Today's Polls: Is Nevada Turning Blue?

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THE PLANK JULY 17, 2008

Today's Polls: Is Nevada Turning Blue?

A trio of polls from Rasmussen Reports contain relatively good news for Barack Obama. In Nevada,
Obama leads by 2 points after having trailed McCain in each of
Rasmussen's last three polls of the state. We tend to group Nevada
together with Colorado and New Mexico; but really the states do not
have that much in common. Colorado is young, wealthy, and well-educated
-- increasingly hard to distinguish from reliably blue states like
Minnesota or Washington. New Mexico, by contrast, has considerably
below-average incomes, and is one of just three majority-minority
states on the US mainland.And
Nevada presents a whole different set of circumstances, full of
unionized workers and libertarians and Mormons and professional
gamblers; and a whole host of local issues ranging from Yucca Mountain
to one of the nation's highest foreclosure rates. Point being, it's a
difficult state to figure out to begin with, and especially so given
its paucity of polling. But between this poll and the Democrats' major gains in voter registration, I think we have to give a slight edge to Obama in Nevada, even though my model is still wont to give a slight edge to McCain.In North Carolina,
John McCain leads Barack Obama by 3 points, which is about the same
lead he's held in nearly every poll of the state since April. While the
state should remain reasonably close, our model does not particularly
like North Carolina as an investment target for Obama, figuring that
Obama won't win it without having won Virginia, and that if he's won
Virginia, he won't need it.Lastly, in Arkansas,
McCain is 13 points ahead. Obama had trailed 9 points in the June
edition of this poll, but by margins a large as 29 points earlier in
the spring. Arkansas can't be completely dismissed as an electoral
target, simply because if the Clintons commit themselves to some
vigorous and sincere barnstorming on Barack Obama's behalf, they'll
bring some voters in along with them. But 13 points worth? Probably not
without a Clinton on the ticket.

--Nate Silver

 

 

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