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We are in the home stretch of this campaign, and there are so many polls out now in these anxiety filled closing days that many of you may be getting dizzy as you go through manic and depressed periods with each new poll.  So I offer you a chance to sit back and relax while I attempt to clear the polling haze with another in my series of Electoral College Math diaries.  There seems to be a growing feeling that since my last look at the electoral college numbers on October 12, that this race is starting to set up like concrete in this post-debate, post-Powell endorsement time period.  The only way to be sure this gut feeling of a steady or slightly increasing Obama lead in the Electoral College is to again take a careful look at the polls in each state.  So join me after the jump /\ for a State-by-State assessment and summary of where I think the all important Electoral College race stands.

This the 7th diary in my series.  Yes, this is similar to five thirty eight site by Nate Silver, however, my assessment is a little less statistical, with a little more gut feeling thrown in.  If you have a hard time reading threw long diaries as I do, regardless of how good they are, feel free to skip to my summary at the end where I add up the electoral votes and offer some interpretation.

My resources include: the most up-to-date State polls; the regional numbers from our Research2000 daily tracker; and the State trends from the Pollster Site.  However, as in the past, I will rely on  538 for much of my data.  I have full trust in his process of vetting the polls and doubt I could do a better job.  He deserves a lot of credit for his fine analysis.

In addition, I will factor in information on early voting in states where it is available.  This does not mean actual early voting results, but numbers on who is voting early in terms of numbers of Democrats, Republicans and independents; numbers of new voters; numbers of men, women, etc.  While this can give us some indication of turnout come election day, it can be misleading.  Early voters may just be the people who are the most excited and anxious to vote for their candidate and may not accurately reflect who will turnout on election day.  In 2004 early voting information suggested that Kerry was leading in several states which did not pan out in the final results.  Still, if there is a 2 to 1 Dem. to Rep. turnout in a state’s early voting, one has to assume that Obama is banking some sort of actual lead.  So I will use the early voting information with a grain of salt.

Before I get into the State-by-State stuff, let me go over my ground rules:

-  I rate a "safe" State for candidate as one where the candidate has a +8 lead in the State’s polls.

  -  I rate a "lean" State for candidate as one where the candidate has between a +4 to 8 point lead in the State’s polls.

-  I rate a "toss up leaning" State for candidate as one where the candidate has between around +1 to 4 point lead in the State’s polls.

-  I rate a "true toss up" State as one where the candidate has between a 0 to 1 point lead in the State’s polls.  For these "true toss up" States, I do not award electoral votes to either candidate.  These 0 to +1 leads are always within the polls MOE, and therefore I don’t consider them as indicating any sort of lead for a candidate.

Also, I don’t always stick to these general rules where my gut tells me different.

So without further delay, here we go!

Alaska (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-18-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Ivan Moore
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +11
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +17.7
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +17.2

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Alabama (9 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-16-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Capital Survey
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +20
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +24
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +20.1

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Arkansas (6 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +11
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +11.9
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +10.8

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Arizona (10 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-25-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Project New West (D)
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +4
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +10.8
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +7.6

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Comment: The most recent poll is a shocker, showing McCain only ahead +4 in his home state! Still its a Dem. and the only one showing the race that close in Arizona, so I’ll consider it "safe" McCain still.  But one or two more corroborating polls, and I will have to shift Arizona, MCCAIN’S HOME STATE, to "lean" McCain.  McCain’s gotta be thinkin, WTF!

California (55 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              PPIC*
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +23
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +16.2
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +18.2

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Comment:  The "*" indicates that the most recent poll has not yet been included in the 538 averages.

Colorado (9 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rocky Mountain News
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +12
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +5.6
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +7

State Projection:                         Lean Obama

Comment:   The 5 polls since 10-13 have been incredibly consistent with one another, all showing Obama leads ranging from +5 to +12.  The undecideds in these polls range from 2 to 4%, which is not enough to cover the margin of the Obama lead.  The pollster trend lines show Obama rising sharply and McCain flat lined to dipping, with a +5 lead for Obama in the composite as of 10-20.  Early voting is currently up 22% over 2004 early voting.  However, the Breakdown Data indicates a 38% Dem. to 37% Rep. split in the early voters, not exactly good news, but not bad news either.  All in all, Colorado is a "solid lean" Obama state which may soon become "safe Obama" and out of McCain’s reach.

Connecticut (7 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-20-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              U of Conn.
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +25
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +17.7
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +22

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

District of Columbia (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             9-12-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              ARG
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +69
Trend From Previous Poll:         None
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +69
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +71.2

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Comment: What a blow out!

