The Plank

Today's Polls: Palin's A Hit Everywhere -- But The Electoral College

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 An avalanche of polling today, but a consistent theme emerges:And
what is that theme? Well, it's that the popular vote and the Electoral
College are significantly diverging. Although the Republicans seem to
be polling stronger than they were in the pre-convention period almost
everywhere, the differences are much larger in traditionally red
states, particularly in the South and the rural West (Colorado and
Nevada, by the way, are not
rural states). Basically, I think the Republicans are getting the
evangelical vote, and a significant fraction of the Perot vote.Unfortunately,
these are not particularly useful votes for them to have in terms of
the electoral math. Here is a comparison of our projected margins of
victory on August 26th -- the Tuesday of the Democratic convention,
before polling had any chance to take Michelle Obama's opening night
speech into effect -- with our projections today in a select group of
states that have been polled since the RNC ended.State 8/26 9/11 ChangeNH Obama +1.4 Obama +3.3 Obama +1.9WV McCain +8.1 McCain +7.4 Obama +0.7ME Obama +12.9 Obama +13.0 Obama +0.1FL McCain +3.5 McCain +3.8 McCain +0.3NJ Obama +8.0 Obama +7.5 McCain +0.5OH McCain +0.7 McCain +1.3 McCain +0.6NM Obama +2.2 Obama +1.5 McCain +0.7MI Obama +3.0 Obama +2.0 McCain +1.0WI Obama +7.1 Obama +5.8 McCain +1.3CO Obama +1.2 McCain +0.4 McCain +1.6PA Obama +6.3 Obama +4.6 McCain +1.7NV McCain +0.5 McCain +2.2 McCain +1.7==============AVERAGE: McCAIN +2.1 ===============VA McCain +0.6 McCain +3.1 McCain +2.5ND McCain +9.1 McCain +12.5 McCain +3.4NC McCain +3.8 McCain +7.5 McCain +3.7MS McCain +13.4 McCain +17.4 McCain +4.0MT McCain +3.5 McCain +8.3 McCain +4.8GA McCain +8.5 McCain +13.5 McCain +5.0WA Obama +11.5 Obama +6.3 McCain +5.2ID McCain +19.1 McCain +30.0 McCain +11.9AK McCain +6.6 McCain +20.4 McCain +13.8

McCain's
gain in our popular vote projection has been 2.1 points. Note, however,
that his gains have been less than that in essentially all of the most
important swing states, including Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Colorado,
Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Only Virginia is on the other side of
the line, and then only barely so.As a result of all this, the
Electoral College remains too close to call, even though McCain has a
1-2 point advantage in the popular vote. Obama now has an 8.4 percent
chance of winning the Electoral College while losing the popular vote,
which is far and away the highest that this number has been all year.
And that number may get larger rather than smaller, once polling
filters in from other red states like Texas, Nebraska and South
Carolina. Palin may have been a brilliant VP selection -- I think even
Palinophobes like me have to concede that right now McCain's looking
pretty savvy -- but some of that sheen is taken off by her somewhat
lackluster effect on the Electoral College.

--Nate Silver 

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