The Plank

Today's Polls: Mccain's Quixotic Quest In Wisconsin


The most interesting results are perhaps out of Wisconsin, where new polls from Rasmussen and the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
have Barack Obama ahead by 7 and 6 points respectively. This is
slightly closer than Wisconsin had been polling before (it's closer
still if you exclude leaners from the Rasmussen poll, which diminishes
his advantage to 4 points). Still, I think that Wisconsin is a trap
state for John McCain. There have been 17 polls of Wisconsin since
Super Tuesday, and Obama had led in 15 of them. The Republicans have
been slightly outspending
the Democrats in Wisconsin, which could account for a point or two's
worth of tightening, but we're getting to the point where a consistent
lead in the high single-digits is a pretty significant barrier to
overcome. Moreover, Wisconsin is in an awkward position electorally. In
only 52 of our 10,000 simulations did Barack Obama lose Wisconsin while
losing Michigan -- and if Obama has lost Michigan, Wisconsin is
unlikely to matter.Oregon, where SurveyUSA
has Obama ahead by 3, presents a somewhat more interesting opportunity,
as it marches somewhat more to its own drummer. Still, while the
polling has tightened in Oregon -- this is the second consecutive
SurveyUSA poll to show a 3-point race, it's hard to look at the
demographics, compare them to Washington or California (where Obama
holds large leads), and conclude that McCain is going to swing the race
without a lot of effort.Moving outside of swing states (real or alleged), there are a couple of good vanity numbers for Obama. His +21 from Quinnipiac in New York represents a 7-point improvement from last month, and the Capital Survey result from Alabama frankly isn't bad for a Democrat. But neither state has any electoral significance.

--Nate Silver 

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