Delaware (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-10-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +15
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +16.4
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +21.3

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Florida (27 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Insider Advantage
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +1
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +2.1
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +3

State Projection:                         True Toss Up

Comment: The eight Florida polls out since 10-16 show Obama at +1, +1, +5 & +7, and McCain at +1, +1, +2 & +2, for an average of Obama +1.  Yes, I know I have not included the 10-24 Strategic Vision Republican poll because I don’t see the point of including a pollster that Nate at 538 rates as having a +2 to +3 Republican lean.  The pollster trend lines show some Obama decline and McCain slightly rising, with an Obama lead in the composite of +2 as of 10-22.  The undecideds in these 8 recent polls range from 2 to 7%, which is enough to make a difference for either candidate.  Early voting is currently up 18% over 2004 early voting.  The breakdown data indicates a 44% Dem. to 42% Rep. to 15% Ind. split in the early voters, suggesting the actual numbers could be as tight as polls now indicate.  While indicators suggest that Obama my have a slight lead in Florida, let me remind everyone that this is FLORIDA.  A slight lead is really no lead.  Ask Al!  So lets leave Florida as a true toss up.

Georgia (15 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Insider-Advantage
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +1
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +6.5
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +5.2

State Projection:                         True Toss Up

Comment:   Wow!  Yes, Georgia may now be reachable.  Polls since 10-15 show McCain +2, +5, +6 & +6, and Obama +1.  This is frankly amazing since not more than 4 weeks ago, McCain had a solid double digit lead in Georgia.  The pollster trend lines show Obama rising and McCain dropping, with an McCain lead in the composite of +4 as of 10-23.  Also, Bob Barr is at 1.5% in the composite, which has to be a substantial drain from McCain.  The undecideds in these 5 recent polls range from 2 to 5%.  So the undecideds can easily swing Georgia either way.  Early voting is currently up 18% over 2004 early voting.  Of these early voters, 36% are African-American, up from 25% in 2004.  Also, 56% were women compared to 41% men, which is another good Obama sign.  Since all this data has me scratching my head, I’ll call Georgia a "true toss up" now until I see if the recent Obama shift is real.

Hawaii (4 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             9-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +41
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +37
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +39.1

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Iowa (7 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +8
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +10.3
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +13

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Comment: I am not too concerned about the most recent poll showing a high single digit Obama lead, since it is likely conservative.  A 10-21 Big Ten poll and a Research 2000 poll show Obama +13.3 and +15, respectively.  Also, event the sometimes Republican leaning Mason-Dixon poll out on 10-23 has Obama +11.  So Obama appears to still be ahead by double digits.

Idaho (4 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             9-17-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +29
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +33.9
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +32.4

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Illinois (21 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +24
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +21.2
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +23.6

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Indiana (11 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              SUSA
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +4
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +0
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +1

State Projection:                         Toss Up - Slight Obama Lean

Comment:   The 3 recent polls since 10-19 show Obama +2, +4 & +9.5.  The pollster trend lines show Obama rising and McCain falling, with the composite showing a tie as of 10-22.  The undecideds in these 3 recent polls range from 3 to 6%.  So it looks like there are enough undecideds to swing Indiana for Obama or McCain.  However, all indications are that Indiana is now trending towards Obama, so I’ll call it "Toss Up - Slight Obama Lean".

Kansas (6 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              SUSA
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +12
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +19.1
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +16

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Kentucky (8 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-21-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +8
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +13.7
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +12.3

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Comment: Don’t get too excited by this poll showing McCain down to a +8 lead.  Other equally reputable polls around the same time period show McCain leads around +14.  Kentucky is still safe McCain.

Louisiana (9 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-21-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +16
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +14.3
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +11.5

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Massachusetts (12 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-21-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Suffolk
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +19
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +21.4
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +24.4

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Maryland (10 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             9-20-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +23
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +16.8
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +20.3

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Maine (4 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-20-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              SUSA
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +15
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +12.3
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +13.6

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Comment: Maine has really firmed up for Obama with leads in 4 polls since 10-15 ranging from +14 to +21 points.  These numbers suggest Maine should be in the bag.

Michigan (17 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-21-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Big Ten
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +22.3
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +9
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +13.2

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Minnesota (10 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +15
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +9.2
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +11.2

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Comment: Since 10-16, 5 out of 6 polls show Obama with a double digit lead in Minnesota ranging from +10 to +19.4.  A 10-16 SUSA poll has Obama +6.  The pollster trend lines show Obama rising and and McCain flat, with Obama at +8 lead in the composite as of 10-22.    The undecideds in these 6 recent polls range from 2 to 7%.  So there is enough evidence to move Minnesota into the "safe Obama" column.

