Friday, October 17, 2008

Electoral Update - Running Up the Score

Leading up to the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, Barack Obama was outdistancing John McCain by margins wide enough to make Bill Clinton jealous. The headlines lately haven't had as much to do with Obama winning  as they have how much he would win by.

After a barrage of polls over the past month, yesterday was one of the quietest state polling days of the year. Daily tracking polls have indicated a small shift toward McCain but nothing significant enough to change momentum. While everyone anticipates the results of post-debate polling, nothing lately has given us reason to make any changes from our projection on Tuesday. Obama still leads John McCain 338-174.  Two states, North Carolina (15) and Missouri (11), account for 26 tossups.

By a 2:1 margin, voters thought Obama won the last debate. However, the possibility of John McCain picking up one to two points isn't out of the question. Obama's 8-10 point lead for several days may have included a few disgruntled Republicans who were biting their tongues. They may now feel as if McCain rescued them by what they heard during McCain's exercise in anger management. Regardless, by Tuesday of next week, nobody will remember the debate or Sam the Handyman (aka Joe the Plummer).

Barack Obama's newest strategy to run up the score is bad news for John McCain and other vulnerable Republicans down the ticket. McCain doesn't have the money to adequately defend himself in Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia and Nevada while at the same time run an effective campaign in Florida and Ohio. Obama can compete anywhere he pleases and then some. Already today, we're learning that John McCain is behind in key counties across Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Virginia. As we've said before, Virginia is McCain's biggest nightmare.

This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but we'll say it again. John McCain has to win both Florida and Ohio. Even then, both states only get him a ticket to 11 p.m. on election night. Anything other than an all in move in Ohio and Florida is sure to end his chances. This has been and always will be his most essential priority for his campaign. Today, John McCain is campaigning Miami and Melbourne, Florida. Obama is in Roanoke, Virginia.

By the time we make our next projection (Tuesday), we may have an answer as to whether or not Colin Powell is going to endorse Barack Obama or not. He's appearing on Meet the Press on Sunday. We will also have a good idea whether or not McCain made up any ground from his debate performance. For now, we're just 18 days away from the CHANGE we need.

No comments: