9 September 2008

Should Obama by worried about the polls?

Rasmussen / Fox News Poll

A key states poll by Rasmussen/Fox News has been released overnight and will be good reading for the Obama Campaign. While Virginia continues to be too close to call (although McCains has opened up a small lead), Florida is now a dead heat. Obama continues to lead in both Colorado and Pennsylvania and McCain keeps a healthy 7 point advantage in Ohio.

The good news for Obama is that 4 of these 5 states were won by Bush in 2004 and McCain really needs to hold on to them.


Florida being tied will be a major concern for McCain. 27 electoral votes up for grabs and a dead heat means that he will need to plough money into it if he has any chance to retain it. This is expensive media and could take money away from other key states such as Michigan or Colorado.

In 1996 Clinton won Florida by over 5% in and was only won by bush by 0.01% in 2000. It is therefore winnable for Obama and vital for McCain.

Viriginia and Ohio

While McCain is in the lead in both Virginia and Ohio, the margin is so close in Virginia that the campaign will have to direct resources there in order to retain it. While Bush had a similar struggle holding Ohio, Virginia was much safer for him (around 8% lead), now with a statistical tie McCain needs to out-spend Obama here to ensure it stays Republican, again diverting it away from other key areas like Michigan and even Ohio.

McCain Democrats

The 2 statistics that stand out from the poll are the number democrats supporting McCain in both Florida and Ohio. In both races 18% of democrats are supporting McCain. By Election Day I was guess that these would be around 10% as Hilary voters move back to the Democrats (she will no doubt play a part in this and take the credit). It is therefore likely that Obama's position in both will strengthen. Whether or not this will be enough to take Ohio is difficult to judge, but it does mean Florida is very much in play.

Independent Support

The final guide of which way the state may go is who the independents are currently supporting. In Florida, Colorado and Pennsylvania Obama gets the support of between 52-56% of the independents while McCain only manages to score in the 30s. In Ohio and Virginia on the other hand, McCain hits 58% and 50%, this time with Obama in the 30s.

It would therefore seem likely, on this polling, that Obama should take Colorado, Pennsylvania and possibly Florida and McCain will just hold Virginia and Ohio.

By Beyond New Labour

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