|New Polls (June 22-25)|
|New Mexico||Survey USA||+3|
From Sunday through today, there were twelve new polls from ten states. Both New Mexico and Utah were polled twice, but the new numbers did little to change the landscape in either state. Utah was never a place where Obama (or any Democrat, for that matter) was going to do well, so it isn't terribly surprising to see the presumptive Democratic nominee trailing by more than twenty points in the Beehive state. New Mexico is and will continue to be a battleground heading into the fall because of its even distribution of Democratic and Republican partisans. And even though the Land of Enchantment is as susceptible to the same indicators that are dragging Republicans nationwide down, the state does neighbor John McCain's home of Arizona. That being said, the 8 point margin in Obama's favor in the Rasmussen poll does push New Mexico on to the Watch List (below). Another similar result out of the state could bump the New Mexico into Obama lean territory.
Of the other polls, California remains firmly in the Democratic column while states like Arizona and Nebraska continue to be solidly Republican. If California and Nebraska are running to the extremes, both Indiana and Oregon are trending away from their traditional red and blue electoral roots, respectively, to the middle. Oregon had always been considered a toss up in some quarters, but in the midst of an active primary campaign had given Obama watchers what may eventually prove to be an inflated sense of security. The Beaver state was closing in on being solidly blue, but has reversed course in recent polling and looks to potentially be competitive. And while Obama got something of a bounce (that has since receded) in Oregon after its primary, the competitive primary in Indiana appears to be a bit more influential. The polling in the Hoosier continues to show a close race in a typically red state.
Finally, the new polling out of Michigan and Missouri provided each campaign with a bit of a cushion this week. Both states will undoubtedly be competitive in the fall, but both the Wolverine state and the Show-Me state inched in the direction of where they have been in recent electoral cycles. Missouri moved to the right while Michigan headed toward the left.
And what does all this mean for the electoral college map? Nothing really. On the whole, this collection of polls did little to rewrite the current narrative of the general election campaign. Obama's 38 electoral vote victory persists through this iteration of the analysis with Ohio (no new polls) and its 20 electoral votes still tied. Where there are some shifts though, is on the Watch List.
|The Watch List*|
|Georgia||from McCain lean||to Strong McCain|
|Massachusetts||from Obama lean||to Strong Obama|
|Mississippi||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Missouri||from Toss Up McCain||to McCain lean|
|Nevada||from Toss Up Obama||to Toss Up McCain|
|New Mexico||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|North Carolina||from McCain lean||to Toss Up McCain|
|Ohio||from Tied||to Toss Up Dem. or GOP|
|Texas||from Strong McCain||to McCain lean|
|Wisconsin||from Toss Up Obama||to Obama lean|
|*Weighted Average within a fraction of a point of changing categories.|
The Michigan poll didn't have enough oomph to push the Wolverine state into the Obama lean category, but it did move the state out of the "it could switch to McCain very easily" area. The same thing could almost be said in Missouri as well. That seven point edge for McCain pushed Missouri to the brink of moving to the more comfortable McCain lean distinction. New Mexico is also a new addition to the list. The two new polls there (averaging a 5.5 point margin) brought the weighted average for the Land of Enchantment to the line between toss up favoring Obama to an Obama lean state.
Moving forward, these are ten states to keep your eye on. But other states could jump into the mix as more polls emerge.
Oh, and for those who took the NYT Vice President's quiz (whether you shared your answers or not), look no further than the first comment from Jack for the correct answers. Congrats to Jack. A lowly graduate student has little to offer (This ain't The Fix, with their fancy t-shirts.), but he's won the coveted first annual FHQ memorial, "...classic, deluxe, custom, designer, luxury, prestige, high-quality, premium, select, gourmet pocket pencil sharpener. It's our way of saying thank you...*" for participating. A doff of the hat to George Carlin on that one. I'll miss the guy.
*from Carlin's book, Napalm and Silly Putty.
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