Poll watch: Obama leads in Virginia and Iowa, McCain leads in Ohio

As there are an increasing number of polls being released daily and since I have not posted a poll roundup since Saturday, a mid-day check in seems to be in order. After all, polls that will come in later today - including Rasmussen’s latest take from CO, VA, OH, FL and PA - will start giving us a clearer idea of what the playing field looks like now that a week has passed since the GOP convention.

For now, one of the indications we have is from SUSA’s Virginia poll, taken over the week-end and which has Obama gaining six points in a week and (very importantly) gaining a lot of ground among independents. Here’s the mid-day full roundup:

  • Obama leads 50% to 46% in a SUSA poll of Virginia. McCain led by 2% last week. The ad was taken Friday through Sunday, so it seems to be the first state poll entirely taken more than a week after the GOP convention. McCain is down quite dramatically among independents. He led by 21%, he is now ahead by 4%.
  • McCain leads 46% to 42% in a new Suffolk poll of Ohio. The poll was taken Wednesday through Saturday.
  • Obama leads 52% to 40% in a Des Moines Register poll of Iowa. Obama leads by 13% among independents. The survey was conducted by Selzer Co., generally considered to be the best polling firm in Iowa, as you might remember from the coverage of the DMR’s final caucus poll on January 1st.
  • Obama and McCain are tied at 45% in a Star Tribune poll of Minnesota. The Star Tribune’s May poll had Obama leading by 13%.
  • Obama leads 50% to 41% in a Research 2000 poll of New Jersey. The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday; in May, Obama led by 8%. A stunning 98% of respondents said they were paying attention to the race!
  • Obama leads 46% to 37% in an Elway poll of Washington. The poll was taken last week-end (from the 6th to the 8th).
  • Obama leads 46% to 41% in a Siena poll of New York. That’s obviously a very weak showing in one of the bluest states in the country. The poll was taken last Monday through last Wednesday, so shortly after the GOP convention. Obama only led by 8% in Siena’s August poll.
  • Obama leads 55% to 43% in a Rasmussen poll of Delaware. Kerry won by 7% in 2004. Obama’s “very favorable” rating is at an excellent 41%.

A number of these polls are important, starting (of course) with SUSA’s Virginia poll. If other polls find a similar tightening among independents, it could mean that McCain’s convention gains are fading - but we will have more indications of that later today and tomorrow. But the Star Tribune’s Minnesota poll certainly¬† counter-balances by bringing McCain very good news; there have been numerous polls in the past few weeks finding Minnesota tightening, and I talked more about that yesterday.

The DMR’s Iowa poll is noteworthy because of how good a reputation Selzer’s polls have. This is confirmation of something we have known for a while - Iowa is more solidly in Obama’s column than many Kerry states, and its 7 electoral votes are a good foundation from which Obama can build his way to an electoral college majority.

The New Jersey and Washington polls, finally, are important as they are from states that were starting to look strangely close in some of the polls released last week. Obama leads in 9% in both states, a margin that is more in line with what we have been seeing than the 2-3% Washington margins we saw in SUSA and Rasmussen. But Obama does post very weak numbers in New York (the poll was taken last Monday through last Wednesday). The past two non-Siena New York polls (both taken around the time Siena had Obama leading by 8% in August) have Obama up 19% and 21%.

5 Responses to “Poll watch: Obama leads in Virginia and Iowa, McCain leads in Ohio”


  1. 1 Guy

    The VA poll is interesting becaus eit is the only one taken a week after the convention. Does show the “bounce” is fading and especially the Independent numbers.

    I don`t think Obama will be worried by a 9% lead in NJ. Actually it might be good because McCain has limited money and if he is tempted to spend there instead of elsewhere it will help Obama. NJ did the same thing with Kerry - a couple of weeks before polling day Kerry was down to just a few points lead in NJ which set of lots of speculation. NJ came “home” with a solid Dem lead.

    I am more worried by the MN polling results and would like to see WA and MN much safer (at leats 5%).
    Interesting that Iowa is completely immune to the GOP bounce - Palin and McCain have had no positive impact there.

  2. 2 Brent

    I think the Iowan don’t really care much for McCain since he has blown them off twice in the primaries (2000 and 2008) and he does not have the best relationship for a republican with the agricultural industry. Because of this, I think Iowa is the state that is the strongest for Obama outside of the northeast, California and Illinois.

  3. 3 CORY

    I think this McCain convetion/Palin bounce is starting to shrink.

  4. 4 Tom Bro-KAW

    Wishful thinking by my leftist friend. You only brushed over the Rasmussen findings. McCain has a solid lead in Florida ,Ohio, and now Colorado and is tied with Obama in Penn. and Virginia.

    McCain’s solid numbers are sticking and unless Obama changes his tune before the convention, he’ll be a former candidate for POTUS.

  5. 5 Marv

    Unfortunately, my friend Tom Bro-Kaw, the numbers just don’t support you. The bounce is clearly fading, Palin only served to shore up the dispirited rightwing base, and now that THE subject of discussion is the economy — never one of McCain’s strong suits, Obama will begin to regain his former position. Check out the new R2K daily tracking poll showing Obama ahead 48-44, and the numbers slipping for support for Palin. The discussion on most news networks yesterday was about McCain’s lies and distortions in his ads, with Rove’s chastising him for “going to far.” The second theme yesterday was McCain saying the economy was ‘fundamentally sound’ — anyone remember Hoover?– and how out of touch he was in light of the huge drop in the stock market.

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