Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Florida: Most Uncounted Ballots Are In Democratic Counties

Posted Nov 08, 2016 at 8:20 PM by Maurice Berger

Re: Florida, most of the uncounted ballots are now in the large Democratic counties in South Florida. So things still bode well for Clinton in the state.

Corrected: Latest from Votecastr: Eight for Eight Clinton

Posted Nov 08, 2016 at 6:05 PM by Maurice Berger

According to Votecastr, which calculates approximate votes tallies on an ongoing basis through election day, Clinton is leading in eight out of eight key battleground states:

Florida: Clinton 49% Trump 45%

Iowa: Clinton 47% Trump 46% 

Colorado: Clinton 47% Trump 42%

Nevada: Clinton 47% Trump 44%

New Hampshire: Clinton 47% Trump 45%

Ohio: Clinton 46% Trump 45%

Pennsylvania: Clinton 48% Trump 45%

Wisconsin: Clinton 49% Trump 42%

Exit polling is provided by Votecastr (and Edison, which is used by all other media outlets). Their tally updates all day as voting patterns change. The accuracy of their novel methodology is, of course, yet to be proved.

Latest from Votecastr

Posted Nov 08, 2016 at 4:43 PM by Maurice Berger

According to Votecastr, which calculates approximate votes tallies on an ongoing basis through election day, Clinton is leading infive  out of seven key battleground states. Over the past few houses, their tallies have shown the race tightening somewhat. It is also unclear whether they have fixed their calculation problem to include all three voter tiers--early, pre-election polling, and election day voting:

Florida: Clinton 48% Trump 45% D+3

Iowa: Trump 46% Clinton 45% R+1

Colorado: Clinton 46% Trump 43% D+3

Nevada: Clinton 46% Trump 45% D+1

Ohio: Clinton 46% Trump 45% R+1

Pennsylvania: Clinton 48% Trump 45% D+3

Wisconsin: Clinton 48% Trump 43% D+5

These numbers are based only on election day voting numbers. So we'll need to wait until they're reconciled with early vote analysis and pre-election polling. Exit polling is provided by Votecastr (and Edison, which is used by all other media outlets). Their tally updates all day as voting patterns change. The accuracy of their novel methodology is, of course, yet to be proved. And complete tallys are not, as yet, available.

CORRECTED: Clinton Leading in Seven of Eight Battlegrounds?

Posted Nov 08, 2016 at 2:36 PM by Maurice Berger

According to Votecastr, which calculates approximate votes tallies on an ongoing basis through election day, Clinton is leading in seven out of eight key battleground states:

Florida: Clinton 49% Trump 45%

Iowa: Trump 46% Clinton 45%

Colorado: Clinton 47% Trump 42%

Nevada: Clinton 47% Trump 44%

New Hampshire: Clinton 47% Trump 43%

Ohio: Clinton 46% Trump 45%

Pennsylvania: Clinton 48% Trump 44%

Wisconsin: Clinton 49% Trump 43%

This numbers are based only on election day voting numbers. So we'll need to wait until they're reconciled with early vote analysis and pre-election polling. Exit polling is provided by Votecastr (and Edison, which is used by all other media outlets). Their tally updates all day as voting patterns change. The accuracy of their novel methodology is, of course, yet to be proved. And complete tallys are not, as yet, available.

FL Gov: Democrat Crist Now Ahead

Posted Jul 29, 2014 at 9:07 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by SurveyUSA in Florida reports that Democrat Charlie Crist now leads incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott in the governor's race by +6%--46% to 40%.

FL Governor: Race Close

Posted Jun 05, 2014 at 8:51 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Survey USA in Florida reports that incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott has pulled slightly ahead of Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in the race for governor, 42% to 40%.

FL Governor: Race Now Dead Heat

Posted Apr 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Mason-Dixon reports that Democrat Charlie Crist and incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott are tied in the race for Florida governor, 42% to 42%, with Libertarian Adrian Wyllie at 4%.

FL Insiders Think Bush Will Run In 2016

Posted Apr 16, 2014 at 8:29 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Florida Insider of 120 of the state's "most plugged in politicos" finds that 74% think former GOP Gov. Jeb Bush will run for president in 2016 but just 32% think Sen. Marco Rubio will do so.

Democrat Leads F-13 Special Election

Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by the Tampa Bay Times in Florida reports that Democrat Alex Sink holds a +7% lead over Republican David Jolly in the FL-13 special congressional election, 42% to 35%.

FL Governor: Democrat Crist With Lead

Posted Feb 06, 2014 at 8:27 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by the University of Florida reports that Democrat Charlie Crist leads incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott in the race for governor, 47% to 40%.

Crist Leades Scott In FL Gubernatorial Race

Posted Dec 03, 2013 at 7:17 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Quinnipiac in reports that GOP Gov. Rick Scott rails former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist, now an independent, by seven points in his 2014 re-election bid, 47% to 40%.

Long Lines Cost Votes In Florida

Posted Jan 29, 2013 at 8:31 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a study by votes compiled by the Orlando Sentinel, and analyzed by Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen , more than 201,000 votes were lost in Florida in the November election due to long lines. The Sentinel continues: "At least 201,000 voters likely gave up in frustration on Nov. 6, based on research Allen has been doing on voter behavior. His preliminary conclusion was based on the Sentinel's analysis of voter patterns and precinct-closing times in Florida's 25 largest counties, home to 86 percent of the state's 11.9 million registered voters."

How Did Obama Capaign Gauge The Mood Of The Electorate?

Posted Nov 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM by Maurice Berger

Here is a fascinating analysis of how the Obama campaign gauged its relative strengths and weakness through internal polls. Mark Blumenthal focuses on the Obama campaign polling operation and notes they their view of the state of the race was local rather than national. Rather than taking nation-wide polls, the campaign
limited its surveys to 11 battleground states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin), conducting them at regular intervals throughout the campaign. Campaign manager Jim Messina says this gave him a deeper understanding of "how we were doing, where we were doing it, where we were moving -- which is why I knew that most of the public polls you were seeing were completely ridiculous."

GOP Faces Demographic Problem In The South

Posted Nov 27, 2012 at 8:44 AM by Maurice Berger

According to the Washington Post, the GOP is facing demographic challenges not just with Hispanic voters, but also the decline of white and the ascendency of black voters in the South: "The South [tells] a newer and more surprising story: The nation’s first black president finished more strongly in the region than any other Democratic nominee in three decades, underscoring a fresh challenge for Republicans who rely on Southern whites as their base of national support . . .

. . . Obama won Virginia and Florida and narrowly missed victory in North Carolina. But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, grabbed 44 percent of the vote in deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi — despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states . . .

. . . Much of the post-election analysis has focused on the demographic crisis facing Republicans among Hispanic voters, particularly in Texas. But the results across other parts of the South, where Latinos remain a single-digit minority, point to separate trends among blacks and whites that may also have big implications for the GOP’s future."


Obama Wins Florida

Posted Nov 09, 2012 at 10:08 AM by Maurice Berger

Our latest projection of votes still outstanding in Florida suggest that President Obama will win the state by slightly under a percentage point.

Florida Still Out

Posted Nov 08, 2012 at 10:12 AM by Maurice Berger

We still await final results from Florida. The race is still razor close. Provisional ballots are slowly being counted. PollTrack called 50 out of 50 States (that includes DC's 3-EVs) correctly. Will Florida make it 51? Right now, it looks like Obama may squeak out a victory there. Stay tuned. 

How Did PollTrack Do?

Posted Nov 07, 2012 at 2:53 PM by Maurice Berger

How did PollTrack do, in terms of correctly predicting the outcome of Election 2012?

Quite well.

As for our Presidential Maps, we correctly predicted the outcome of all of the 50 races decided as of this morning. We await word in Florida, the one state that PollTrack noted--on Monday evening--was very difficult to call.

As for our US Senate Race Chart, PollTrack predicted 32 out of 33 races.

Florida Too-Close-To-Call

Posted Nov 07, 2012 at 9:29 AM by Maurice Berger

AS it turns out, the only state that PollTrack "missed" turns out to be Too-Close-To-Call as of this morning. On Monday evening, the state appeared so close in aggregate polling that it was the last to be called by this website (late-Monday evening). PollTrack called it for Romney based on last-minute polling. In which column will it wind up? Stay tuned.

PollTrack Electoral Projection: 332-Obama to 206-Romney

Posted Nov 07, 2012 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

Florida was the final state called last night by PollTrack. Florida was the most difficult call for PollTrack. And out of 51 Electoral Races--from Washington, D.C. to Alaska--Florida is the only race called incorrectly by PollTrack.

50 out of 51 races. Not bad.

Thank you, loyal supporters of PollTrack! And thank you for your patience through today's server problems.

Until tomorrow morning.

With New Hampshire Going To President Obama . . .

