This Modern Age

Posts Tagged ‘battleground states

Electoral College Outlook: Evidence of Obama Slipping

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A quick update on the Electoral College Outlook. 

In my last post on the Electoral College Outlook (Electoral College Outlook: Obama 273 – McCain 265, but quickly shifting), we conceded that, as things are today, Barack Obama would likely be the next President of the United States.

However, even since Friday, the shift is occurring more quickly than we anticipated. 

The most troubling news to the Obama campaign this weekend has to be the polls coming out of Minnesota.  Albeit close, Democrats won Minnesota’s 10 Electoral College votes in 2000 and 2004.  But a state poll conducted by the Star Tribune of 1,106 Likely Voters from 9/10 – 9/12 has the race a tie 45%.  At the same time, a SurveyUSA poll of 734 Likely Voters has cut Barack Obama’s lead to 49% to 47%.  Prior to these polls, the most recent poll of Minnesota was executed by CNN/Time and gave Obama a 12 point advantage.  With two new polls in, that 12 point lead seems to have evaporated. 

One point is that the McCain campaign could be experiencing a strength in Minnesota similar to Obama’s in Colorado.  The converage of the Republicans being in Minnesota for their convention could actually help swing the state for them. 

If Minnesota shifted to McCain, that would make him the next President of the United States.

Next ‘If’ – If Minnesota is not a state specific issue, but is instead more a part of a larger trend, then Obama is in a lot of trouble.  There are several reasons this could be a part of a larger trend: 1) We are seeing similar shifts in Washington and New Mexico; 2) The latest Rasumussen poll showed McCain breaking through the 50% barrier for the first time. 

Switching each of those states from Obama to McCain would shift the Electoral College Outlook: McCain 291, Obama 247.

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Written by thismodernage

September 15, 2008 at 12:00 am

Electoral College Outlook: Obama 273 – McCain 265, but quickly shifting

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2008 Electoral College Map for September 12, 2008

2008 Electoral College Map for September 12, 2008

If everything shakes out in the polls, as they stand at this moment, Barack Obama is most likely the next President of the United States.  But, the election is on November 4 not September 12 and the trends and momentum are clearly on John McCain’s side.

UPDATE: As of the morning of September 15, 2008, we have posted our thoughts on how the current economic troubles, including the Lehman bankruptcy may effect the Presidential campaign, click here

Key Battleground States

In the current condition, Obama wins 273 Electoral College votes.  But a closer look at swing states makes those 273 votes look very shaky.

  • The Big Four: Ohio: 20 votes; Florida: 27 votes; Michigan: 17 votes and Pennsylvania: 21 votes – Recent tradition is for Republicans to win Ohio and Florida while Democrats win Michigan and Pennsylvania.  These states need to stay in their respective parties for either candidate to have a real chance.  McCain looks very good in Florida and Ohio.  However, Obama does not enjoy the same strength in Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Recent polls in Michigan are tight but Obama’s lead on Intrade has widened over recent days there.  Of these four states, Pennsylvania may be the weakest link in the chain.  An early McCain win in Pennsylvania would create an extremely difficult deficit for Obama to overcome. 
  • Colorado: currently 9 votes for Obama – The Democrats hosted their convention in Denver and Obama may have gotten a real bounce from that.  Bush won Colorado in 2000 and 2004.  The polls here are within margin of error and Palin may play well in here over the next couple weeks.  The Democrats are poised to win a down ticket Senate race here as well.
  • Virginia: currently 13 votes for McCain – In the early summer Obama was doing very well in the traditional Republican state of Virginia, but recent polls suggests that this is McCain’s state to lose at this point.  Some point to Jim Webb defeating Mark Warner as a sign of Virginia starting to lean more Democratic but in voters eyes there is likely a large difference between Sen. Webb and Sen. Obama.  Bush handily won Virginia in 2000 and 2004. 

The other swing states are small but with an election this close any one of them may become the deciding factor. 

  • Nevada: currently 5 votes for McCain – A late August CNN/Time poll showed Obama with a lead in Nevada, which should have mortified Republicans.  However, the tide in Nevada has switched back to McCain which is evidenced in the Intrade spread of 58.5-43.5.  Bush won Nevada in 2000 and 2004.
  • New Hampshire: currently 4 votes for Obama – The recent CNN/Time poll done from 9/7 to 9/9 shows Obama over 50% and ahead by 6 points.  New Hampshire is a state that voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 with razor thin margins.  Obama’s Intrade spread has grown recently to 58.0 – 39. 
  • New Mexico: currently 5 votes for Obama – New Mexico should not be a battleground state for Obama.  The recent Rasmussen poll of 700 likely voters done on 9/8 shows McCain with a 2 point lead when the same poll showed Obama up by 9 in May, 8 in June, 6 in July and 4 in August.  New Mexico is in an interesting position with Democratic Gov. Richardson, but also Arizona’s neighbor. 

If the recent Rasmussen polls of Washington are accurate, then Obama could have 11 more Electoral votes at risk.  Rasmussen showed leads of 11 pts, 18 pts, 8 pts and 12 pts in May, June, July and August.  Their most recent Washington poll of 500 likely voters shows Obama up only 2 pts, 49% to 47%.  But we could be looking at an outlier there.

For a quick update, focusing on recent polls out of Minnesota, click here.