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September 2008
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Electoral College: Three States Move Toward Obama

In the past for my posts on the blog talking about the race, I’ve included the chart or the map, but not both. From this point forward I will always include the chart, as it gives more and better information. I will also include the map whenever it changes.

Today, three states change categories, and all three move in Obama’s direction. In order of electoral college importance:

Michigan (17 ev): After being a swing state for a few weeks, Obama’s lead in Michigan once again goes over 5%, pulling the state out of “Lean Obama” and back to “Weak Obama”. Having Michigan as a swing state was bad news for Obama. Having it back in relatively safe territory again instantly puts Obama once again in a much stronger position.

Arkansas (6 ev): McCain’s lead in Arkansas drops to less than 10%, moving the state from “Strong McCain” to “Weak McCain”. It is however still quite a way from being a swing state, so the impact of this is minimal.

New Hampshire (4 ev): The usual caution applies here. The state moves from just barely on the McCain side of the line, to barely on the Obama side of the line. But New Hampshire did flip in the last five poll average, and Obama is once again ahead. The lead is still less than 5% though, so this is too close to call and still very much a swing state.

New Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 310, Obama 228
Obama Best Case – Obama 378, McCain 160

If everybody gets their leans – 286 Obama, 252 McCain

At this point, all six lines I track peaked for McCain (or bottomed for Obama) and have now started to move in the Obama direction. The dates for these peaks:

McCain Strong States: Peaked 25 Sep 2008
McCain Strong+Weak States: Peaked 19 Sep 2008
McCain Strong+Weak+Lean States: Peaked 18 Sep 2008

Obama Strong+Weak+Lean States: Bottomed 18 Sep 2008
Obama Strong+Weak States: Bottomed 22 Sep 2008
Obama Strong States: Bottomed 16 Sep 2008

I think we can now safely say that on ALL metrics the trends are now in the Obama direction.

At least for the moment. Obviously things change quickly. State polls as of today still have not had a chance to react to the events of the last few days, which have been dramatic. So we have yet to see how the public is reacting to those events.

And of course we have a debate tonight. In most cases debates do NOT make a significant difference in presidential races… unless someone screws up horribly.

So pay careful attention to tonight’s debate and see if one or the other candidate implodes.

I Take It Back

After her speech at the convention, I said some things about how Democrats underestimated Sarah Palin at their peril, and that while inexperienced, she was very good and could be quite a challenge.

After watching her handful of interviews, most recently the Katie Couric one, let me revise those thoughts.

She is as dumb as a rock.

Carry on.