Mark Blumenthal | October 22, 2008
Topics: Status Update
The 26 new statewide polls logged yesterday finally show some lagging indication of the slight narrowing of the Obama margin we saw over the weekend in the national tracking polls. On the other hand, the new national surveys show no evidence of a continuing trend. If anything, the surveys at the national level which always lead the statewide results, indicate that Obama's lead may be expanding again.
Of the 26 new statewide surveys entered into our system yesterday, 14 represented tracking updates of prior surveys conducted by the same pollster earlier in October. Eleven (11) of the 14 showed a slight uptick for the McCain-Palin ticket.
The impact of the new polls is more evident on our trend estimates in the battleground states. Of 11 states with new polls, 10 showed slight movement in McCain's direction. The new surveys made no changes to the classifications on our map, however (although Florida shifted back to the toss-up column yesterday, a change overlooked at first in my update yesterday due to a data entry error).
On the other hand, the new national surveys show, if anything, evidence of a trend in the opposite direction. Obama's lead at the "nose" of our national trend lines has increased slightly each of the last three days, and (as of this writing) stands at 6.4 points (49.8% to 43.4%). Of the eight daily tracking polls, three showed movement yesterday in Obama's direction, one showed movement to McCain and four showed no change. And of the three new national non-daily-tracking surveys released yesterday, one (ARG) showed a one point movement to McCain, while two (NBC/Wall Street Journal and Pew Research Center) showed shifts to Obama during October of 4 and 7 points on the margin respectively.
[Update: DailyKos' DemFromCt notices that with the "sensitivity" tool set to high, the recent narrowing of the Obama margin seen in our national trend chart reverses].
While the presidential map was unchanged, we did have a shift on our Senate map. A new survey in Kentucky by SurveyUSA showing a dead even race (48% to 48%)between incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford into "toss-up" status. This new poll comes on the heels of a Daily Kos/Research 2000 survey over the weekend showing McConnell leading by just four points (46% to 42%) and releases of internal surveys last week by both campaigns showing McConnell's vote at 48% (by the Democrats) and 46% (by the Republicans).
Right now, the Senate races strongly or leaning Republican would leave the Republicans with just 38 seats. Along with Kentucky, we show the contests in Georgia, Minnesota, Alaska and the special election between Wicker and Musgrove in Mississippi in the toss-up category and three states (North Carolina, New Hampshire and Oregon) leaning Democratic. These contests will determine the size of the likely Democratic majority in the next term.