The Plank

Today's Polls: Another Obama Lead In Florida

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We'll keep this an appropriately breezy update for a Friday afternoon. In Washington, Rasmussen
has Barack Obama leading by 8 points over John McCain. This is a fairly
significant decline for Obama, who had led by 18 in Rasmussen's June
poll of the state. Is Washington so liberal that Obama's purported
shift to the center is harming him there? Probably not. He's still
winning self-identified liberal voters by an 87-10 margin, as well as
moderates 62-27. Washington looks safe for Obama and this appears to be
a case of a poll regressing back the mean. Oregon, though, might
deserve watching. If there's any sort of canary-in-the-coal mine in the
Pacific Northwest region, we'll see it there first.In Florida, the debut poll from Gainesville-based War Room Logistics
(PDF) has Obama with a slight lead of 2.7 points (we list the decimal
place if the pollster does). This continues the oddly bifurcated
polling results in Florida: we have several pollsters showing Obama
with a slight lead there but a couple others showing a somewhat more
comfortable margin for McCain. The problem with Florida is that it is
one of the more demographically unique states in the Union -- you have
whole groups like Cubans and Jewish voters that barely register in
other states, as well as an overdose of older voters. So you can't make
good inferences about it from other states, and when the polling is
contradictory, there are few reference points. But at a gut-instinct
level, our statistical model, which pegs McCain as roughly a 3-point
favorite there, sounds about right.

--Nate Silver

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