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VA: McCain 48, Obama 45 (MasonDixon-9/29-10/1)

Topics: PHome

Times-Dispatch / Mason-Dixon
9/29 - 10/1/08; 625 LV, 4%
Mode: Live Telephone Interviews

Virginia
McCain 48, Obama 45

 

Comments
Commander_King:

Never can tell who really is winning Virginia. One poll shows Obama up the next McCain.....

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mac_1103:

Will KipTin be by shortly to complain about the small sample? Will Boomshack demand to see the internals? Inquiring minds want to know.

Seriously, though, if this was the only VA poll we had, it's still bad new for McCain. Up by less than MOE in October in a state that hasn't gone D since LBJ.

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axt113:

This seems to indicate that Mason Dixon's likely voter screen is more republican tilted, probably screens out more of those who are likely Obama supporters than the CNN poll does, also they may not give enough weight to the youth vote as CNN does, however more polls are leaning Obama at the moment than McCain so i'd say its probably close with an Obama edge

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Trosen:

Not much info on cross tabs, but a pretty small sample. McCain needs another 2/3 of these to offset the wave of VA polls that have shown Obama up 4,5 etc.

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RaleighNC:

This cannot be! Virginia is blue! This poll is obviously an outlier. The election is already over.

/Barry worship

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1magine:

Right now this one sits as an outlier. There are no crosstabs, and the best I can see is this was a hastily crafted poll ordered by a far right newspaper to combat the thought in VA that Sydney and Barbi might be losing.

Of course Mason-Dixon is usually reliable and who know - maybe this is the tip of the spear - the leading edge of a pendulum swing back to Sydney.

But it would be hard to see what would have precipitated that. Its like Sydney's muttering "HORSE****" at the first debate - if it was anything but an expletive why would he mutter it under his breath? Why would VA without reason swing back before FL or NV without a preceding political event?

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freedomreigns:

This poll seems to be in opposition to the 5 other recent polls. Does it mean VA is closer than we think? Maybe. Is it leaning blue? Probably, but not definately. Is it going to turn? Not neccessarily.

There is a lot of election left.

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JCK:

First poll in a while to show a McCain lead.

This is unchanged from the previous M-D poll (performed for NBC) from 9/17-9/22.


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Republicans=Ignorance:

This is the same pollster that had Michigan tied a week ago and McCain up 4 points in New Mexico in August.

They're throwing darts.

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JCK:

FWIW, Nate Silver ranks M-D fairly highly, although I do recall reading that they have a Republican lead as compared to other pollsters (which doesn't necessarily make them wrong).

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IndependentThinker:

No I disagree, it's not an outlier this one
That just proves that VA has been a long-time GOP state, eh guys even in MI some pollsters, not a long time ago, have shown McCain leading by as much as +3 but they just pulled out of MI why? -- because they know they can get it :-) absolutely not, because their internal polls show they're wasting their time and money
Don't forget Bush won this state by +9 4 years ago and average polls doesn't look good for McCain Though it's good news for him that there are still some pollsters that show him leading in VA that doesn't contradict the fact that the GOP is still concerned about this state

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Tyler:

VA is far from assured for Obama, but at the moment it is definitely leaning his way, all polls considered. It's a top pickup opportunity, along with CO and now surprisingly (to me) FL.

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faithhopelove:

Mason-Dixon under-estimated Obama's support in VA during the primary season by 11 points.

Mason-Dixon over-estimated McCain's support in VA during the primary season by 5 points.

Only SUSA came close to measuring Obama's support in VA accurately. See:
/polls/va/08-va-dem-pres-primary.html

SUSA's most recent VA poll had Obama up 6 there.

Obama has led in 6 of the last 10 VA polls, including 4 of the last 6. He visits VA Saturday.

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sherman:

Mason-Dixon was considered one of the more accurate of the non-automated pollsters. That being said, Rassmussen and SurveyUSA, being automated, were even more accurate. So who is right? If there are three independent polls showing Obama leading and one showing him behind I would think it would tend to be leaning Obama.

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mj1:

No worries fellow Obamabots. Even counting this outlier poll, RCP STILL has Obama leading in VA and trending upwards.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/va/virginia_mccain_vs_obama-551.html

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zotz:

There are so many unknown factors in this election that the wide range in results is not surprising. I think many pollsters have there own assumptions that may have a bias attached to it but for the most part they are trying to be as accurate as possible. I still cling to the RCP average as the best measure.

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faithhopelove:

One possible reason that pollsters under-estimated Obama's support in VA during the primary season is their failure to include cell phone only voters, which are great in number in VA (3rd highest in the country). See:
/blogs/cell_phone_only_households_by.html


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Unbiased08:

Virginia is not a sure thing blue state, and anyone who thinks that is getting way too carried away with Obama's surge. It's clear Obama is in a very solid position right now, and if he goes on to win the general election by 5+ points, you will see a lot of red states turning blue.

But if McCain can narrow the margin by even a couple points, the first states to turn back red will be VA, NC, and NV. The next round after that will be OH, and FL. Once those 5 states all start regularly polling red (or ambiguous) again, the race will be a real contest again. Cuz remember, even without those 5 states for Obama, he still wins the election on the strentgh of the Kerry states + IA, NM, and CO.

