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Post Convention Bounce in the States


PostRNCStateBounce910.png

The McCain campaign has gained significant support in national polling since the end of the Republican Convention, but what about the state polls? Has the shift also been reflected there?

State pollsters appeared to go on vacation for the conventions, with very little new polls during the two weeks of conventions (and the week before). Now the pollsters are back, tanned and rested and ready to go. We've added 17 new state polls since the RNC ended, and while we'd love to see more, it is enough to get started with some analysis.

The chart above shows the national trend in blue and the trend based on those states with post-convention polls in purple. Over the course of the year, the two trends have followed each other rather well with some small differences in details but qualitatively similar patterns of up and down movement.

Now in the post-RNC period, the states with new polls match the national polls quite closely, both giving estimates of about a one point McCain lead, with the states maybe a shade less than that.

This post-convention bounce may or may not last, but at the moment the evidence is that it is moving across the states (and these are mostly competitive states) at about the same rate as it is for the national polls.

States for which we have new polls are Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Cross-posted at Political Arithmetik.

 

Comments

One addition. The national trend shows a post-DNC pro-Obama bounce that does not appear for the state trend. That is an artifact of the lack of state polls during the conventions, not an indication that the states didn't respond favorably to the DNC. Without state polls, we'll never know, but given the rest of the similarity between the trends it is reasonable to assume there was a positive response to the DNC as well.

Charles

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Jeff:

One thing I've noticed is that with the exception of the FOX Colorado poll yesterday (and the FL tie), all the polls that have come in so far this week are trending toward the outcome of the 2004 election. Not the same percentages, just the red/blue.

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Allen:

The probability projections at http://election-projection.net also show a large post-convention bounce for McCain. It appears though from the national polls that the bounce is over, so I expect things to stabilize, and maybe even recover slightly for Obama since some of the polls were taken during the bounce.

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PoliticallyGrounded:

Nothing compelling thus far with the polls coming out. I'll be a little more interested in the polls coming out next week. Unfortunately, the press has gotten a lot of these premature polls and now are pretend that we have hit a turning point.

Surely, perceptions have been affected by the VP selections and party conventions, but it is a long way until election day. The thing about undecided voters is that if they've already made their choice based on VP selection and party convention, they were not undecided voters to begin with.

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Gary Kilbride:

Jeff makes an excellent point. Everything tends to drift back to the beginning. The fraud in this cycle has already taken place. It was the claims that Obama would explode the electoral map and reel in red states. I'll continue to assert that those states with 38+% conservatives aren't going anywhere, not without a national mandate. There have been guys on Intrade swooping up incredible bargains taking McCain at lower than actual likelihood to win North Carolina and other red states. I feel stupid that my only freebie was Indiana. I wanted close to 50/50 instead of settling for 70/30 while knowing it should have been in the 90/10 range.

BTW, those guys on Intrade aren't waiting for state polls. That's like knowing about a crucial injury and waiting for triple verification on ESPN. At that point the value is long gone. National indications were responsible for the major moves on Intrade. It's simple to look at an individual state and determine where the percentage is out of whack with an even national race.

The disgusting aspect of the primary season were early garbage state polls insisting Obama and Hillary would be wildly apart in relationship to McCain in individual states. Some of them insisted 8 or 12 points. Complete nonsense. It should have been a felony for polling firms to come up with numbers like that but they were touted as proof on Daily Kos and elsewhere. Meanwhile, in a polarized general election climate you've got 85% locked in place and there's no way two different Democrats are going to fare significantly different against the same Republican. You're talking a point or two at the margins.

Anyway, are we really debating if a national shift will impact the individual states? I might as well wonder if I shoot 32 tomorrow, will it include a birdie or better?

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RS:

2008 like 2004? HA!

Not when you consider that Obama could win even if he loses OH - IA+NM+NV+ = tie/win; or IA+NM+CO; or IA+VA-NH, etc.

These are still very much possible. Bush won VA by 8%, but it's a toss-up now, as is CO (Bush won by 5%). Not listed above, but Bush won NC by 12%, while the difference is probably still about 4% now despite what SUSA says; see PPP:
http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2008/09/more-on-surveyusa-poll.html

And while Ras has McCain ahead in OH, Quinnipiac has Obama ahead. So for all we know, Obama could still win close to 300 EVs... That dynamic still exists.

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