Missouri (11 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +1
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +1.2
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +2.2

State Projection:                         Toss Up - Slight Obama Lean

Comment: The 10 polls out since 10-12 show Obama at +1, +2, +3, +5, +6 & +8 and McCain at +0.3,+1, +1 & +1, for an average of Obama +2.2.  The pollster trend lines show Obama rising and McCain falling, with Obama having a composite lead of +2 on 10-20.  The undecideds are mainly above 5% which makes them above the point spread in most of the polls.  However, the fact that Obama has at least a small lead in most of the recent polls and factoring in the Obama trend, Missouri can be moved to the "Toss Up - Slight Obama Lean" category.

Mississippi (6 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-18-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              U of S. Alabama
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +13
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +11.5
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +10.2

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Montana (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-18-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              MSU
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +4.2
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +5.4
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +2.8

State Projection:                         True Toss Up

Comment:   McCain had a double digit lead here a few weeks ago, now the most recent poll shows Obama +4.2.  But a Research 2000 poll on 10-16 showed McCain up by +4, and almost all previous polls show McCain ahead.  However, the MSU poll appears to be the only one allowing voters to also pick from the 3 other candidates on the ballot in Montana, being Nadar, Barr and Paul.  This may explain Obama’s lead in this poll since it shows 1% for Nadar, 1% for Barr and 4% for Paul.  The pollster shows Obama rising sharply and McCain falling with McCain at a +2 lead in the composite as of 10-20, but there is not really sufficient polling data in this state on which these trends are based, so a grain of salt must be taken.  Still there is no doubt that Montana is again in play and could go either way.  So it should be considered a "True Toss Up".

North Carolina (15 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-24-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Winthrop*
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +1
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +0.7
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +1.7

State Projection:                         True Toss Up

Comment:   The "*" indicates that the most recent poll has not yet been included in the 538 averages.  However, it is consistent with the 10 polls out since 10-15, which break down McCain +2 and Obama +1, +2, +2, +3, +3, +3, +5 & +7, with one tie, for an average of Obama +2.4.  The undecided range is quite large in these 10 polls ranging from 1 to 9%, with most around 5%.  The pollster trend lines shows Obama rising and McCain falling, with a composite that shows Obama +3 as of 10-23.  Also, the composite shows Barr at 1.3%, which has gotta be coming from McCain.  There is a wealth of good Early Voting Data    
out for North Carolina.  Early voting here is up about 31% over what it was in 2004.  The good news for Obama is that 55% of early voters so far are Dem. compared to only 28% Rep., and 56% are women compared to 43% men.  The African-American early voters are 28%, which I think is good, but there is no 2004 data to make comparisons.  Although signs are now pointing a trend in Obama’s direction, for now North Carolina is still a "True Toss Up".

North Dakota (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-15-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           Tie
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +4.4
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +2.6

State Projection:                         True Toss Up

Comment: Not a lot of polling data here, but the only 2 October polls show Obama +2 and a tie.  But the undecideds in these polls are high, in the 7 to 12% range, so they can easily swing the state either way.  The pollster shows Obama rising sharply and McCain falling like a rock with Obama at a +4 lead in the composite as of 10-15, but there is not really sufficient polling data in this state on which these trends are based, so a grain of salt must be taken.  In the end, this seems like another state that has moved from the McCain side into "True Toss Up" territory.  

Nebraska (5 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             9-30-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +19
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +21.3
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +18.3

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Comment: Nebraska apportions its electoral votes by State winner and by Congressional District winner, it is not a winner take all State.  So the 5 EVs could get divided up if Obama can win a district.

New Hampshire (4 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +4
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +5.4
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +8.4

State Projection:                         Lean Obama

Comment:   Only one other recent poll from Research 2000 on 10-18 showing Obama at +7.  Not enough polling to say whether New Hampshire is trending away from Obama or whether we have reached a stable plateau.   Still the pollster trend lines shows Obama rising steadily and McCain on a slight decline, with a composite that has Obama +6 as of 10-23.  The undecideds in these polls are 2 and 4%, which still makes New Hampshire hard to reach for McCain unless he can flip some Obama "leaners".  Since New Hampshire has historically been a strong McCain state, I will move it to "Lean Obama" to be conservative.  

