Pre-Debate State of the Race

My State of the Race has changed dramatically since the last map I did on Aug 29. Back then it seemed that the Democrats led strongly through key states and were really pushing Republicans in many new states. Now it seems like the 2004 electoral map is back. The key changes are occurring in three states. WV has returned to it's conservative streak and is redder than blood. Alaska and Montana are completely out of the race for Obama I think unless Gov. Schweitzer in Montana pulls off a miracle. The only state to switch to Obama has been New Mexico, where he has lost WV and Ohio. Ohio will likely be the deciding state, and McCain seems to have a consistent 4% gap on Obama, from PPP's effort to Survey USA.

In this latest map I would say it's closest to Obama's worse nightmare, with NH staying red, Virginia holding for the Republicans and Missouri getting out of reach. Florida is Republican but I think that a play can now be made here, as Sarah Palin has scared some Jewish voters into undecided territory, specifically in regards with the comments coming from her church in Alaska. The problem for Obama is that there are plenty of worries about his position on Israel and it seems Sen. Schumer and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz haven't made enough of an impact for him there. A word on Virginia- the latest Survey USA (SUSA) poll shows it at 50-46 for Obama. It also shows Warner destroying Gilmore in the Senate race, this is important because more folks could come out to help Obama now that the Senate race seems secure, and Warner can help Obama a bit more as well. When even a Fox News Poll shows it as a 48-48 tie it means that this state may be closer than I tend to believe and that it may actually turn blue.

Nevada has shown itself to be a bit of an oddity with a two point composite lead in the polls for McCain. Yet, recent polls are all over the place, leading one to believe that the state is open. I've had some emails about whether NJ will turn red due to a poll showing a 3% gap only for Obama from Quinnipiac. To them I'd show a Monmouth poll showing Obama up 8 points. New Jersey is the Trojan Horse of Republicans, it always feels like it's in play and the polls tend to show a correlation to that, so they dump millions and millions of dollars in there and then they lose. It happens for Senate races, Governor races, House races, you name it and it doesn't change. There is movement for McCain here but nothing that will cause this state to switch.
One interesting state to watch is Nebraska. Unlike most states the winner in Nebraska doesn't receive all the state's electoral votes. Instead, it's electoral votes are divided among congressional districts. Obama may be able to put the Nebraska 1st Congressional District vote into his column. And with my latest predictions showing a 269-269 tie and both candidates falling short of the amount necessary, it could all come down to tiny technicalities such as this. The Presidential debates starting on the 26th and the VP debates (which I believe will be VERY important for once) on October 2nd could make a world of difference. Another interesting thing is what if Biden and Obama keep campaigning separately but the GOP ticket campaigns together. Sure they're covering less territory but are they being more effective as a tour de force?

It really is still too close to call because this new economic situation (in three days the stock market as of this writing has fallen 700 points) should help create a slight bounce for Obama, something that is shown for the first time already in the new Gallup national poll (although I still hold national polls don't mean anything) showing Obama with a lead for the first time since the Republican convention. These new trendlines show a considerable "Palin effect" bump for McCain but also the start to an economic bump now for Obama.

No comments: