Mark Blumenthal | October 25, 2008
A very busy Friday brings 21 new statewide polls and three new stand-alone national surveys in addition to the eight daily trackers. With the possible exception of the national trend, the net impact on where the race stands is virtually nil. Looking at them collectively, the most recent polls suggest that vote preferences are holding steady.
Ten of the 21 new statewide polls represent updates from previous surveys by the same pollster conducted earlier in October. Four of these show slight movement to Barack Obama, six show slight movement to John McCain. The new national releases, as compared to the previous sample with non-overlapping field dates, shows the same, mostly random pattern.
The net impact of the new surveys on our trend estimates in battleground states is similarly random. The margins shifted slightly in Obama's direction in five states and in McCain's direction in four. Over the last week, there is a hint of improvement for Obama, as the margins in 12 states shift slightly to Obama and 6 slightly to McCain.
Please keep in mind that the estimate numbers in the table above --and the status classifications -- will likely change during the course of the day as we add new polls. So if you're reading this late in the day, the numbers on the map may not match this table.
Speaking of which, after noting the shift of Virginia to dark blue, "strong" Obama status in yesterday's update, the new Winthrop/ETV poll, showing Obama with a one-point advantage (45% to 44%) nudged the estimates enough in McCain's direction to move Virginia back to the "lean" Obama column.
Movement on our current national trend indicates that any "narrowing" of the margin seen earlier this week was either temporary or an artifact of the brief lull in non-daily-tracker national poll releases just before and after the third debate. Having said that, Obama's margin on our trend estimate (+8.7% as of this writing) is the largest we have seen to date.