New Jersey (15 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-21-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Marist
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +17
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +13.4
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +17.1

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

New Mexico (5 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-13-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +13
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +7.5
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +8.6

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Comment: The only other recent "reputable" poll is a 10-13 SUSA poll which shows Obama at +7.  So the median of these equally good polls suggests Obama +10.  The pollster trend lines shows Obama trending upward a little faster than McCain, with a composite that has Obama at +7 lead as of 10-20.  Early voting here is up about 29% over what it was in 2004.  The good news for Obama is that 56% of early voters so far are Dem. compared to only 32% Rep., a nearly 2 to 1 advantage.  Since Obama’s lead here has, and continues to be steady, I consider New Mexico to be "safe" Obama territory.  Yes, I ignored Zogby’s 10-19 poll showing Obama +0.6, as I have been ignoring Zogby from the start.  To explain, besides being an outlier in most cases when compared to most other polls, as Nate at 538 points out, Zogby uses a likely voter model based on the actual 2004 turnout and does not weigh in current registration numbers.  So Zogby polls only make sense if you believe the Dem. and Dem. leaning Ind. turnout will be the same as 2004.  Since such an assumption is completely undercut by substantial increases in Dem.2008 registrations and early voter turnout, Zogby polls are likely to severely under-estimate Obama’s numbers.  

Nevada (5 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-20-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              CNN
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +6
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +2.2
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +3.6

State Projection:                         Lean Obama

Comment:   If we neglect the McCain +7.5 Zogby poll, for previously stated reasons, a total of 7 polls show Obama in the lead here throughout the month of October by margins ranging from +2 to +7, with one tie.  The undecideds in these polls are generally in the 3 to 5% range, which is barely enough totip the scales back to McCain if he could get them all.  The pollster trend line has Obama rising sharply and McCain dipping, with a composite that shows Obama +3 as of 10-21.  Early voting here is up about 27% state-wide over what it was in 2004.  The good news for Obama is in Clark County where 56% of early voters so far are Dem. compared to only 28% Rep., and Washoe County where 52% of early voters so far are Dem. compared to only 32% Rep.  These margins suggests that Obama is banking a significant early lead in the actual vote count.  Al this gives me confidence to move Nevada to "Lean Obama".

New York (31 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Marist
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +36
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +23.9
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +28.6

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Ohio (20 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Insider Advantage
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +10
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +3.4
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +4.6

State Projection:                         Lean Obama

Comment:   Ten October polls from 10-17 through 10-23 show McCain +1, +2 & +3, and Obama +3, +5, +7, +9, +10, +11.5 & +14, for an average of Obama +5.4.  The undecideds in these polls generally range from 3 to 5%, which may or may not be enough to swing it to McCain.  The pollster trend line has Obama trending up fast and McCain trending down fast, with a composite that shows Obama to be up by +5 as of 10-23.  Also, the composite is almost over 50%  for Obama, an important milestone.  So, overall, the current numbers and trends suggest that Ohio should remain in the "Lean"Obama category.  In addition, keep in mind that this time around we have a Dem. Governor and SoS in Ohio, who have already shown a significant deference to "franchisement" of Ohio voters, unlike their Repub. predecessors in 2004.  

Oklahoma (7 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-20-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              TvPoll
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +31.3
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +29.1
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +25.7

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Oregon (7 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-15-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +15
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +12.2
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +13.9

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Pennsylvania (21 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-25-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Muhlenberg*
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +11
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +9.4
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +11.6

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Comment:  The "*" indicates that the most recent poll has not yet been included in the 538 averages.  The 7 polls out since 10-18 show Obama holding significant leads of +7, +8, +10, +10.4, +11, +12 & +13, for an average of Obama +10.2.  The undecideds in these polls are consistently around 5%.  This is not nearly enough for McCain to over take Obama, meaning that he will have to win over a substantial number of Obama voters to win Pennsylvania.  The pollster trend lines are dramatically diverging here showing Obama going up sharply and McCain going down sharply, with a composite lead of almost +13 as of 10-25.  So even as Pennsylvania remains clearly a "safe" Obama state, McCain has decided to pour everything he has got into it.  Why?  Because if he can somehow take away Penns. 21 EVs, from Obama, he forces Obama to pick up at least 2 other 2004 red states to win.  Yes, Pennsylvania is McCain’s HAIL MARY PASS, and so far he is not even handling the snap well.

Rhode Island (4 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             9-21-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              R.I. College
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +14
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +17.8
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +23

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

South Carolina (8 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-18-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +11
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +15.2
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +12.7

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

 

South Dakota (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +9
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +10.3
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +9

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Tennessee (11 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +16
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +16.1
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +14.7

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Texas (34 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-21-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +10
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +12.7
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +12.3

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Utah (5 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             9-12-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              ARG
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +36
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +35.2
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +33

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

Virginia (13 EVs) [Swing State]

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              CNN*
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +10
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +4.5
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +7.2

State Projection:                         Lean Obama

Comment:  The "*" indicates that the most recent poll has not yet been included in the 538 averages.  Five polls since 10-16 show Obama +2, +6, +7, +10 & +10, with an average of Obama lead of +7.  The most trusted polls in this group being SUSA with Obama +6 and Rasmussen with Obama +10.    The pollster trend lines show Obama rising sharply and McCain falling sharply, with a composite at Obama +8 as of 10-21.  I am on the verge of calling Virginia "safe" Obama, but I need to see a couple more polls with above +8 leads to make that call.  For now I will remain conservative and leave it in the "Lean"Obama column.

