Zogby’s latest installment of his online polls is now up with a state-by-state breakdown to complement the pollster’s latest national poll that found Obama leading by 6%. If SUSA, Quinnipiac, Gallup or Rasmussen were to release polls from all 50 states, it would be a tremendous thrill for political junkies. And I would reserve the same excitement for Zogby if the polls were conducted via phone.
But the methodology of these onlines polls remains very suspicious. Zogby conducted an online survey of more than 46,000 likely voters (which are, if I understand correctly, self-selected). The 2004 and 2006 editions of these polls found some wild results and wide swings though its final 2006 release was more or less on target. With that note of skepticism, here are the noteworthy numbers from Zogby’s 2008 release:
- Obama leads McCain 273 EVs to 160 for the Republican and 105 toss-ups, though it is unclear why some states are colored purple (North Carolina where Obama has a large lead) and others aren’t (Florida, where McCain leads by 4% or Colorado and New Hampshire, where Obama is up by 2% and 3%).
- The state-by-state picture looks great for Obama who leads 48% to 38% in Michigan, 43% to 38% in Ohio, 48% to 32% in Minnesota, 49% to 33% in Oregon, 48% to 38% in Wisconsin, 49% to 36% in New Jersey, 46% to 36% in Pennsylvania, 49% to 33% in New Mexico, 44% to 39% in Virginia and 47% to 38% in North Carolina.
- Other major states are tied — some unexpectedly so: it’s a 42% to 40% Obama edge in Colorado, 42% to 41% for Obama in South Carolina, 40% to 37% for Obama in New Hampshire, 40% to 39% for Obama in Indiana, 42% to 39% for McCain in Texas, and 42% to 39% for Obama in Arizona… Nevada is tied at 38%.
- McCain looks a tiny bit better in Florida (43% to 39%), Louisiana (47% to 40%), Georgia (44% to 38%). Even Oklahoma is tighter than it ought to be (5% for McCain).
- As you can see, Obama is much stronger than he is believed to be in most states — and a bit too much to make these polls credible. And a big reason for that is the Bob Barr factor, as the libertarian candidate reaches high single-digits in many many states, drawing most votes from Republicans. He gets 9% in Arizona, 8% in Georgia in Minnesota, 7% in New Mexico, 6% in Michigan, etc… Given how active libertarians have been online all season, make of that what you will.
Obviously very strong numbers for Obama — but there are a lot of reasons to take these numbers with a lot of salt. The enthusiasm factor that could be helping Barr here is also likely to be boosting Obama… and there is very little evidence to suggest that online polls ought to be trusted.
Apart from Zogby’s polls, the day was dominated with down-the-ballot surveys. The first two polls come from second-tier yet important Senate races:
- In Kansas, Pat Roberts released an internal poll taken last week showing him ahead of former Rep. Jim Slattery 54% to 34%.
- The poll also finds John McCain leading Obama 49% to 36% in a state Bush won by 25% in 2004.
- In Maine, the Pan Atlantic SMS group (I have never heard of it, but it is based in Maine) finds Senator Collins crushing Tom Allen 56% to 31%.
- Note that we also have a Rasmussen poll from Rhose Island in which Sen. Reed gets 72% to his opponent Bob Tingle’s 20%…
Both these races could be essential to Democratic hopes of reaching 60 seats, though they are for now both considered second-to-third tier. Collins’s numbers are particularly strong given how much Democrats were excited by Allen’s candidacy, and besides a Rasmussen poll finding the race tightening there is little evidence for now that Allen will be able to make this a race.
In Kansas, meanwhile, few people expected to see numbers tighten but a few polls showing Roberts unexpectedly low put the race on the radar. Even the local press is now trumpeting the possibility of a competitive race, which should help Slattery tremendously to fundraise and get covered. While Roberts is posting a big lead in this poll, it is an internal and the incumbent is dangerously close to 50%.
Meanwhile, PPP polled NC-08, where Rep. Hayes beat Larry Kissel by about 300 votes in 2006:
- Hayes is ahead 43% to 36%, though PPP points out that more Democrats are undecideds and Kissel only has 55% of the black vote.
- PPP also finds McCain leading Obama 43% to 39% in a district Bush won by 9%.
An internal poll for Kissel found the Democrat slightly ahead two weeks ago and while the PPP survey has good news for Kissel (as the inucmbent is well under 50%), it is important to note that the challenger has at least some name recognition from 2006 which changes the equation a bit. But something has changed over the past 2 years: In 2006, the DCCC did not help the Democrat in what was one of Emanuel’s biggest mistakes of the cycle. This time, they are already running ads hitting Hayes.