Posted Nov 06, 2012 at 10:07 PM by Maurice Berger

. . . the electoral math just got a bit steeper for Mitt Romney. With Florida looking increasingly difficult for Romney--the vast majority of uncounted votes are in heavily Democratic counties--we're at the point where it may be mathematically impossible for the GOP nominee to reach the major number of 270.

Florida Demographics: Democratic Precincts Under Reporting

Posted Nov 06, 2012 at 9:22 PM by Maurice Berger

Florida vote totals now stand at 50% to 50%. But as John King points out on CNN, the vast majority of precincts that have not yet reported are in the Democratic strongholds of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Might PollTrack have gotten Florida wrong? Time will tell.

Florida Close

Posted Nov 06, 2012 at 8:18 PM by Maurice Berger

In tonight's returns, Romney is holding his own and the president is matching (or in a few cases) exceeding his vote totals from 2008. PollTrack will watch these numbers very closely. The state promises to be close (PollTrack found this state the most difficult to call). Obama does not need this state to win, but it is crucial to Romney's chances. So a lot is riding on Florida for the GOP nominee.

Exit Poll: Drop Off Of White Vote In Florida

Posted Nov 06, 2012 at 6:37 PM by Maurice Berger

Exit Poll for Florida: RACE



71% White

13% Black

14% Hispanic


67% White

13% Black

16% Hispanic

These numbers suggest a possible problem for Romney: how to make up for the loss of white voters, especially with Hispanic participation up from 2008?



Don't Forget To Check Out Our MAPS: Final 303-Obama/235-Romney

Posted Nov 06, 2012 at 3:05 PM by Maurice Berger

Last night, PollTrack posted its FINAL Today's Map and Tomorrow's Map. The final tall: 303-Obama/235-Romney. The last state called: Florida, which according to our poll averaging is very, very close.

President Up In PollTrack's National Poll Average

Posted Oct 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's aggregate of the national polls in the presidential race now reports a (very slightly) increased lead for President Obama. As of 5:00 PM this afternoon, Obama is at 47.6% and Mitt Romney is at 46.5%--for an aggregate lead for the president of +1.1%. As important, across the swing state polls, the president appears to continue to be reversing some, but not all of Romney's gains over the past three weeks, and continues to lead by varying margins in all but three of the swing states, Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado, where Romney leads.

Is Romney's Momentum Slowing?

Posted Oct 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM by Maurice Berger

With yesterday's  Rasmussen survey showing the President with a +1% lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney--the poll normally has a slight GOP tilt--PollTrack wonders if Romney's momentum from last week's debate is slowing down. Other trackers have also showed movement back towards Obama, but with Romney holding onto an aggregate lead of less than 1%.

Swing state polls have been fairly erratic, with some polls showing a substantial lead for one candidate or another (from +6% for Obama in Ohio to +7% for Romney in Florida) to a virtual tie. In many instances, polls are alternately reporting leads for both candidates in the same state (most polls show Obama leading in Ohio, others give Romney a slight lead; in Florida, it is just the opposite, with one poll showing Romney up by +7%, another Obama up by +4%.

What these numbers suggest is a race in flux, a degree of statistical noise due to a major event in this past week's news cycle (the president's poor debate performance) and a shifting enthusiasm gap, with GOP voters now more revved up than Democrats. Has Vice-President Biden's feisty debate performance fired up unhappy Democrats? Has Rep. Ryan's cool resolve added to the sense of a GOP ticket on the rise? Did either performance move the needle with independent voters? A few more days of polling should give us a better sense of the direction of the race leading into next week's presidential debate in New York.

The Election Draws Close, With Obama Holding A Slight Advantage

Posted Oct 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM by Maurice Berger

With a new crop of polls in Ohio suggesting that President Obama is the slight favorite there--and polls in traditional Democratic states like Wisconsin and New Hampshire reporting a much closer race, but with a Democratic advantage--PollTrack believes that the fundamentals of the presidential race still point to an Obama victory. But with other swings states drawing very close, e.g. Colorado, Virginia, and Florida, where some polls now show Mitt Romney in the lead, PollTrack also believes that the race has grown, much close, volatile, and less predictable. In other words, the final month of Election 2012 begins with uncertainty rather than clarity.

The forthcoming debates--and the possibility of events in forthcoming news cycles helping or hurting either candidate--will determine whether the race will be won by Obama or Romney by a comfortable margin or a razor thin one. Still, the president continues to maintain a larger base of electoral votes than Romney. On the other hand, a wave of support towards the GOP candidate--with so many swing states now virtually tied--could tip the balance in his favor. Or, of course, the opposite might come to pass. Stay tuned, loyal readers. This is going to get interesting.

Florida Leaning GOP and Virginia Now Too-Close-To-Call on Today's Map

Posted Oct 10, 2012 at 8:39 AM by Maurice Berger

With polls consistently reporting that the race in Virginia and Florida are tightening considerably, PollTrack moves Virginia on Today's Map from Leaning Democratic to Too-Close-To-Call and Florida from Too-Close-To-Call to Leaning GOP.

Tightening National Race?

Posted Oct 09, 2012 at 8:02 AM by Maurice Berger

Based on national polling out today--a full 5-days after the first presidential debate--PollTrack is seeing a discernible tightening of the race. We are waiting for additional polling in the swing states (due over the next few days) to better understand whether the tightening of the race is statistical noise (or simple fall out of the first debate) or a genuine drop in the president's support and/or an increase in Mitt Romney's support. PollTrack suspects at this point that the tightening may be real, and possibly durable. As such, tightening of swing state polls has resulted in substantive race ratings in Colorado, Iowa, Florida and Virginia, now rated as Too-Close-To-Call on Today's  Map--a dynamic swing from a week ago when all were rated Leaning Democratic.

Obama Holds A Whopping +50% Lead Among Hispanic Voters

Posted Oct 04, 2012 at 9:17 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll has bad news for the Romney campaign: the survey, by NBC News/WSJ/Telemundo, reports that President Obama now leads Romney among Hispanic voters by a whopping +50% margin--70% to 20%. The survey's background analysis continues: "It appears that Romney's comments that 47% of Americans are dependent on government took a toll on his standing with Hispanics. Romney's favorability score has cratered with the group, with his negatives hitting an all-time high. Fifty-three percent now say they have a negative impression of Romney and just 23% say they have a positive one. That 30-point difference is 17 points worse than in August."

Traditionally, it has been extremely difficult in recent years for GOP candidates for president to win without picking off a sizable amount of the Hispanic vote, in the 35% to 45% range. Not only does Romney poor standing hurt him in the national popular vote, it also makes it very difficult to win purple states with large Hispanic populations, most notably Colorado, Nevada, Florida, and Virginia. Stay tuned.

Florida: Back To Leaning Democratic

Posted Sep 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM by Maurice Berger

With the results of three recent polls reporting that the president is both leading and at, near or above the 50% mark in Florida, PollTrack moves the state on Today's Map from Too-Close-To-Call to Leaning Democratic.

Is The Tide Turning Blue?

Posted Sep 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM by Maurice Berger

With three new polls showing a small but consistent lead by President Obama over Mitt Romney, PollTrack moves North Carolina on Today's Map from Too-Close-To-Call to Leaning Democratic. This move is significant, indicating a broader shift in recent days away from Romney and towards the president. As swing states that continue to trend modestly Republican--like North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia--now indicate a slight preference for Obama, classic purple states, like Ohio and Colorado, are increasingly showing strength for Obama.

Indeed, PollTrack has tracked another consistent trend: in many recent polls in battleground states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, the president has inched up to (or in a number of cases over) the all-important 50% mark. With the probability fading that the president's convention bounce was merely transient--and the real possibility that these numbers might remain stable for the time being--PollTrack senses that the election may have reached a tipping point.From the perspective of history, such trends are very difficult for challengers to reverse this close to the election. Stay tuned.

Today's Map: FL Moves From Leaning Democratic to TCTC

Posted Sep 24, 2012 at 9:08 AM by Maurice Berger

Due to the very close and contradictory polling in Florida--Romney is up by+1% in one poll, Obama in another--PollTrack moves the state on Today's Map from Leaning Democratic to Too-Close-To-Call. A new poll by Public Policy Polling in Florida reports that President Obama leads Romney by four points, 50% to 46%. Given the slight Democratic title of that poll, PollTrack will await the next round of polling in the state to determine if it has moved sufficiently in one direction or another to call the state.



Obama Pulls Ahead In Three Swing States

Posted Sep 14, 2012 at 9:07 AM by Maurice Berger

Three new polls from Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist report that President Obama's lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio, Florida and Virginia has increased among likely voters. That the president is near or at the 50% mark in all three states suggests a problem for his GOP challenger.

Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 44%

Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 43%

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 44%

Obama Above 50% Mark in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Posted Aug 02, 2012 at 9:23 AM by Maurice Berger

In another indication that recent news cycles--and heavy advertising by Democrats--has hurt Mitt Romney in key sewing states, a new survey by Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times polls reports that President Obama now leads Mitt Romney in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Just as significantly, Obama breaks the all-important 50% mark in each state:

Florida: Obama 51%, Romney 45%

Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 44%

Pennsylvania: Obama 53%, Romney 42%

NPR Poll: Obama and Romney Tied in 12-Key Battleground States

Posted Jul 25, 2012 at 9:32 AM by Maurice Berger

In another indication of just how close the presidential race may turn out to be--and at this point--a new NPR poll in 12 battleground states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin -- reports that President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 46% each.

Obama Ahead in Florida

Posted Jul 24, 2012 at 8:37 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Survey USA in Florida reports that President Obama is leading Mitt Romney by +5%--and inching closer to the all-important 50% mark--in the key battleground state, 48% to 43%.

Obama Holds Modest Lead Across Four Swing States

Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Purple Strategies poll conducted across four battleground states -- Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Virginia -- finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by modest +2%, 47% to 45%. An earlier poll in June rracked an identical +2% lead. 

Obama Holds Huge Lead Among Latinos in Swing States

Posted Jul 02, 2012 at 12:16 PM by Maurice Berger

Will the Latino vote provide President Obama with the kind of cushion he needs to assure his reelection. A new Latino Decisions poll suggests that the answer may be yes. Obama is now significantly ahead of Mitt Romney among Latino voters in the key swing states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia. The survey reports that "In Florida, Obama is leading Romney by a margin of 53% to 37%, a slight increase from a 50% to 40% lead Obama held over Romney in a January 2012 Latino Decisions/Univision News poll in Florida. In the five states combined Obama lead Romney 63% to 27%, however in southwestern battlegrounds of Arizona, Colorado and Nevada Obama performed even better. In Arizona Obama received 74% to 18% for Romney, in Colorado he was favored by 70% to 22% and in Nevada 69% to 20%. In Virginia, Obama lead 59% to 28% over Romney among Latino registered voters." These numbers suggest that the even ordinarily red state of Arizona could be in play this year.

Obama Retakes Florida Lead

Posted Jun 25, 2012 at 2:21 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Quinnipiac reports that President Obama has retaken the lead in Florida from Mitt Romney. He now leads his GOP rival, 46% to 42%. PollTrack moves Florida on Today's Map from Leaning Republican to Too-Close-To-Call.

Upgraded Today's Map: The Race Tightens

Posted Jun 08, 2012 at 8:59 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack has just upgraded Today's Map Today: with Ohio moving from Leaning Democrat to Too-Close-to-Call and Florida from Leaning GOP to Too-Close-Too-Call, two more key states have swung into the toss up category.

Today's Presidential Map: The Race Draws Closer

Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:33 AM by Maurice Berger

New calls by PollTrack on Today's Map suggest that the presidential race is growing closer. Our new tally (with leaners and safe states factored in):

Obama (D): 255 EVs

Romney (R): 235 EVs

Too-Close-To-Call: 48 EV

Obama With Modest Lead in FL, OH, VA

Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:08 AM by Maurice Berger

Three new surveys by NBC/Marist report that President Obama maintains a narrow lead over Mitt Romney in three key  battleground states: Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

Florida: Obama 48%, Romney 44%

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 42%

Virginia: Obama 48%, Romney 44%

Quinnipiac: Obama with Slight Lead in Ohio and PA, Romney Ahead in Florida

Posted May 07, 2012 at 9:14 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest batch of Quinnipiac polls reports a tightening of the presidential race in three key swing states:

Florida: Romney 44%, Obama 43%

Ohio: Obama 44%, Romney 42%

Pennsylvania: Obama 47%, Romney 39%.

Purple Poll: Race Close In Four Key Swing States

Posted May 01, 2012 at 9:42 AM by Maurice Berger

Purple Poll surveys four key swing states and finds an extremely close presidential race: President Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney in Ohio 49% to 44%, and holds a slight lead in Virginia, 48% to 46%. The candidates are tied in Colorado, 47% to 47%. Romney holds a slight lead in Florida, 47% to 45%.

Obama Holds Slight Lead In Florida

Posted Apr 26, 2012 at 9:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by Fox News suggests that the President continues to hold hold a very modest lead over Mitt Romney in Florida, where he is ahead by two points,  45% to 43%.

Obama Leads By Significant Margin In Battleground States

Posted Apr 04, 2012 at 9:28 AM by Maurice Berger

A new USA Today/Gallup poll in a dozen battleground states finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney, 51% to 42%. The survey finds that the "biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney's support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group."The ten states surveyed were: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina,  Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Rasmussen: Obama Ahead In Four Key Swing States

Posted Mar 14, 2012 at 3:02 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by Rasmussen, "President Obama now holds a modest lead over Mitt Romney . . .  in combined polling of key swing states Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The numbers mark a shift from late February when Obama was tied in the four states. Obama is now ahead of the former Massachusetts governor 46% to 42%. 6% prefer some other candidate in this matchup, and 6% are undecided."

More Good News For the President

Posted Feb 16, 2012 at 2:21 AM by Maurice Berger

As PollTrack noted yesterday, the tide appears to be turning in favor of the president's reelection. Two new polls, hypothetical matchups for the fall election, confirm this observation.  A survey by CNN/Opinion Research reports that President Obama bests all of his possible Republican rivals in GOP match ups: Obama leads Romney, 51% to 46%, tops Santorum, 52% to 45%, beats Paul, 52% to 45%, and crushes Gingrich, 55% to 42%.

Another poll, by Fox News, of key battleground states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin -- reports the same: Obama leads Romney, 47% to 39%, tops Santorum, 48% to 38%, beats Paul 48% to 37% and crushes Gingrich, 52% to 32%.

Romney More Electable Against President Obama?

Posted Jan 31, 2012 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A new USAToday/Gallup survey of the dozen states likely to determine the outcome of November's election--Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin--concludes that Mitt Romney is the "GOP contender with the best chance of denying Obama a second term." The poll reports that "in a head-to-head race, Romney leads Obama by a statistically insignificant percentage point, 48%-47% . . . But Obama leads Gingrich, 54%-40%. The president's standing against him has risen nine points since early December; Gingrich has fallen by eight. Gingrich fares less well than Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who trails Obama by seven points, 50%-43%, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who also trails by seven points, 51%-44%."

Florida GOP Primary: Likely Romney Win

Posted Jan 30, 2012 at 1:48 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's analysis of half-dozen polls released over the past few days in the GOP presidential primary in Florida suggest a likely win for Mitt Romney. Romney's aggregate lead over his closes competitor, Newt Gingrich, as of Sunday evening is +11.3%--a considerable advantage, with Romney leading in all six polls (with margins ranging from +8% to +16%.

CNN-TIME: Romney With Slight Lead In Florida

Posted Jan 26, 2012 at 2:24 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by CNN-Time in Florida reports a slight lead for Mitt Romney, who now comes in at 36%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 34%, Rick Santorum at 11% and Ron Paul at 9%. According to the poll, "Romney leads Gingrich among female and white voters, voters over 50, and those with a college degree... Gingrich holds leads among men, Tea Party voters, self-identified conservatives -- among whom he boasts a 10-point advantage -- and born-again Christians. His fans also appear to be more committed than Romney's."

Gingrich Ahead In Florida

Posted Jan 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released survey by Public Policy Polling survey in Florida reports that Newt Gingrich now leads Mitt Romney by five points in the GOP presidential race, 38% to 33%, followed by Rick Santorum at 13% and Ron Paul at 10%. Significantly, Gingrich has gained 12 points since a PPP poll conducted in Florida a week ago. Romney has dropped 8 points.

Another Poll Shows Gingrich With Florida Lead

Posted Jan 24, 2012 at 1:04 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll out from Rasmussen in Florida shows Newt Gingrich now ahead in the GOP presidential race with 41%, followed by Mitt Romney at 32%, Rick Santorum at 11% and Ron Paul at 8%.

Insider Advantage Survey: Gingrich Ahead In Florida

Posted Jan 23, 2012 at 1:03 AM by Maurice Berger

In another sign that the Romney campaign is ion trouble, a new survey by Insider Advantage reports that Newt Gingrich is ahead in the Florida GOP presidential primary. After weeks of leading significantly in the polls in the state, Romney now trails Gingrichby eight points in Florida, according to the poll conducted the day after the former House speaker won the South Carolina primary According Insider Advantage poll, Gingrich is at 34%, Romney 26%, Ron Paul 13% and former Rick Santorum is last at 11%.

Romney Ahead In Florida By Wide Margin

Posted Jan 18, 2012 at 2:00 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Sunshine State News in Florida reports that Mitt Romney leads by a very wide margin in the upcoming primary for the GOP presidential nomination. According to the poll, Romney leads with 46%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 20%, Rick Santorum at 12% and Ron Paul at 9%. Similarly,. A new Public Policy Polling survey in the state shows Romney in the lead at 41%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 26%, Rick Santorum at 11%, Ron Paul at 10%, Rick Perry at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 1% rounding out the field.