Vermont (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-6-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +33
Trend From Previous Poll:         Upward Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +25.2
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +30.2

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Washington (11 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-22-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +11
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +10.7
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +14.9

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

Wisconsin (10 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Rasmussen
Most Recent Poll Result:           Obama +7
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady Obama
Average of All Polls:                  Obama +10
Poll Average With Trend:          Obama +11.6

State Projection:                         Safe Obama

West Virginia (5 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-23-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              Research 2000
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +6
Trend From Previous Poll:         Downward McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +5.6
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +5

State Projection:                         Lean McCain

Comment:  Last time I trust an ARG poll!  ARG had Obama up by +8 on 10-6, so I moved West Virginia into the "Toss Up" category.  Since then, 7polls have shown McCain with a +0.4 to +12 lead.  I should of never based so much on a single poll with a less than stellar reputation.  Lesson learned.  The pollster trend lines show Obama falling sharply and McCain rising sharply, with a composite at McCain +9 as of 10-21.  But the reverse trend was true just a couple weeks ago.  The cause is most likely the sparse number of polls causing the trends to shift wildly with each new poll.  Anyway West Virginia is apparently leaning McCain.

Wyoming (3 EVs)

Most Recent Poll Date:             10-19-08
Most Recent Poll Org.:              SUSA
Most Recent Poll Result:           McCain +21
Trend From Previous Poll:         Steady McCain
Average of All Polls:                  McCain +22.9
Poll Average With Trend:          McCain +23.7

State Projection:                         Safe McCain

And Finally, the summary.  Drum Roll Please!

SUMMARY [ 270 Electoral Votes To Win]

The Totals:

NOTE: The electoral votes in "(# EV)" are from my October 12 Diary, and are posted for comparison purposes.

Safe Obama =                       260 EVs   (254 EVs)
Safe McCain =                      137 EVs   (140 EVs)  

Lean Obama =                         51 EVs   (79 EVs)
Lean McCain =                         5 EVs   (18 EVs)

Toss Up - Lean Obama =          22 EVs    (5 EVs)
Toss Up - Lean McCain =           0 EVs     (11 EVs)

Safe + Lean Obama =             311 EVs     (333 EVs)
Safe + Lean McCain =            142 EVs     (158 EVs)

Total Obama =                         333 EVs     (338 EVs)
Total McCain =                        142 EVs     (169 EVs)

True Toss Ups Are:
GA, FL, MT, NC & ND =      63 EVs (unassigned)

COMMENTARY

While the numbers pretty much speak for themselves, I’d like to make a couple of major points before I close:

POINT:  First, I have tried to give a conservative appraisal of the Electoral College race, by giving McCain some states others might regard as "toss ups", and by leaving some states as "toss ups" others might consider should be given to Obama.  Still McCain’s task is daunting if we look at these numbers and how he can get to 270.  Giving McCain his 142 safe electoral votes, if he gets his 5 leaners and all 63 from the toss up states he only gets to 210.  If we then say he gets all 22 of Obama’s toss up-leaners he goes up to 232, still 38 short.  So he will have to take away 38 of Obama’s 51 lean Obama electoral votes to reach 270.  Basically, he needs a toatal Obama collapse to win.

COUNTER POINT: Most of the polls we have looked at are either based on currently registered voters or "likely" voter models which are partly or totally based on anticipated voter turnout of newly registered voters, most of which being younger voters, African-American and Latino voters, all which favor Obama.  If these groups don’t turn out to vote in the projected numbers, what we could end up with is a 2004 type turnout and a 2004 type result.  If you doubt this, just take a look at the Zogby poll results over at 538.  Since Zogby is based on a 2004 turnout model, it can show us just what might happen if we only get a 2004 turnout, and the picture is not pretty.

So what does this all boil down to?  Simple, GOTV!  If we all work like hell and do a good job at GOTV, we win!  If not, who knows.  Its all in our hands now.  So please consider canvassing in swing and near swing states, and/or visiting thisObama Site to do some phonebanking.

Let’s all keep working!

Originally posted to Doctor Who on Sun Oct 26, 2008 at 06:23 PM PDT.

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