An odd day of polling, but one attention-grabbing result dominates the rest. That is from Ohio, where Public Policy Polling has Barack Obama ahead by 11 points. While Public Policy Polling developed a reputation as being somewhat Obama-friendly in the primaries, its track record is fairly strong, and its prior Ohio poll -- taken way back in March -- had shown McCain ahead by 8 points.
The headliner tonight is in Virginia, where Rasmussen has Barack Obama moving into a tiny, 1-point lead after having trailed John McCain by 3 points in May. Virginia has been a Democratic target from the get-go in this campaign, but it's of particular importance to Obama because it unlocks another series of parlays for his winning the election.
When my friend Geoff and I went to debate camp together (yes, there is something even dorkier than writing about polls), Geoff had a screensaver with an obnoxious lime green background and that pronounced in some very tacky, Windows 3.0 kind of font: "SLEEP IS THE ENEMY". I don't quite feel that way myself, but lately I've begun understand where Geoff was coming from. We were so busy rolling out methodological changes over the weekend that we didn't bother to document the latest polls.
The Republicans have given every signal of wanting to make a play for Minnesota. Their convention will be held in St. Paul, and Tim Pawlenty is perhaps the odds-on favorite to become John McCain's Vice Presidential nominee. There just isn't much indication, however, that the state is liable to be competitive. Rasmussen's newest poll in Minnesota has Barack Obama leading John McCain by 13 points. This is technically not a bounce: Obama led by 12 and 13 points in Rasmussen's April and May polls, respectively.
Beginning today, I will be cross-posting the daily polling thread at The Plank. For those of you who don't know me, I am the proprietor of FiveThirtyEight.com, which is sort of a self-help group for polling junkies. Most all of the rest of my blogging will remain exclusive to FiveThirtyEight, except when I feel like making fun of Jonathan Chait. We are, however, also contemplating a weekly, graphics-intensive feature in TNR's print edition.It's a good day to get started, because the pollsters are up bright and early.