Election 2012: Romney With Huge Lead In Florida

Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

Even if the South Carolina proves to be close--or even if current frontrunner Mitt Romney loses--a new Rasmussen survey in Florida suggests that Florida may contribute to his overall standing as GOP nomination leader. According to the poll, Romney leads with 41%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 19%, Rick Santorum at 15%, Ron Paul at 9% and Jon Hunstman at 5%.

Election 2012: Romney Now Ahead In Florida

Posted Jan 11, 2012 at 1:52 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by Quinnipiac in Florida reports that Mitt Romney is now leading the GOP presidential race with 36%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 24%, Rick Santorum at 16%, Ron Paul at 10%, Rick Perry at 5% and Jon Huntsman at 2%. With more than half of all voters saying they could still change their mind, the race may still be fluid.

Election 2012: Gingrich Up In SC and Florida

Posted Dec 14, 2011 at 1:14 AM by Maurice Berger

Two new polls by NBC News-Marist report that Newt Gingrich has considerable leads over Mitt Romney in South Carolina and Florida.
In South Carolina, Gingrich leads Romney by 42% to 23% (no other GOP candidate rises above single digits). In Florida, Gingrich leads Romney by 44% to 29%.

Election 2012: Polling In Florida Confirms Gingrich Ascendance

Posted Dec 01, 2011 at 1:27 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll in Florida (with results similar to two others released over the past few days) confirms Gingrich's ascendance in the national contest for the GOP presidential nomination. The survey by Public Policy Polling survey in Florida shows Newt Gingrich leading the Republican presidential field with 47%, followed by Mitt Romney at 17%, Herman Cain at 15%, Ron Paul at 5%, Michele Bachmann at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, Rick Perry at 2%, and Rick Santorum at 1%. Significantly, in light of PollTrack's Wednesday analysis of the status of the GOP campaign, the poll reports that the "biggest reason for Newt Gingrich's rise is that he's picked up the voters of Herman Cain and Rick Perry as their campaigns have fallen apart." PPP continues: "But these numbers make it pretty clear he's doing more than that--some of Mitt Romney's '25%' is starting to fall off and move toward Newt as well."

PollTrack: Romney No Longer The Clear Favorite To Win GOP Nomination

Posted Nov 30, 2011 at 1:51 AM by Maurice Berger

Despite polls showing Mitt Romney way ahead in New Hampshire, PollTrack's analysis of the early voting states suggests a less clear path to victory for Romney. As one pollster notes in New Hampshire (WMUR/UNH): "Just 16% of . . . likely primary voters say they know who they are voting for. So, while Romney might like his commanding lead right now, there is no telling where 84% of voters will go in the six remaining weeks before the primary." Indeed, the former Massachusetts governor now trails Newt Gingrich in most of the early voting states (or, as in Florida, is locked in a virtual tie with Gingrich). Romney's inability to seal the deal with Republican voters is telling.

Too moderate for the far right wing of the party--especially for Tea Party supporters--and too opportunistic in the eyes of even more moderate Republican voters, Romney appears to be unable to win the trust of a majority of GOP voters (or even a clear plurality). While it is now likely that the GOP primary season will drag on well into the early summer of 2012, it is PollTrack's opinion that Romney is no longer the clear frontrunner. Indeed, with major support now breaking Gingrich's way--and nearly all national surveys of GOP voters showing him in the lead--Gingrich may be breaking away from the pack. And as under-performing ultra-conservative candidates such as Cain, Bachmann, and Santorum begin dropping out of the race, it is far more likely that their votes will go to Gingrich and not Romney. Stay tuned.

Election 2012: Early GOP Voting Calendar Set

Posted Nov 03, 2011 at 3:25 AM by Maurice Berger

For those of you, like PollTrack, interesting in following voter sentiment on the ground, here is the voting schedule of the first five states in the Republican nominating process:

January 3: Iowa

January 10: New Hampshire

January 21: South Carolina

January 31: Florida

February 4: Nevada

Election 2012: Romney Ahead Or Tied In Early Voiting States

Posted Oct 28, 2011 at 2:03 AM by Maurice Berger

A new multi-state survey by CNN/Time/Opinion Research reports that Mitt Romney remains the clear front-runner in New Hampshire, leads in Florida, and is statistically tied for the top spot with Herman Cain in Iowa and South Carolina.

Iowa: Romney leads Cain 24 to 21%, followed by Paul at 12%, Perry at 10%, Gingrich at 10%, and Bachmann at 6%.

New Hampshire: Romney leads Cain 40 to 13%, followed by Paul at 12%, Huntsman at 6%, Gingrich at 5%, and Perry at 4%.

South Carolina: Romney leads Cain 25 to 23%, followed by Paul at 12%, Perry at 11%, Gingrich at 8%, and Bachmann at 4%,

Florida: Romney leads Cain 30 to 18%, followed Gingrich at 9%, Perry at 9%, Paul at 6% and Bachmann at 4%.

Election 2012: Perry's Numbers Collapse In Florida

Posted Oct 04, 2011 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A new War Room Logistics (R) survey in Florida reports that Rick Perry's numbers in the state have taken a -16% nose dive. The poll finds Mitt Romney leading the Republican presidential field with 28% among likely voters, followed by Herman Cain at 24%, Newt Gingrich at 10% and Rick Perry at 9%. PollTrack believes that the key number here is not Romney's or Perry's, but Cain who is now a close second, after winning the Florida Straw Poll last week. Cain's strong showing here--and his uptick nationally--could suggest that he is becoming a real contender in the GOP presidential nomination race.

Florida: GOP Insiders See Romney As Strongest Candidate Against Obama

Posted Sep 23, 2011 at 12:10 AM by Maurice Berger

What do Democratic and GOP insiders in Florida think of the GOP field and its chances against a sitting Democratic president? A new survey by St. Petersburg Times Florida Insider--which polled campaign consultants, lobbyists, activists --reports that two thirds of Democrats and two thirds of Republicans think Mitt Romney is a stronger general election candidate than Rick Perry. In the end, 50% of the Republican believe Romney will win the GOP primary in Florida next year, while 41% predicted Perry.

Election 2012: Who's Ahead In The GOP Prsidential Primary?

Posted Sep 22, 2011 at 12:38 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by Florida Times-Union/Insider Advantage in Florida reports that Rick Perry now leads Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential primary race by nine points, 29% to 20%. All other candidates are in the single digits.

GOP Nomination Race: Romney Ahead In Florida

Posted Aug 23, 2011 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by McLaughlin & Associates in Florida reports that Mitt Romney maintains a double-digit lead over the rest of the GOP presidential field: the former Massachusetts Governor comes in at 27%, followed by Rick Perry at 16%, and Michele Bachmann at 10%. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain trial at 5% each.

Election 2012: Obama In Trouble In Florida?

Posted Aug 12, 2011 at 1:37 AM by Maurice Berger

In yet another sign that the road to reelection may be moe difficult than expected for President Obama, a new Quinnipiac poll in the key swing state of Florida reports that the president's job approval rating is a negative 44% to 51%. Florida voters also say by a 50% to 42% margin that the president does not deserve to be reelected. Nevertheless, with weak Republican opposition, the president manages to best two of all potential candidates and ties another:Mitt Romney is dead even with Obama at 44%; the president has double-digit leads over other top Republicans, except for Texas Gov. Rick Perry who trails Obama 44% to 39%.

Election 2012: Romney Ahead In Florida

Posted Jul 01, 2011 at 1:59 AM by Maurice Berger

Could the GOP Primary in Florida be decisive in next year's Republican quest for the nomination for president? A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida reports that Mitt Romney has a double digit lead for the GOP presidential nomination. He also maintains the lead in other early voting states, such as New Hampshire and (by a whisker), Iowa. In Florida, Romney leads with 27%, followed by Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann at 17%, Herman Cain at 10%,  Newt Gingrich at 8%, Ron Paul at 7%, Tim Pawlenty at 4% and Jon Huntsman at 2%.

Election 2012: Unemployment Up in Swing States

Posted Jun 24, 2011 at 2:00 AM by Maurice Berger

In yet another problem for the incumbent president, The Fix examines the most recent state-by-state unemployment numbers and reports "that in every one of the 14 swing states heading into 2012 -- Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin -- the unemployment rate has risen since October 2008."

Florida Poll: Voters Cool On Gov. Scott

Posted Jun 01, 2011 at 1:44 AM by Maurice Berger

Are voters cooling on the new crop of GOP politicians elected to office in 2010? A new poll suggests that at least in Florida the answer may be yes (though other polls in other states suggest discontent with newly elected GOP governors and senators).  The Quinnipiac poll in Florida reports that 57% of voters disapprove of the job Gov. Rick Scott (R) is doing; just 29% approve--the lowest approval rating of any governor in the states surveyed by the polling organization.

