Alaska and Montana polls already showed a stunningly tight presidential race. Now, here is North Dakota. Rasmussen’s first poll from the state suggests that this state Bush won by 27% has become highly competitive:
- Obama and McCain are tied at 43%. When leaners are included, McCain is at 47% and Obama at 46%.
Montana’s 3 electoral votes are unlikely to get Barack Obama much closer to the White House. Neither would Alaska’s 3 electoral votes. But these two red states moving towards the competitive column together starts to become interesting for Obama — particularly when we add North Dakota’s 3 electoral votes. Here we have three states that Democrats are looking to contest this year. Obama is airing ads in all of them and has visited or is making plans to visit all of them.
The day’s other presidential polls include:
- Pew’s national poll finds Obama leading 48% to 40% against McCain. A month ago, Obama was up 3%.
- Rasmussen’s survey of Wisconsin has the Democrat ahead 50% to 39% (52-42 with leaners). He benefits from an excellent favorability rating (61%, 57% for McCain).
- A poll of Illinois — also taken by Rasmussen — finds Obama ahead 50% to 37%, 52% to 41% when leaners are included.
I have put in question McCain’s hold of Arizona because of polls that have found the race to be in high single-digits. I have to be consistent here and point out that a 11% lead in Illinois is a very disappointing result for Obama and one that does not speak well of his popularity in his home-state. And don’t forget that Democrats are hoping that Obama’s coattails will carry a number of Democrats across the finish-line in districts like IL-10, IL-11 and IL-06. Thankfully for Obama, this is only one isolated poll whereas McCain has suffered from a series of underwhelming Arizona polls.
As for Wisconsin, it is naturally one of the most important states in the election, and one that has clearly been trending in the Democrat’s direction ever since he secured the Democratic nomination and started to unify the base. The RNC clearly believes that Obama is vulnerable since this is one of only 4 states in which it is airing its ad on energy. But Obama has opened a consistent lead in state polls and Democrats are hoping the state is moving back to its blue roots.
The down-the-ballot polls that were released today were much less interesting, but they allow us to verify that races that absolutely no one are talking about are indeed not competitive:
- In North Dakota’s gubernatorial race, GOP Governor John Hoeven has no trouble crushing his Democratic opponent 66% to 26%.
- In Montana’s gubernatorial race (the poll was actually released a few days ago), Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer trounces his opponent 61% to 32%.
- In Illinois’s Senate race, finally, Senator Durbin leads his Republican challenger 61% to 27%.
Of these three races, only the Montana one could become interesting in the (very) unlikely chance Obama chooses the long-shot but sometimes-mentioned Schweitzer as his running-mate.