Friday, October 24, 2008

Polls Trolls

WestBankMama says it well enough - only November 4th matters - and points to a decent piece in the NYTimes on the subject, but for all those concerned about the polls, here's a quick breakdown of possible swing states. Before calculating these states, assume 255 electoral votes to Obama, 174 to McCain, including a Bush state, Iowa (7), to Obama. 270 are needed to win. Red went to Bush, blue went to Kerry. Note that polls have a margin of error between 2 and 4 points, usually, and that polls tend to skew slightly to the left. In a given state, I'd put anything that is less than 2 points toward Obama into the red column, and anything less than 4-6 points into a tossup.

I'm using the Zogby Interactive Poll from 10/19 (McCain has been surging since, for what it's worth), since it's a more reliable poll than most. Jim Zogby is an open Democrat and a solid pollster.
  • Colorado (9): Obama +0.3
  • Florida (27): Obama +3.6
  • Missouri (11): McCain +0.3
  • Nevada (5): McCain +7.5
  • New Hampshire (4): Obama +0.3
  • New Mexico (5): Obama +0.6
  • North Carolina (15): Obama +3.1
  • Ohio (20): McCain +2.8
  • Virginia (13): Obama +3.6
In none of these states does Barack Obama have greater than a 3.6% lead according to Zogby, which essentially puts them all in serious play. It's important to note that the last-second undecideds may often flip toward McCain in many of these states; not only are they red-leaning states, but people will either prefer a steady hand over an inexperienced one or will not wish for a liberal supermajority (White House - Senate - House of Representatives all blue).

McCain can lose either Virginia; Missouri; Colorado + New Hampshire; or any two of NM, NH, and NV and still win. He can lose all three of NM, NH, and NV or CO and NM or NV and still tie.


  1. You are dreaming. Short of a terrorist attack (I really need to find an atheistic version of "God forbid") or Obama publicly declaring his submission to Allah, there's no chance.

  2. Methinks atheism lacks something like that. :)

    We'll see!

  3. McCain and Palin- the rifts are growing.

  4. I am also following the IBD tracking polls, which were the most accurate for the last Presidential election. (through the Drudge report). They show smaller leads for Obama than the other polls do, and within the margin of error.