The State of the Race: Ohio Leans McCain

It’s time to update the Presidential maps. First, the all important map with “Leaning States” included:

  • The latest Ohio Rasmussen Poll shows McCain up by 7. The last 3 Rasmussen polls show McCain up by 7, 5, and 10 points. There have been polls indicating Obama leads but CNN poll was a nearly useless “Registered Voter” poll instead of a likely voter poll and the Quinnipiac Poll had a bizarre 7 day polling period.  Leans McCain.
  • Both the Democratic Public Policy Polling and Republican Strategic Vision polls show Obama with a narrow 1 point lead. Three state polls show Obama’s lead within the margin. Let’s call it a toss up.

Based on these changes, here’s my new electoral map with leaners, giving McCain a 247-243 lead.

However, it’s not all good news for McCain:

  • Even after the Convention bounce, the latest Rasmussen Poll showed Florida tied, and a Strategic Vision poll shows McCain up 5.  Can I really say that Florida is not in play. At this point, I have to conced it’s in play, leaving Obama with an edge in states that are certain to go one way or another 190-174:

Other notes that while not changing the map (genrally because they’re single polls) are plenty intriguing:

  • Treasure State Dreams Dashed? Based on reports from family members in Montana, I was quite nervous about Montana. Senator Biden was in my old home town of Kalispell today and Obama has been there several times. In addition, while in most states, Ron Paul is not on the ballot, he is in Montana as the Montana Constitution Party withdrew Chuck Baldwin to place Ron Paul on the ticket. The latest Rasmussen Poll puts McCain up 11. While this doesn’t include 3rd party candidates, Camp Obama cannot be happy with this given the effort they’ve poured into turning the Treasure State blue.
  • A Northwest Advantage? The Montana poll, coupled with a poll from Washington raises an intriguing question. Survey USA shows Obama up by only 4. Could Palin be helping McCain in the Northwest. She’s the first major Presidential or Vice-President nominee from the Northwest (yes, I know there have been candidates.) Washington will be a tough state to flip as Kerry won by 9.5% Oregon may be easier as it went to John Kerry by only 4.5% in 2004 and in 2000, it was only 0.44% for Al Gore. Turning Oregon red would be great, if nothing else than to annoy Radical Russ.
  • Sweet Carolina: Another state that Obama hoped to capture was North Carolina. That effort may be in some trouble. The average poll had been showing John McCain up by 4 in the Tarheel state. The latest Survey USA poll shows McCain up 20. If this holds up in future polling, it’ll be a bitter disappointment for Team Obama which sems to be looking like a Fall version of the Mitt Romney campaign which put millions into states that they ended up losing.
  • Ignore New Jersey: New Jersey is a state that loves to sing a siren song to Republican Presidential nominees by indicating a strong possibility of victory. The latest Fairleigh-Dickinson poll shows Obama up only 6.  Hopefully, won’t expend resources here. There’s simply no way he wins New Jersey. Please ignore the siren.
  • Bad News: The polls across the country while not conclusive indicate Obama has some major weaknesses. Fox News/Rasmussen has Obama up only 2 in Pennsylvania, and Strategic Vision has Obama’s once mighty lead in Wisconsin at only 3.
  • On Obama’s Bright Side: The Obama campaign can take comfort in two states. In Colorado, the latest Fox/Rasmussen Poll has Obama up 3. Not great, but given the positive attention the GOP ticket has gotten, Obama will take it. Meanwhile, in the swing state of Virginia, even after the GOP’s successful convention, two Virginia polls put McCain up by only 2 points. The salvation of the Obama campaign this Fall could be the transformation of Virginia into a state dominated by federal employees in Northern Virginia, partially as a result of George W. Bush’s “big government” conservatism.
  • False Hope: To amend Barack Obama, “In the unlikely story that is America, there’s never been anything false about hope (unless it’s depended on young voters.)” The one hope that many liberals have to have is that pollsters are missing younger voters who use cellphones only and can’t be polled. The problem, as Ed Morrissey writes, “If this concern had merit, we should have seen Obama overperforming against polling during the primaries against Hillary Clinton.  He had a solid grip on the youth vote throughout all of the polling, after all, while Hillary appealed to older voters.  Yet in state after state, Obama underperformed against polling predictions.”