Election 2012: Good News For Obama In Florida

Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:00 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest Quinnipiac poll in Florida has very good news for President Obama: approval rating in the state has improved significantly since early April -- before the death of Osama bin Laden. His numbers have flipped from a net negative approval of 44% to 52% to a net positive of 51% in favor and 43% opposed. Perhaps more significant: a majority of Florida voters now say Obama deserves reelection, 50% to 44%. The biggest movement is among independents: "Obama's improved job rating in Florida is largely due to a big swing among independent voters, from a negative 39% to 55% April 7 to a split 47% to 45% today."

Election 2012: Obama In Poor Position In Florida

Posted Apr 13, 2011 at 12:38 AM by Maurice Berger

In a troubling sign for the administration, a new Sachs/Mason-Dixon poll suggests that President Obama is in a poor position for retaking Florida in his 2012 reellction bid. Right now, only 34% of independent voters in Florida approve of Obama's job performance. Both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee would now defeat the president in Florida if the election were held today.

Americans Support Unions Over GOP Governors

Posted Apr 04, 2011 at 12:39 AM by Maurice Berger

By and large, Americans support unions in their present-day squabbles with Republican governors. A new Gallup poll reports that 48% of Americans "agree more with the unions in state disputes over collective bargaining for public employees, while 39% agree more with the governors."

Republicans Could Have Serious Problem Come November

Posted May 25, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

Before Republicans start celebrating what some predict may be a massive victory in November, they may want to take notice of one sobering phenomenon: In Colorado and Arizona, Public Policy Polling reports that Hispanic voters are now swinging dramatically towards Democrats in the wake of Arizona's new immigration law. PPP continues: "Hispanics in the Mountain West are leaning much more strongly toward the Democrats since the Arizona law was passed. The big question then becomes whether there are white voters who are going to go Republican this fall who wouldn't have if that bill hadn't been passed. We don't see any evidence of that happening yet." This trend could easily shift into other states with significant Hispanic populations, effecting very close race in states as disparate as California, Ohio, and Florida, not to mention Colorado and Arizona. Stay tuned. This could be the sleeper phenomenon of the 2010 cycle.

Obama Wins Florida and Colorado

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 3:38 PM by Maurice Berger

NBC News has called Colorado for Obama. Less expected--and very significant--the network has also call Florida for the Democrat. Bill Clinton won the state once. But in recent cycles, Florida has been a difficult threshold for Democrats.

Morning Report: Obama Well Over The Mark, 291 to 163, with 84 TCTC

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 1:41 AM by Maurice Berger

On election morning, it is clear to PollTrack that the fundamentals of the race decidedly favor Obama. He has wracked up significant margins in early voting according to nearly all polls, though in a few states, preeminently Florida, its unclear who has the edge and by how much. He maintains "Safe" leads in virtually all of the Kerry-blue states from 2004, and robust leads in a few Bush states as well (Iowa and New Mexico). Additionally, he holds a modest, but statistically significant, advantage in another two: Colorado and, amazingly in a state that hasn't gone Republican since 1964, Virginia. McCain, on the other hand, maintains 127 "Safe" electoral voters, and 32 "Leaners," one comfortably (West Virginia), and three by a very slim margin, helped by red-leaning statewide demographics (Montana, North Dakota, and Georgia). The Republican, unlike Obama, leads in NO Kerry-blue states (though his campaign insists it has a chance in PA) and is struggling in several states won by Bush: Indiana, North Carolina, and Missouri, all three virtually tied and thus remain too close to call. And the two candidates have drawn the mother of all battleground states, Florida and Ohio, to a tie. Indeed, of the 12 true swing states in 2004, Obama now leads in all but these two states. If Obama simply maintains most of the states he now takes on PollTrack's map, he wins. McCain, on the other hand, would have to run the Bush-red deck now on the map, including all red-safe and red-leaning states, the five that are now too close to call, AND pick off a Kerry-blue state or two from Obama. In the end, turnout means everything in this--and all--elections. And the "wave" matters, too. If momentum remains sharply with Obama--e.g., voters are comfortable with him and angry about what they see as Republican mismanagement of the economy--the Democrat will win an electoral landslide. If McCain's newfound "momentum" turns out to be real and more than moderate--indeed, in most statewide surveys, voters who have already cast their ballots favor Obama by a significant margin, those who plan to vote today, lean to McCain, to varying degrees--the race could end closer. In this regard, Obama has another structural advantage in many states: with voting going on since early October in some places--a time when the Democrat was riding high in the polls--he comes into today's contest with a real edge. Yet, if turnout is unprecedented then the make-up of the electorate could determine the outcome of close states. This explains the near impossibility of predicting the outcome of states are now virtually or literally tied--MO, IN, FL, OH, and NC--simply from present-day polling, historical voting models, and demographics. Will this show of voter enthusiasm merely underscore Obama's longstanding popularity and the intensity of his supporters, or might Republicans, Evangelicals, and center-right white working class voters come home to McCain in larger than expected numbers?

Daily Tracking Average: Obama Bumps Up An Additional +1.6%

Posted Nov 03, 2008 at 8:48 AM by Maurice Berger

Today's daily tracking poll average indicates a comfortable national aggregate lead of +6.6% for the Democrat, 50.6% to 44%. Still, with Obama up as much as +25% in states with some of the largest populations--such as CA, NY, MA, IL, MI--this national number may not reflect the relativeness closeness of the race in several key battleground states, including OH, NC, and FL. Much of today's polling continues to indicate an unusually large bloc of undecided or still persuadable voters. IBD/TIPP puts the figure at an amazing 9.5% undecided. A just issued CBS News periodic poll indicates a 6% undecided block. And Rasmussen still indicates that 10% of voters remain uncertain, lean to one candidate, or intend to vote for a third party candidate. The large undecided bloc that continues to register in some polls is unusually high the day before a national cycle, particularly one with as much voter enthusiasm as this one. Where will these voters wind up, if and when they vote?


Variable #3: The Bradley Factor

Posted Nov 03, 2008 at 6:55 AM by Maurice Berger

The so-called "Bradley Factor" in contests with black candidates--in which white voters tell pollsters they are undecided or voting for the African-American candidate out of embarrassment or fear of being judged as racist, only to vote for the white challenger in the privacy of the voting booth--is the greatest variable in this presidential cycle. Since no African-American has ever served as the presidential nominee of a major party, there are no national models on which to gauge and understand the Bradley factor. As of this morning, there are enough very close battleground states--at this stage containing large, even unprecedented blocs of undecided and persuadable voters--to make this effect meaningful (if it were to occur). In Ohio, where a number of polls out this morning report only a +2% lead for Obama, any sharp movement of remaining wavering or undecided voters could throw the state to McCain. Ditto other races that are exceedingly close as of this afternoon: Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and Indiana (though Obama could lose all five states and still win). The good news for Obama is that his lead in nearly all Kerry-blue and some swing states is by sufficient margins (and over the 50% mark) to offset any potential McCain advantage vis-a-vis the Bradley effect. BUT, there are signs out there that the ghost of Bradley is lurking, exemplified by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's publicly stated fear that PA is not a done deal for Obama (or Democratic Congressman Murtha's impolitic musings on the "racism" of western Pennsylvanians). Even though Obama holds a healthy aggregate lead in PA of +7.6% (a lead that is increasing as of this morning)--requiring at least an 8% swing to reverse the Democrat's numbers--a swing of a far greater magnitude, and with a within a much more liberal voting base, took place in the New Hampshire Democratic primary this January, when Obama entered Election Day with a +8.3% lead, but lost to Hillary Clinton by +2.6%. That a number of battleground states have drawn very close within the past 48 hours may, in fact, suggest that undecided voters (who now are predominantly center-right, older, and demographically disinclined to vote for Obama) may already be breaking for the Republican. If a substantial shift were to occur towards McCain, another question arises: will Obama's enormous advantage in early voting (and new voter registration) offset any of McCain's gains in the now surprisingly large bloc of voters who now call themselves undecided or still persuadable? And has the dramatic tightening in a few key swing states in recent days made the Bradley Effect more of a factor?

Variable #2: The Youth Vote

Posted Nov 03, 2008 at 5:07 AM by Maurice Berger

Factor #2: Will one of the voting blocs most favorable to Obama--young voters, 18-29 years old--stay home or come out in record numbers? In early voting across the country--from North Carolina and Ohio to Florida and Nevada--the turnout for these voters has been disappointing. A spike in young voters could swing close battleground states such as NC and FL to Obama and provide him with landslides in others. Over the past half-century, this bloc has been one of the most unreliable in the general electorate: between school work, exams, and other factors, young folks inevitably stay home. In 1972, as in this cycle, enthusiastic young voters provided Democratic candidate George McGovern with an enormous advantage during primary season. By Election Day, the so-called "youth vote" failed to materialize, contributing to the Democrat's devastating lose against incumbent Republican president Richard M. Nixon. Can Obama break this 50 year streak of under-performance?