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jamesia:

Republican pollster for a Republican newspaper... Though the results are questionable, they still show what we know - it's a tight race!

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ericsp28:

@RaleighNC
"This cannot be! Virginia is blue! This poll is obviously an outlier. The election is already over. "

Actually, almost all of the comments so far in this forum from Obama supporters agree that Virginia is probably closer than recent polls have indicated and that the final outcome of that state is far from assured at this point.
There are many more McCain supporters on this site who constantly nit-pick the polls they don't like, looking for anything they could possibly spin their direction than there are Obama supporters that do that.

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faithhopelove:

Mason-Dixon has not performed well this calendar year, ranking 24th during the primaries. See:
http://www.surveyusa.com/index.php/surveyusa-report-cards/

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CTPonix4BHObama:

This polls no concern to me. When Obamas ahead we work hard, and if behind work even harder. Thats all that matters to me. Going canvassing later this week.

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CTPonix4BHObama:

This polls no concern to me. When Obamas ahead we work hard, and if behind work even harder. Thats all that matters to me. Going canvassing later this week.

Probably just an outlier, and if its not, McLame still has to defend what should be reliably in the red column.

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change:

This is bad news for Mccain, he now has to win OH, FL, VA, NV and NH to avoid defeat, and currently the average of polls has him loosing across the board in these states(RCP) Mcsame is so pathetic his new line is now "life isn't fair"

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TJIRISH34:

Hi, First time poster. Been reading the posts for awhile. Some comments first: Boomshack you are delusional buddy. McCain is 4 more years of Bush. Case in point: Sarah "freaking" Palin. Looks good at first, THEN ohh boy... Comparison: Irag War. McCain is pulling out of Michigan and doing what others here have said he would do. Pour resources into OH and FL. McCain is now on defense. Obama should plant Hillary and Bill in Ohio and Florida and just leave them campaigning. It's clear to me based on campaigning who will be better President. Obama strategy is slowly falling into place with many options to the whitehouse and McCain left with one: OH and FL. If Hillary and Bill campaigned in those 2 states Obama could campaign anywhere. BTW I am in Indiana and Obama has 11 + offices in state + numerous appearances. McCain's campaign in IN at first mocked Obama's prescence. This week RNC finally started running $800,000 AD campaign in Indiana. Going forward I look for McCain to start acting like he did toward the Des Moines editorial board more often. McCain has a temper and he simply does not have a good poker face. Oh and I am awaiting my absentee ballot and have convinced others to get theirs. Do I have to say who I am voting for. LOL Good day---------------------Tim In Indy

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thoughtful:

@zotz

Pollster,com has the best average as it takes all polls into account.

I agree with Nate Silver who has written to-day
that RCP is cherry picking what it includes in its average and I think it is very much GOP leaning.

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Trosen:

Tim, tell ushow you really feel. Don't bother trying to "get through" to boomshak. Lost cause. Besides, he provides great entertainment. Plitico had a good piece today about how the RNC is pouring lots of $$ into IN. Expect that trend to follow in formerly "secure" red states like MO, NV, NC, etc. If the #s hold up the next few days, it will be a race just to hold on to the 2000/2004 red states.

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boomshak:

Times-Dispatch Poll just came out showing McCain up by 3 in VA as well.

This race continues to confound.

Again, it all comes down to tonight. If Palin xomes across and smart and Presidential, it's a whole new race. If not, Obama wins.

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thoughtful:

Boomshak

This is the Times/Despatch Poll!

How many are you behind in NC?

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boomshak:

@thoughtful:

Lol, my bad. The title only said "Mason/Dixon" and the headline said "Times/Dispatch".

Well, apparently, this poll confirms itself!

Lol.

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johncoz:

The "lead" is within the MOE. And it looks to me that if there is a rogue VA poll it's the CNN/Time +9 for Obama. Overall, too close to call.

However, it presumably forces McCain to commit more resources to defend in a state that should have been in the bag for him, if he had a real chance of winning.

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mac_1103:

apparently, this poll confirms itself!

That's reassuring.

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cinnamonape:

I wish Mason-Dixon had polled in Virginia before for Presidential comparisons. It's hard to see if they are following the same trends as the other polls (but may be sampling differently) when they don't have any polling history in Virginia since the primaries. As noted, they were off on those surveys by quite a bit. And no internals.

So I don't quite know what to make of this poll.

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JCK:

@cinnamonape

There's a fairly recent NBC poll conducted by Mason-Dixon listed on the RCP website. It had the same differential as this one...

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sempervirens:

Re: If Palin comes across as smart . . . .

I think everyone's over-estimating the impact of the VP debate -- let's face it, from "you're no Jack Kennedy" to GHWB being condescending to Ferraro to Stockman's "who am I?," Veep candidate debates are sideshows. VPs are seldom truly Presidential.

The heightened interest in this year's vp debate centers on a combination of the irrational core conservative faithful desiring to worship their saviour-goddess, and the equally irrational human masses hoping to witness a train wreck.

