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Morning Update for 9/25

Topics: Status Update

With a very busy day ahead, I'm doing this update early today. We logged another 15 statewide polls yesterday after my noon update, including three new surveys in the crucial battleground state of Colorado, two in Pennsylvania, and one each in two states on the margins of competitiveness, West Virginia and Montana.

A new CNN/Time survey in Montana -- only the seventh there this year and the third this month -- gives John McCain an 11-point lead (54% to 43%). Our regression trend lines are especially sensitive where polls are sparse, so this one new survey doubles McCain's lead to a nearly five-point advantage (50.6% to 45.7%). That margin shifts Montana from toss-up to lean McCain, adding three electoral votes to McCain's total on our map.

News for Barack Obama was better in Colorado where three new surveys all have him leading by more than our previous trend estimate. At noon yesterday, our trend estimate gave Obama a 2.7% lead in Colorado, but new polls by CNN/Time, InsiderAdvantage and Rasmussen Reports had him ahead by more than that. The three polls bumped Obama's Colorado lead on our trend estimate up a full percentage point, he now leads 49.3% to 45.6%, which remains just barely in the toss-up category.

2008-09-25 battleground.jpg

Below I am adding what will hopefully become a regular feature of these updates, an up-to-date version of Charles Franklin's roll-up chart of trends all states and in the states we are currently classifying as toss-up or favoring one candidate or the other (see his 9/15 post for more explanation). All four categories show that the Obama September rebound has now more than eliminated the post convention bounce for the McCain-Palin ticket.

BluesReds-09-25-2008.jpg

 

Comments
s.b.:

So I'd look to see if McCain is going to fight for electoral vote from Maine to put him over the top.

I don't think 1 from Nebraska is a possibility for obama but he's trying for it.

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s.b.:

Sorry that's 1 electoral vote from Maine, as they can split them.

Maine and Nebraska being the only two states that do this I believe.

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newageblues:

what happens if electoral college is tied, 269-269. How many delegations does each party control in the House of Representatives at the moment?

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Tybo:

the house is democratic.

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douglasfactors:

In the tie scenario, it's the next Congress that would decide.

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jcohen2615:

Currently, the state delegations break down as follows: Democrats control 27 state delegations, while republicans control 21. The rest are split evenly in their respective delegations. It is important to keep in mind that this does not mean that outcome would be 27-21 for Obama. Many states with Democratic delegations are from the South or other states that very well may cast their electoral votes for Mccain. The same can be said of states with republican delegations that will likely cast their electoral votes for Obama. The one thing we can be certain of is that in an election decided by the house, in this day and age, is that there are no certainties.

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Adrian B:

Lets be honest - everyone knows the McCain stunt was politically motivated and he would never have done this if he was +5 in polls (or if he was ahead on the economy, or if it hadn't just been revealed that a chief aide was receiving a payment from Fannie Mae, or if ...) It was the perfect way to change the dynamics of the race.

The real question is will it work? It changes the debate (or cancels it!) and puts Obama on defence.

My guess is this is the sort of stunt that provides a bounce, not a lasting change (unlike the collapse of the banks!). But from now on all polls dated pre- 9/24 are irrelevant.

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VermontWisdom:

Newageblues, just did some checking. It is truly fascinating. As of right now Republicans control 22 state delegations, Democrats 25 and there are 3 ties, including AZ! Since a candidate would need 26 votes we could be looking at gridlock. But it will not be this Congress that elects. It will be the incoming Congress in January. Since many of these states are very close in their delegations anything could happen. This now heightens focus on certain house races for sure. A 269 split is not that unlikely. Flip NH to McCain, give IA, NM and CO to Obama, and it's 269-269.

Looking further some of these state delegations that are one rep will be torn. Is the Republican rep from DE going to vote for McCain? The Democrat Reps from ND and SD vote for Obama? Will anybody be swayed by who won the overall popular vote or vote in their state or Congressional district? Here is the breakdown:

Republican Delegations:

ID,NV,MT,WY,UT,AK,NM,NE,OK,TX.MO,MI,OH,DE,LA,AL,FL,GA,KY,NC,SC,VA

Democratic Delegations:

WA,OR,CA,HI,CO,ND,SD,MN,IA,AR,WI,IL,IN,WV,MD,NY,NJ,PA,TN,CT,RI,MA,VT,NH,ME

Ties:

KS,MS, AZ.

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VermontWisdom:

JCohen, I see we have a discrepancy. Maybe we should both recheck numbers.

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Adrian B:

Mc Cain has just said, "I cannot carry on a campaign as though this dangerous situation had not occurred"

It was only him who WAS carrying on his campaign as though there was no crisis (I thought the fundamentals of the economy were strong!).

I think, though, the fundamentals of his campaign were dire so it made perfect sense to change the story. It could still be a smart move.

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Eternal:

@ Adrian,

I agree it's a "Stunt' but I don't think it will cause a bump. If it had been done more artfully perhaps but the McCain camp was too cute which insured even the most casual observers saw it as a stunt.

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s.b.:

Anyone want to place a bet on Palin to debate Obama on Friday, while McCain passes the bill on Friday night. Now that's politics!!!!

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Potomac Bob:

What happens if it's a tie in the electoral college AND if no candidate is able to get the vote from 26 states in the House?

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VermontWisdom:

Potomac Bob, I think the VP elected by the Senate becomes acting President until and if the deadlock can be broken. President Biden??????

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RS:

Rasmussen has Obama up 49-47 over McCain in - North Carolina!!
Damn these liberal pollsters, which don't give (free) demographic breakouts and party registration numbers!
/semi-snark

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John:

And if the senate is tied and is unable to make a decision (unlikely), then succession falls to the Speaker of the house. I wonder what kind of odds you can get for President Pelosi?

