[Updated with new Insider Advantage polls] We’re now exactly five weeks from Election Day, and we seem to be getting fewer polls every day - especially compared to the constant deluge of surveys we were treated to two weeks ago and last week. At least, we are getting our daily tracking polls which now appear to have stabilized in the mid-to-high single digit range - and that is significant given that today’s release marked the first which were entirely taken after the first presidential debate. Rasmussen, Diego Hotline and Gallup all find a 6% margin today in Obama’s favor, while Obama jumps to a 10% lead in Research 2000.
If such numbers hold over the next few weeks, state-by-state discussions would be somewhat moot, as many red states would naturally fall in Obama’s lap if he were to win the election anywhere near a 7% margin… but it nevertheless continues to be remarkable that Obama has not gained as much in the most disputed red states as he seems to have gained at the national level (he does appear to have pulled ahead in PA and MI in the aftermath of the financial crisis), leaving a lot of uncertainty in the election.
That said, Obama has undoubtedly made gains in a number of red states over the past 10 days, and while these gains are not enough to move any of them to his column, Obama has also erased any edge McCain had in states like Ohio, Virginia and Florida (as today’s polls once again confirm).
So the situation remains the same: If Obama defends the roughly four endangered blue states, he needs to pick up one more red state (though Nevada would not be enough if he loses New Hampshire). And the day’s polls confirm that he has plenty to choose from: Numbers in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina and Nevada are all within the margin of error - though a second Virginia poll shows Obama jumping to a comfortable lead, and the three Florida and Ohio polls show Obama improving! On to the day full roundup:
- Obama leads 49% to 46% in a PPP poll of Florida (polling history) thanks to Obama’s 15% lead among the 64% of respondents who say that the economy is their top issue. McCain led by 5% three weeks ago. Since then, Palin’s favorability rating has gone south.
- Obama leads 47% to 45% in an Insider Advantage poll of Ohio. The candidates were tied last week.
- Obama leads 51% to 45% in an Insider Advantage poll of Virginia (polling history), an 8% swing over a poll released 10 days ago.
- McCain leads 49% to 46% in an ARG poll of Virginia.
- Obama leads 49% to 41% in the latest Morning Call tracking poll of Pennsylvania (polling history) . Obama has increased his lead by 1% every day since Friday, when he led by 4%.
- McCain leads 49% to 46% in an ARG poll of North Carolina (polling history) - McCain’s first lead in four polls (who would have ever thought we’d say that), though within the margin of error.
- McCain leads 52% to 44% in a SUSA poll of Georgia (polling history). And though this subgroup has a huge margin of error, Obama gets more than 60% among the 10% of respondents who say they have already voted.
- McCain takes a huge 59% to 38% lead in a Rasmussen poll of Arizona (polling history). He has sometimes struggled in his home state.
Meanwhile, in down-ballot surveys:
- Saxby Chambliss’s lead has collapsed to within the margin of error in SUSA’s latest release from Georgia’s Senate race (polling history). He is now ahead 46% to 44% (down from 17% two weeks ago), with 5% for libertarian Allen Buckley.
- Pat McCrory leads Bev Perdue 44% to 41% in a PPP poll of North Carolina’s gubernatorial race (polling history). This is his first lead in a PPP survey. This is significant because the same survey showed Obama and Hagan gaining.
- Mitch Daniels keeps a decisive edge in Indiana’s gubernatorial race in the latest SUSA polling, 53% to 37%.
- A University of Connecticut poll has Rep. Simmons Courtney crushing his GOP challenger Sullivan 55% to 27% in CT-02. This is a district the GOP once had high hopes for.
Shall we make it… eleven? This is the second poll in a row after the DSCC-sponsored survey released yesterday that has Chambliss’ lead within the margin of error. More importantly, this is an independent poll that pushed undecideds, and the trend lines echoes what we are seeing in Kentucky’s Senate race - apparently confirming my post from last night. The GOP looks like it might soon find itself in the same situation as 2006, where seemingly safe Republicans find themselves in a fight, though it is difficult to view Chambliss as fully endangered until the DSCC gets involved.
That said, getting just one of these two races (KY, GA) anywhere near the top tier would already be an amazing achievement for Democrats. In this context, Susan Collins’ ability to weather the storm is truly remarkable: Who could have predicted a year ago that Tom Allen would never get within 7% (and I believe only Rasmussen found that tight a race) while Lunsford and Martin would be within the margin of error?
Beverly Perdue, on the other hand, looks like she is not doing very well. For her to fall under in the same poll that has Obama and Hagan surging is a sign that something is not going well for Democrats in this race, and that McCrory’s reform message might be functioning. Similarly, the situation is not rozy for Democrats in Indiana’s gubernatorial race, which once looked promising but now seems to be increasingly safe for the incumbent.