Morning Report: The Fundamentals Remain Strong For Obama

Posted Nov 03, 2008 at 1:43 AM by Maurice Berger

A close examination of polling out this morning suggests that while a few states have drawn very close--Florida, North Carolina, Montana, and Missouri in particular--the race is appearing to stabilize for Obama. Ohio and Virginia, though having drawn much closer over the past three days--and remain "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map--appear to lean to the Democrat as of this morning. Several states now appear to be leaning to McCain--West Virginia and Indiana. The great news for Obama: all nine states were won by George W. Bush in 2004. The Democrat holds a solid, unusually commanding lead in nearly all of the states won by Kerry, except Pennsylvania (and according to the Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll this morning, Minnesota, where the race has drawn down to 49% to 46% for Obama). The slight bit of good news for McCain, enough voters remain undecided or are persuadable in enough states to produce a few surprises. (This result would imply that these voters, now mostly white and center-right, would trend towards their demographic--as undecided voters often do--and thus would favor McCain by a considerable margin.) But with Obama at or above the 50% mark in many of these battleground states, McCain would also have to pick off a fairly large bloc of voters who now say they are committed to the Democrat. Obama's overall structural advantage in the Kerry-blue states of 2004 also leaves him in much better shape than McCain: the Democrat's lead in "Safe" electoral votes--in which a candidate has a demographic advantage in a state, leads beyond the margin of error, and has a top-line of 50% or more-- now stands at more than 100, 238 to 127. (Obama's number here could drop to 228 if more polls corroborate a narrowing race in Minnesota.) As of this morning, the map solidly favors Obama. PollTrack expects an enormous amount of fresh polling throughout the day, so stay tuned for updates.

As National Lead Narrows Somewhat, Are States Getting Closer, Too?

Posted Nov 02, 2008 at 2:00 AM by Maurice Berger

While national polling indicates a somewhat narrowed race from a month ago--Obama now has an aggregate lead in our daily tracking average of a little over +6%--this effect carries through only in some states. As of this morning, Obama maintains a commanding, "Safe" lead in almost all of the states won by John  Kerry in 2004 plus Iowa, for a total of 239 "Safe" electoral votes. McCain now safely holds on to 127 electoral votes. These numbers, of course, suggest a strong structural advantage for Obama in the electoral college, especially considering that his average leads in these "Safe" states rise to or well above the 50% mark. But something interesting is going on: in a some of the swing and red-leaning states that went for Bush in 2004, but in which Obama has been leading in recent weeks--Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Missouri--the momentum seems to be with McCain over the past two-three days. The most recent polls indicate that the race may be moving into the two-close-to-call range in all of these states. Additionally, Pennsylvania has narrowed considerably in the last three days of polling--three polls show the race at +4% DEM, another, Morning Call Tracking, which had Obama up by as much as the mid-teens, now reports the race is down to +7% DEM--and thus PollTrack moves the state on Today's and Tomorrow's Map from "Safe Democrat" to "Leaning Democrat." Ohio may be narrowing as well: Obama's PT average has dropped to +4.2%, while one poll out this morning, Mason-Dixon (one of the most accurate pollsters over the past two cycles), reports that McCain has pulled into a very modest +2% lead, 47% to 45%. Additionally, Obama's aggregate top-line in the state has dropped below the 50% mark to 48.8%. While early voting in Ohio should favor Obama in the end, PollTrack moves the state on Today's Map from "Leaning Democrat" to "Too Close To Call." An in Indiana, where Obama has drawn the race to a virtual tie, PollTrack moves the state on Tomorrow's Map from "Leaning Republican" to "Too Close To Call."

Obama Owns the 50% Mark: Another Important Structural Advantage

Posted Oct 30, 2008 at 4:47 AM by Maurice Berger

One significant, though unreported, structural advantage for Obama on the electoral map: of the 255 EVs he now leads "safely" (according to PollTrack's averages), he reaches or exceeds the 50% mark in all. In other words, he not only maintains a +10% advantage in these states, but rises above the 50% threshold, thus making it all the more difficult for McCain to catch up, especially considering that third party candidates are drawing at least a few percentage points in many of these states. Additionally in all of the remaining 51 EVs that now "lean" to Obama on Today's Map, but not by a "Safe" margin--Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, Colorado, and New Mexico--he still rises above the 50% mark. And in one state, still "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map, Nevada, he has just inched up to the 50% mark. So the Democrat now reaches or exceeds the magic threshold in 270 EVs. McCain by contrast is "Safe" in 127 EVs, reaching or exceeding the 50% mark in all. He leans in an additional four states, but reaches the 50% threshold only in two, West Virginia and Georgia. Incredibly, in his home state of Arizona (as well as Montana) he fails to hit 50%. In the remaining states that are now rated "Too Close To Call"--Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota--Obama holds a very slight lead in all but IN, but does not hit the 50% mark in any. Nevertheless, even with polls reporting that McCain is narrowing the gap in some battleground states, these numbers add up to a map that fundamentally favors Obama.

Obama: Ad War Dominance

Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 6:44 AM by Maurice Berger

In a sign of the economic disparity between the two presidential campaigns, Nielsen reports that Obama continues to outspend McCain in the key battleground states: "In Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, Obama placed 155% more ad units (62,022 vs. 24,273) than McCain between October 6 and October 26, 2008... Obama's advertising continues to be heaviest in Florida, where he ran 18,909 ads between October 6 and October 26, outpacing McCain's 5,702 ads by 232%." Over the past few days, Nielsen reports, McCain has closed the gap slightly. More eye-popping, perhaps, is the Republican's newest ad buy: Montana, a state George W. Bush won by nearly twenty points four years ago." Yet, despite this enormous disparity, the race remains close in most of these states, though all, except PA, lean Republican.

Six Days To Go: The Fundamentals Remain Strong For Obama

Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 2:30 AM by Maurice Berger

While most tracking polls showing the race narrowing over the past few days (to within a few points according to IBD/TIPP, GWU/Battleground, Galup (traditional) over the past few days and Rasmussen this morning), the fundamentals of the election still markedly favor Barack Obama. The biggest plus for the Democrat: he now holds "Safe" level leads in states with a total of 255 electoral votes, 259 EVs with New Hampshire, which is trending "Safe." With this potential margin in the electoral college, Obama will need to pick off only one or two more states which now "Lean" to him: a combination of North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, or New Mexico, for example, or even just Ohio or Florida. The only hope for McCain rests on one odd factor in national polling: the large bloc of voters who say they are still persuadable. Rasmussen reports this morning, for example, that among "likely voters" Obama leads by +3%, 50% to 47%. Among voters who are absolutely certain of the decision, the Democrat leads by the same margin, but at 46% to 43%. In the latter numbers, Obama drops well below the 50% mark; just as significant, the pool of decided voters drops to 89%, leaving another 11% who are "leaning," wavering, not sure, undecided, or voting for a third party candidate. Yet, even if McCain were to make up the difference by election day--with a large swing of persuadable voters in his direction--he would still have a major structural disadvantage in the electoral college. If Obama now wins all the states that are now called "Safe Democrat" on Today's Map (a likely scenario if history is any guide), he would only need a few more states to win. With a +6% average in Ohio, +7 in Colorado, +7 in New Mexico, +6.5% in Virginia, +3 in Florida he has a much better shot at squeaking by in enough swing states to cross the finish line. Still if McCain's gains were dramatic--and other factors, such as the "Bradley Effect," which could be skewing polling results towards Obama--were operative, anything is possible. BUT, the opposite outcome may be even more likely: with "Leaners" now skewing slightly to Obama, he could benefit from a swing of persuadables in his direction, movement that could result in an electoral mandate in which true-red states, such as North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana, and red-leaning battlegrounds, such as Missouri, Florida, and Ohio fall into the Democratic column. Stay tuned.

McCain's Challenge IV: Money

Posted Oct 25, 2008 at 1:50 AM by Maurice Berger

Another challenge now facing McCain: money. With Obama opting out of public funding, he has virtually unlimited resources in the final ten days of election 2008. The biggest challenge for McCain, then, is getting his message out against a tidal wave of Democratic television advertising. Nielsen's accounting of ad expenditures confirms that over the past week, Obama's outlay for TC spots in seven key battleground states dwarfed McCain's by 150%: "In seven key swing states--Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia--Obama placed 150% more ad units (53,049 v. 21,106) than McCain between October 6 and October 22, 2008. Obama’s advertising has been most prolific in Florida, where he ran 15,887 ads between October 6 and October 22, 2008, outpacing McCain’s 4,662 ads by 240%." The bulk and frequency of TV ads are only one factor in the overall success of a campaign--and electoral history is littered with losers who outspent their opponents--but having this kind of ad advantage no doubt helps Obama in the homestretch of this campaign.

Obama Winning Over Jewish Vote

Posted Oct 24, 2008 at 5:36 AM by Maurice Berger

An important marker for success in battleground states with large Jewish populations--like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania--Gallup reports that Obama is winning over the Jewish Vote: "Jewish voters nationwide have grown increasingly comfortable with voting for Barack Obama for president since the Illinois senator secured the Democratic nomination in June. They now favor Obama over John McCain by more than 3 to 1, 74% to 22% . . . Support for Obama among Jewish voters has expanded more gradually, from the low 60% range in June and July to 66% in August, 69% in September, and 74% today." Several other national polls, less exhaustive than Gallup, show the race to be somewhat closer among American Jews.

