Monday, September 15, 2008

New Rasmussen Polls for Battleground States: Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia

As promised Rasmussen has released polls for five battleground states. In alphabetical order:
John McCain: 48%
Barack Obama: 46%

John McCain: 49%
Barack Obama: 44%

John McCain: 48%
Barack Obama: 45%

John McCain: 47%
Barack Obama: 47%

John McCain: 48%
Barack Obama: 48%
Some quick thoughts:
  1. It is still early so take any poll result with a grain of salt. If you've bothered to search for poll results this early, congratulations you are a political junkie. But realize your average voter isn't really paying attention just yet.

  2. The margin of error on all these polls is +/-4.5% so every one of these results is within the margin of error. Yes, you'd rather be up than down but still these results aren't that meaningful statistically.

  3. Virginia and Pennsylvania both being tied is surprising. VA is much more red and PA is much more blue. If Obama was tied with McCain in VA, you'd expect him to be ahead comfortable in PA. And similarly for McCain--if he is tied in PA, you'd expect him to walk away with VA easily.

  4. Virginia being tied seems much more reasonable than the earlier result showing Obama +4 in VA. Even in 2006, which was a very successful election for the Democratic Party, Virginia turned red.
As to be expected it is hard to pull anything definitive from state polls this far from the election. The minor trends are good news for McCain, but nothing extreme. The biggest impact could be in campaign budgets. If Obama feels he has to defend PA and spends time and money there, that represents resources that aren't being spent in more traditional battleground states.

Update: Ugh. A commenter at Hedgehog has pointed out that these polls were one-day surveys, with about 500 respondents, and were taken on a Sunday. That last part is troublesome. Historically polls on Sundays underrepresent religious voters who may be at church during the polling times.

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