The Plank

Evening Polls: Obama Gambling On Georgia


There is new polling out in Georgia and Colorado, each of which shows the race tightening.Rasmussen
conducted the Colorado poll, which has Barack Obama with a 43-41 lead.
That 2-point advantage is down from 6 points a month ago. But in
Georgia, Insider Advantage
has that state tightening to a single point; John McCain leads 44-43,
with 6 points going to Bob Barr. Insider Advantage's prior poll in
Georgia, which also included Barr in the match-ups, had John McCain
ahead by 10.Earlier this week, I ripped on the Obama campaign
for designating Georgia as a swing state. No previous polling had shown
Obama within single digits there -- a Rasmussen poll conducted the day
after the primaries ended had it McCain +10. I doubt that the state is
truly within the margin of error right now. But it is certainly close
enough -- with the known unknowns of the Barr vote and African-American
turnout -- to be included in Obama's ad buy,
as the candidate is doing. This may also be a reminder that you can
often infer something about a campaign's internal polling in a state
before the public data catches up. The McCain camp, for their part, seems as pleased as a peach:

The McCain campaign on Thursday said they welcome Obama's expenditure."We're
obviously overjoyed when Barack Obama spends money in a state that we
are very, very confident that John McCain will carry in November,"
McCain spokesman Jeff Sadosky said.

As to the Colorado result: the patterns here are getting harder rather than easier to detect, but just as he's gotten an especially large bounce out of Appalachia,
there is a certain type of state where Obama has gotten little bump at
all, or his numbers have even ticked downward. These are the states
that I sometimes think of as the Great White North: places like Oregon
and Washington, and Minnesota, and Colorado. These states have fair
numbers of Democrats but, with the possible exception of Minnesota,
they don't tend to be as institutionally Democratic as states East of
the Mississippi. They remain among Obama's best states, but he may be
running into some kind of ceiling in terms of partisan support.

--Nate Silver 

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