Today's Polls: Some Tighetning Toward Mccain In State Polls

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THE PLANK NOVEMBER 2, 2008

Today's Polls: Some Tighetning Toward Mccain In State Polls

Polls conducted since our update last evening suggest some tightening
toward John McCain, but he sits well behind both nationwide and in many
key battleground states and remains a long-shot to win the election.The
good news for McCain? SurveyUSA has become the latest pollster to show
the race tightening in Pennslyvania, now giving Barack Obama a 7-point
lead after he'd been in the mid-double digits at various points in
October. The Muhlenberg/Morning Call tracker has also continued to
tighten, also settling on that 7-point number.SurveyUSA also
has Virginia tightening a bit to 4 points. And McCain gained
incrementally in the Research 2000, Gallup, and Diageo/Hotline
trackers, although this comes after a couple of days when Obama had
been moving up. (Rasmussen held steady, whereas Obama ticked up in
Zogby).Overall, our model shows McCain closing Obama's gap in
the national popular vote to about 5.4 points. His win percentage has
increased to 6.3 percent, from 3.8 percent last night.However, several cautions about reading too much into these numbers:Firstly,
I have the model programmed to be EXTREMELY aggressive this time of
year. There have been relatively few 'fresh' polls conducted within the
past 24-48 hours -- most of these state polls were in the field late
last week. As we get more data in today and tonight, the model could
very well decide that the race is not tightening at all. Moreover,
polls conducted on a weekend -- particularly on a quasi- holiday
weekend -- is generally unreliable.Secondly, even with this tightening, McCain remains well short the 2/2/2 condition that we defined last week:

John McCain polling within 2 points in 2 or more non-partisan polls (sorry, Strategic Vision) in at least 2 out of the 3 following states: Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania.

Indeed, McCain has not come within 2 points of Obama in any polls in any of these states.Finally,
where McCain has made progress, it has come mostly from undecided
voters rather than Obama's support -- this is particularly the case in
Pennsylvania. Therefore, he may be running out of persuadables to
persuade.

There's More...

--Nate Silver

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