One Reason The Polls May Be Narrowing

Posted Oct 21, 2008 at 2:31 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack would like to suggest one reason why the presidential contest may be tightening somewhat: Republican voters--and conservative leaning independents--are coming home. Over the past decade, the nation has tended to be polarized along party lines; in the past four presidential and national cycles, party loyalists and fellow travelers eventually dropped back into the fold. Another, related reason may be that Obama peaked too soon. Generally, a candidate wants to reach peak numbers as close to the election as possible. With Obama polling as much as a +14% lead just a week ago, the only way his numbers can go is down as Republicans and conservative voters come home to their party.  Despite this narrowing, the underlying dynamics of the race have remained relatively stable for the past three weeks, with Obama in the high-40s, McCain in the mid-40s. Thus even if wayward Republican and conservative voters fall into line, it will difficult for McCain to make up his current deficit of around -5%. (This is true, of course, as long as independent voters favor the Democrat; after the conventions, they tilted sharply to McCain for a few weeks.) The electoral math may be even more daunting, given the Democrat's significant lead in all of the blue states and a modest advantage in most of the battleground states. With McCain rumored to be pulling out of Colorado (a rumor denied by the candidate and the RNC), he will need to pick off a blue state or two in order to reach 270 EVs. His campaign hints that it will fight for Pennsylvania, where Obama now has a +11.5% advantage according to PollTrack's average (though the internal polls of both campaigns apparently show a closer race).

Fox News/Rasmussen: McCain Gaining Ground in Florida and Ohio

Posted Oct 20, 2008 at 10:23 AM by Maurice Berger

Two new polls of Ohio and Florida by Fox News/Rasmussen-- following several other surveys that indicate a narrowing race in the states--now report a very modest lead for McCain. In Florida, the Republican leads 49% to 48%, in Ohio he is ahead by +2%, 49% to 47%. PollTrack will be watching these states closely in the next few days. Of the two states, Rasmussen writes: "A week ago, Obama was up by five points [in Florida] and the week before he held a seven-point lead. The current polling shows McCain’s support at its highest level since mid-September. McCain also moved slightly ahead again in Ohio with a 49% to 47% advantage over Obama. A week ago, those numbers were reversed and Obama had the two-point advantage. As in Florida, the current poll shows McCain at his highest level of support since mid-September." Both states remain a toss up on Today's Map.

Two Weeks Out: The Fundamentals Favor Obama

Posted Oct 20, 2008 at 2:35 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama leading in all of the states won by John Kerry in 2004--and McCain behind or struggling in a number won by George W. Bush--the fundamentals of the election still favor the Democrat. Perhaps the most positive sign for Obama is the stability of the national numbers over the cycle. Although there is evidence that these numbers are drawing closer (PT's polling average is inching below the 5% mark), the baseline number for each candidate has remained the same for all but a few weeks in September: Obama in the upper forties, McCain in the mid 40s. Only Obama has been able to register above the 50% mark for more than a few days (indeed, all of the daily trackers have placed him at or above 50% at some point during the past three weeks). The durability of these numbers suggests an underlying dynamic that tilts decidedly blue at this point. Having said this, even a durable and longstanding wave of support can break down in the waning days of an election. Indeed, Al Gore--facing an Republican opponent who rode a yearlong wave of support--made up a 10% deficit in the final month of the 2000 campaign. The other issue (all too relevant to 2000): the popular vote may not reflect McCain's ultimate strength on the electoral map. As Obama wracks up enormous leads in many of the blue states (including many of the blue battlegrounds such as Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan)--far out-pacing either Gore or Kerry--his leads in a number of battlegrounds are tenuous at best. McCain has drawn Ohio down to a tie. His numbers are perking up in West Virginia and Florida. Indeed, if McCain can solidify or win back support in Republican leading states--in other words if the electoral map returns to its traditional divisions--the election could come down to two states with dramatic voter registration shifts in recent years: Colorado and Virginia, both traditionally Republican but increasingly hospitable to Democrats. With Obama ahead in the three 2000/2004 "swing" states (New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Iowa swung between the two parties in the last two close elections), however, McCain's route to victory is nevertheless far narrower and more difficult than his opponent.

Is McCain Gaining Ground In Ohio and Florida?

Posted Oct 18, 2008 at 12:58 AM by Maurice Berger

With the national polls narrowing modestly, it's noteworthy that Rasmussen is reporting a dramatic tightening of the race in the mother of all battleground states: Ohio. The survey indicates a tied race, at 49% each. Rasmussen is unsure whether this marks a trend: "McCain’s support in Ohio has ticked up two points in this latest poll, but the long-term trend has been in Obama’s direction. This is the 10th straight poll in the state dating back to mid-August in which support for Obama has either increased or remained stable. It’s the second straight poll in which Obama has enjoyed support from 49%, his highest total of the year." McCain last led in Rasmussen's Ohio poll in early September, when he enjoyed a 51% to 44% advantage over the Democrat. Similarly, Survey USA (one of the most accurate pollsters during the primary season) reports that McCain has once again pulled into the lead in Florida, another key battleground state. The poll now has it, 49% McCain to 47% Obama. Stay tuned.

Obama Ahead In Key Counties

Posted Oct 17, 2008 at 10:01 AM by Maurice Berger

According a just released survey by Politico/Insider Advantage/Majority Opinion Research, Obama is expanding on recent Democratic gains in three suburban counties crucial to winning their respective states— Pennsylvania’s Bucks County (+6 DEM, 47% to 41%), Missouri’s St. Louis County (which does not include the city of St Louis, +16% DEM, 53% to 37%) and Virginia’s Prince William County (+8 DEM, 50% to 42%). In Ohio’s Franklin County, which covers Columbus and its suburbs, Obama also leads, but by a smaller margin (+%, 45% to 40%). These numbers bode well for the Democrat, who must carry these counties by a healthy margin to assure statewide victory. One note of caution, all four polls still register a large portion of undecided or uncertain voters, numbers that are unusually high at this point in a presidential cycle. Another Insider Advantage/Majority Opinion Research poll issued earlier in the week reported Obama leading in three other key counties in battleground states: Washoe County, Nevada, Wake County, North Carolina; and Hillsborough County, Florida. McCain's sole lead is in Jefferson County, Colorado.

A Red Flag Out Of The McCain Campaign

Posted Oct 17, 2008 at 3:44 AM by Maurice Berger

In a sign that republicans may be worried about Obama's inroads into Republican leaning states--such as Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri (where several new polls indicate a modest Democratic lead)--the McCain campaign appears to be giving up on the idea of competing hard in most, if not all, of the states that John Kerry won in 2004. In other words, the Republicans are now plotting a very limited path to victory, one that includes most of the 2004 red states and a handful of blue states not now in play, such as New Hampshire and Pennsylvania: "Confronting an increasingly bleak electoral map," the campaign of Sen. John McCain is "searching for a 'narrow-victory scenario' and [will] focus in the final weeks on a dwindling number of states, using mailings, telephone calls and television advertisements to try to tear away support from Sen. Barack Obama." Barring a dramatic turnaround in McCain's numbers--one that would narrow the national race down to a point or two--the Republican's electoral deficit at this point in the campaign will be very difficult to overcome.

Party Weighting: The Great Unknown Of Election 2008

Posted Oct 17, 2008 at 2:13 AM by Maurice Berger

One way pollsters process raw data from samples is to filter it through party weighting models. In other words, a model that organizes voters by party and then weights the sample to reflect the percentage of likely voters from each party (as well as independents). With Democrat enthusiasm up this year, most pollsters give the party a considerable edge. In Rasmussen's weighting, for example Democrats outnumber Republicans  39.3% to 33.0%. For Zogby, it's closer: 38% to 36%. This weighting, in part (but several others factors are also at play), is responsible for the large swing in national numbers, from an Obama lead of +2% to +14%. PollTrack wonders: as national results are clearly narrowing, is Republican interest in the election gaining on Democratic? While Obama's campaign has fired up certain demographic groups --African-Americans, single women, young voters, for example--what of the traditional Republican constituencies: the over 65 set, Evangelicals, conservative Christians, and older white men? The latter groups tend to have exceptionally high turn out, literally making the difference for George W. Bush in 2004. There is anecdotal evidence that Evangelical voters, for a range of reasons--from anxiety about Obama to excitement about Sarah Palin--are growing increasingly enthusiastic about the Republican ticket. While some periodic polls (like CBS News/New York Times and Pew) show a very large lead for the Democrat, are these surveys underestimating the potential turn out of groups that--as a rule--vote in consistently and often extraordinarily numbers? Pollster John Zogby notes: "What troubles me is when I see some of my colleagues have 27% of the respondents that are Republicans. That's just not America, period. [Party affiliation fluctuates over time] it doesn't change "day-to-day, and it never fluctuates by eight points in a short time period." Will the 2008 election break the mold--resulting in an unprecedented jump in Democratic turn out--or will Republican and conservative voters also show up in significant numbers, thus drawing the race much closer (especially in battleground states that already tilt Republican, such as MO, NC, FL, NV, CO, and OH)?

