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katocat:

Your figures listed inthe first table for the Star Tribune poll seem to be wrong.

Your table says R+7 change in this poll when it should be D+7.

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katocat:

Bah, nevermind... Hadn't had my coffee yet.

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