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Potomac Bob:

What happened to the proposal in California for a referendum in November that would award that state's electoral votes on the basis of congressional districts instead of winner-take-all?

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mysticlaker:

@ Adrian.

Wrong. Polls before 9/24 are not irrelevant. That is like saying polls before the debates are irrelevant. Everything is about trends.

If this has any impact, it will be pro-Obama. McCain is flaying, and America is looking for stability.

Note, rasmussen from yesterday. Big drop for McCain still noted.

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Michael D.:

I'm counting 26 state delegations controlled by Democrats right now, giving them an outright majority.

I think VermontWisdom has North Carolina as a Republican controlled delegation, but 7 out of its 13 reps are Dem. Check me on that.

Here's my list of Dem controlled state delegations:

AR, CA, CO, CT, HI, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, VT, WA, WV, WI

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metsmets:

@Potomac Bob
It died. It never made the ballot. This is a solid OBAMA state. If you believed we would be tricked into a proposition that would allow McCain to get 15-20 EV from CA - you were misled.

Even if it had made the ballot it would have been crushed. We've seen the future and its BLUE!

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VermontWisdom:

Michael D., just checked NC again. I see 7 Rs and 6 Ds.

http://www.ncpeds.org/Links/north_carolina_congressional_del.htm

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Potomac Bob:

Has anybody seen a guesstimate on who will control each state delegation in the new House?

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VermontWisdom:

Potomac Bob, I trust it will be 50-0 if this economic fiasco continues to dominate the headlines.

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lfivepoints69:

VermontWisdom: Your NC site hasn't been updated since 2006. Democrat Heath Shuler won in the Asheville-based 11th district of North Carolina, giving the state 7 Democrats and 6 Republicans in the House.

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lfivepoints69:

NC House delegation:

1 Butterfield D Rocky Mount/ NE
2 Etheridge D Raleigh/ East-C
3 Jones R Greenville/ Tidewater
4 Price D Raleigh
5 Foxx R Greensboro/ Northwest
6 Coble R Greensboro/ Piedmont
7 McIntyre D Wilmington Coast
8 Hayes R Charlotte/ S Piedmont
9 Myrick R Charlotte
10 McHenry R Hickory/ West Piedmont
11 Shuler D Asheville/ Mountains
12 Watt D Charlotte/ Greensboro
13 Miller D Raleigh/ North- central

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VermontWisdom:

Thank you Fivepoints. I actually got that count on two different sites.

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harschwarz:

McCain's gimmick will not help him with the voters he needs,independents and moderate Dems. Obama's statement put Mccain on the defensive, simply that a President has to be able to do more than one thing at a time, and that people want to hear how the candidates stand. Yes. the Reps will rally around him,but that won't help on nov 4 as Obama continues to move up in state polls.

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mattn:

IIRC, when the scenarios for a 269-269 tie came up 8 years ago, one possibility is a party split for President and VP. So the House could, say, pick McCain but the Senate picks Biden. Is that right?

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VermontWisdom:

Mattn, yes that is theoretically possible. Clearly the Senate will have Democratic majorty. But I think after the November election, the Democrats will increase the number of delegations they control so electing McCain there appears very unlikely.

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rbloom:

538 has the chance of an EV tie at 1.4% today. That's down from 3.2% a few days ago, when the polls were tighter.
A complication not mentioned yet is what if it goes to the House with McCain having won the popular vote? Now *that* would be messy.
In any case, if the House can't decide, Biden -- who would be elected VP handily by the Senate -- would be sworn in on Inauguration Day. What I'm wondering is whether Biden could then appoint Obama VP, get him confirmed by simple majority vote, and then resign so he could become president. Maybe a bit farfetched, but ...

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thoughtful:

Mark

sets it up nicely.

Current State of play has New Hampshire of the Kerry States going Red. This is due to recent Zogby Internet poll outlier and 2 Ras, ARG, UNH all in the MOE against a Marist and CNN/Time polls both being 5+% for Obama and outside the MOE.

Sorry I make this a lean Obama after weighting of the polls "House Effects" etc.

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physicist:

Actually a 269-269 tie is thought to be decided by the *outgoing* congress, since the constitution says that Congress should decide "immediately" after the electoral college vote.

For an article on the procedure, see
http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/sep/23/an-electoral-college-doomsday/

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mac_1103:

No, an EV tie would mean a vote in the new Congress, not the current one. That Washington Times article you linked says as much:

"So try this scenario: The newly elected House, seated in January, is unable to muster a majority to choose a president after a 269-269 tie..."

The Electoral Votes are opened and counted at a joint session of Congress on January 6. The new Congress is sworn in on January 3.

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keytype123:

There is a possibility of a 269 tie based on the electoral-vote map (if Virginia goes red).What would it take for one of Maine's EV's to go to McCain i.e how close in the popular vote would he need to be in Maine or does he have to win a district and if so is this a possibility-a rural district for example?

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Lechuguilla:

What gets me is the inconsistency in the national tracking polls and the state polls.

(By the way, why doesn't Pollster.com post the daily tracking polls anymore?)

The national polls show the race essentially tied. Yet, state polls show that Obama is competitive in several big Republican states: Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana, for example.

If the race is really as close as the national polls indicate, McCain should be cruising to an easy win in those three states. But he's not.

Alternately, if Obama is actually competitive in Republican states, he should be leading nationally by six to seven points. But he's not.

Something is not quite right about these various polls.

Lech

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