The past week's poll movement has been driven by a recognition by many that Obama can -- indeed -- project a presidential aura, and because (agree with him or not) his response to the economic turmoil has been calmer, more considered and more consistent.

(Of course, it also helps that it's much easier to paint the Republicans with the disasterous excesses of the markets. If the Republicans are going to sing the undying praises of the free (and as it's turned out, illusory) markets they've created, they've got to catch most of the flak as the markets turn south.)

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cinnamonape:

I thought this was an interesting thing about when they will release the internals.

"And so are the results for the presidential nominees: McCain has a 47 percent favorable rating, Obama, 44 percent.

For a detailed report on the Times-Dispatch poll, see tomorrow's newspaper."

IOW buy the next edition in order to see how we actually did the poll and whether it is accurate in reflecting the states demographics.

"Sentence first, trial later"

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TJIRISH34:

Boomshack as I said you are delusional if you think Palin holding her own is going to "change the race." Most people who watch tonite are watching to see if Palin humiliates herself. If she doesn't (I would be suprised if she does) I don't think Palin's performance will matter. Unless you think Biden is going to humiliate himself. Which I don't think will happen either. The fact McCain's camp is making a huge deal about Gwen Ifill's alleged impartiality shows you McCain camp is already working on "spin." Palin may do well in debate but the way she has been handled by the McCain camp and from her interviews... People who were skeptical have made up their minds about Palin. My brother was correct several weeks ago when the Palin bounce was still in effect. My bro told me he did not understand the Palin pick because all it did was fire up the base which is 30%. McCain gambled on pulling Hillary supporters off the narrow minded view that they would vote for any woman on a ticket. The GOP base still likes Palin. But they were going to vote for McCain anyway. So where did he gain anything? Huckabee would have been a better choice if McCain wanted to fire up the base. I don't agree with Huckabee's political views but I must admit I like him personally.

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TJIRISH34:

noah Jigaboo I am white/Irish catholic. Your post... Yea Obama is black. GET THE F_CK OVER IT." Geez...

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jradMIT:

Noah when Obama wins are you gonna leave the country or kill yourself? If you leave the country would be better off, however if you commit suicide the entire human race benefits.

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VivalaRevolucion:

@ TJIRISH34 and jradMIT

T and J --> you guys are racist idiots.

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boomshak:

UT-OH. THIS HEADLINE FROM DRUDGE:

"UK ambassador delivers frank assessment of 'decidedly liberal' Obama in secret letter to British PM Gordon Brown... LONDON TELEGRAPH to reveal all in leaked letter... Developing..."

This one might sting a bit.

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zen:

In DEM primary, the states which has lots of AA and young people, Obama always outperformed than the polls.

That was the case of VA, NC.
I think most of the polls underestimate the AA or young people maybe due to Likely voter screening or missing cell phone users group.

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Gary Kilbride:

I pay attention when it's Mason-Dixon. Who cares how they performed in the primaries? I'm not paralyzed by recency and Mason-Dixon has an excellent track record. Here in Nevada I always wait for Mason-Dixon to back up where I believe the race stands.

Some of the recent Virginia polls have been suspect to say the least. That state figures to have a red tilt in the partisan index (state margin compared to national margin) of at least 2 points. It makes no sense for Obama to match or exceed his national figure in Virginia.

McCain's one advantage is the vital states for Obama are places which have trended red for decades -- Ohio, Virginia, Colorado. Sometimes it's hell to yank them across the finish line. Obama needs to maintain a national lead of at least 2-3 points to be sure of the electoral college.

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sotonightthatimightsee:

GREAT NEWS FOR MCCAIN!!!!!!!

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ScottWa:

I'm a long-time pollster reader, but this is my first post. I thought I might offer a bit of insight as a native Virginian:

1. Mason-Dixon has a long record in Virginia Polling....mostly accurate. The Times Dispatch IS Conservative, but aside from their hideously biased op-ed pages, usually get the facts right.

2. Obama's "ground game" here exceeds that of any previous Democratic Presidential campaign and most Republican campaigns. They even have a 2 full-time paid staffers in my Small (pop: 7,000) Rural (Shenandoah valley) town. Their HQ is very busy with dozens of volunteer canvassers. McCain's has no staffers and their office is closed most of the time. NO enthusiasm.

3. The Wilder-Bradley effect and it's legacy: When Doug Wilder became the first AA Governor here, most polls showed him Way ahead, but he only won by a whisker. However, he served well and proved to many that an AA candidate could ably serve without bias for his ethnic group, despite the rumors that "the blacks will take over." Virginians have long memories, and the race card doesn't play that way anymore.

4. The Senate Race. Mark Warner is Crushing Jim Gilmore in this battle between former Governors. Warner may have the "coat-tails" in this state to pull Obama over the line.

Anecdotal aside: As an Obama volunteer, I was sent "up the holler" to canvas new/undecided voters immediately after the Palin selection. Walked up to a house with a Big Confederate Flag waving from the porch. I was ready to run, but found that the residents were Strong Obama voters. The Economy trumps racism and cultural issues for these folks.

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