Hotline/FD: Obama Way Ahead in The Battleground States

Posted Oct 13, 2008 at 6:23 AM by Maurice Berger

Hotline/FD tracking, this morning, reports that although the national numbers have drawn a bit closer, with Obama up +6%, the Democrat continues to hold a collective double-digit lead in the battleground states--51% to 38%--defined in the survey as Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The finding may be misleading, however. For one, these states together represent an appreciably smaller sample than the national poll as a whole, thus are subject to greater statistical variations. Also: these numbers do not reflect differences in the intensity of state to state support for the candidates. In other words, while the Democrat, according to most polls, holds a substantial lead in some swing states (PA, NH, MI, WI), the race appears to be considerably tighter in others (OH, FL, VA, NV, CO). The enormous upside for Obama: he is leading (in some cases by significant margins) in all of the states won by John Kerry in 2004, while McCain is struggling in a number of Bush states.

Tomorrow's Map: Florida Moves From "Leaning Democrat" to "Too Close To Call"

Posted Oct 09, 2008 at 9:13 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama's average lead in Florida now no higher than +2.5%--and a number of recent polls showing a tight race (one indicating a narrow McCain lead)--PollTrack moves the state from "Leaning Democrat" to "Too Close To Call" on Tomorrow's Map. The state remains "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map

Obama Outspending McCain 3 to 1 In Swing States

Posted Oct 08, 2008 at 1:33 AM by Maurice Berger

According to the Washington Post: Obama is outspending McCain "at nearly a three-to-one clip on television time in the final weeks of the presidential election . . . a financial edge that is almost certainly contributing to the momentum for the Illinois senator in key battleground states.. . . The spending edge enjoyed by Obama has been used almost exclusively to hammer McCain as both a clone of the current president and someone who is out of touch on key domestic issues -- most notably the economy." No doubt this edge has helped Obama to get his message out in swing state and thus to significantly improve his numbers in the battleground states, including six that went to Bush in 2000 and 2004 (OH, FL, NC, NV, CO, VA).

Tomorrow's Map: Florida Moves From "Too Close To Call" To "Leaning Democrat."

Posted Oct 06, 2008 at 10:48 AM by Maurice Berger

With all surveys over the past week giving Obama the lead in Florida--and his monthly polling average at +4%--Polltrack moves Florida from "Too Close To Call" To "Leaning Democrat" on Tomorrow's Map. For the time being, it remains "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map.

McCain Campaign: Michigan Now Out Of Reach

Posted Oct 02, 2008 at 7:30 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama's lead rapidly expanding in Michigan--where a Public Policy Polling issued today gives the Democrat a healthy 10% advantage, 51% to 41%--the New York Times reports this afternoon that McCain will pull his campaign from the state: "John McCain’s decision to cancel a campaign event in Michigan next week was not a matter of scheduling: Mr. McCain is giving up his effort to take the state back into the red column, concluding that economic distress there has simply put the state out of reach, according to Republicans familiar with the decision." This is a big concession (more ominous than the decision of the Obama campaign to abandon the three electoral votes of North Dakota a fews week ago) and a testament to the ever increasing problem the Republican is having holding onto traditionally Republican turf. The move will allow the McCain campaign to redirect time and money to states that are now more competitive, such as the traditional battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida (both went to Bush in 2000 and 2004) and states that are traditionally Republican but are now surprisingly close, such as Indiana and North Carolina.

Sarah Palin: A Liability Or An Asset?

Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 8:47 AM by Maurice Berger

The PPP survey released today in Florida (see below) had another significant finding that mirrors a number of other statewide polls across the nation in recent days--Sarah Palin's popularity is faltering: "Palin's net favorability with Florida voters has dropped 12 points over the last three weeks," the survey reports. Is this another reason for the decline in McCain's numbers? Palin's debate performance seems crucial: it could either further her decline with voters or give her (and the ticket) a boost, after a bad week. One thing is certain: the Alaska governor remains popular with Evangelical and conservative Christian voters as well as other sectors of the Republican base. Her success with this constituency is crucial to the success of the ticket in November. But will Palin continue to appeal to the all-important independent demographic or to working class white women? And, in the end, will voter perceptions about her have any demonstrative effect on the election? 

Florida: It Could Be The Economy

Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 6:35 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida suggests that the faltering economy is helping Obama in the state, who now leads by 3% (PollTrack's average still gives McCain a minute +0.03% lead): "64% of Floridians surveyed say the economy is their top issue, and Obama has a 55-40 lead with those voters. In a January PPP poll just 26% of voters in the state said they were most concerned with the economy. The events of the last few weeks seem in particular to have helped move independents into the Obama camp. Three weeks ago the candidates were tied, now Obama has a 48-40 advantage with those voters."

Tomorrow's Map: Florida Now "Too Close To Call"

Posted Sep 30, 2008 at 4:56 AM by Maurice Berger

With the most recent polls in Florida indicating a tie--and McCain's average lead in the state withering down to a tiny +0.3%--PollTrack moves FL from "Leaning Republican" to "Too Close To Call" on Tomorrow's Map.

Today's Map: Florida Moves From "Leaning Republican" to "Too Close To Call"

Posted Sep 26, 2008 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

While McCain's numbers in Florida have remained relatively static, Obama's appear to be improving slightly in recent days. As a result, PollTrack moves the state from "Leaning Republican" to "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map.

Today's Map: New Calls for Florida and Michigan

Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 12:01 PM by Maurice Berger

New polling released today suggests that Michigan and Florida may be reverting to recent statewide electoral patterns. PollTrack now moves Florida from "Too Close To Call" To "Leaning Republican" and Michigan "Too Close To Call" to "Leaning Democrat on Today's Map.

Today's Map: Florida Moves From "Leaning Republican" To "Too Close"

Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 2:15 AM by Maurice Berger

Two new polls issued today show the race in Florida growing tighter: SunSentinel/Research 2000 and Miami Herald/SP Times both indicate a statistical tie with McCain up by +1% and +2% respectively. The MH/SP Times survey suggests that the faltering economy is helping Obama to gain traction in the state. McCain's average lead in the state has now dropped to a just under +3%. A Survey USA poll taken during the same period, continues to report a 6% lead for McCain. PollTrack now moves Florida from "Leaning Republican" to "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map.

Election Day Map Today

Posted Sep 15, 2008 at 1:51 AM by Maurice Berger

Based on statewide polling over the past month, PollTrack has a number of new calls on Election Day Map Today. In the coming weeks--as trends are established and voter opinion appears to be solidifying--more states will be added to the final tally. Stay tuned . . .

Can Either Candidate Break The Tie?

Posted Sep 15, 2008 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

Although the Republican base is fired up and McCain claims a  significant lead among independents, Democratic party identification and voter enthusiasm is also way up (Rasmussen gives the Democrats a 5% advantage). Thus, neither candidate is walking away with the election at this point. Even a cursory glance at the electoral map suggests conditions far similar to the razor close count of 2000 and not 1988 or 1992, where one party gained lasting momentum and was able to pick off enough swing states to capture a solid electoral majority. If Obama were poised to do this, he would need to win a bunch of states that have gone Republican in the last two cycles but were also won by Bill Clinton in 1992 and/or 1996: Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Montana, Georgia, Florida. All these states are now moving solidly into the Republican column. Similarly, McCain is behind in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Michigan (though by smaller margins than Obama in TN, KY, MN, GA, WV), states he would need for a big win.

Unless dramatic on-the-ground events (perhaps spurred by this weekend's Wall Street meltdown) or a striking under-performance or major league blooper in the debates throws off one of the candidates, it's conceivable that the election will remain close to the very end. Then it will be up to voter enthusiasm and turnout to propel one or the other over the victory line.

Obama's 50-State Strategy: Is It Working?

Posted Sep 12, 2008 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack observes that the so-called 50-state strategy of the Obama campaign--the idea that the electoral map can be realigned to flip into the Democratic column traditional Republican strongholds such Alaska, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia--may not be working. With the Republican party unified--and Sarah Palin firing up the party's most faithful voters--most of these states are now out of reach. Over the past week, McCain's numbers are improved dramatically in these states, in some cases tilting them into the "Safe" column (indeed all of the above states, save VA, where McCain has moved into a tiny lead, are growing redder). Is the Obama campaign squandering its resources in states it cannot win, thus diluting its power in states that have traditionally been close but winnable for the Democrats?

The good news for Obama--but one that brings the 50-state strategy into question--is that the candidate is holding his own in nearly all of the states that John Kerry won in 2004, leading in many by significant margins. Still, in order to reach the magic number of 270, Obama will need to pick off a few states that either are inevitably Republican (but have shifting demographics that favor the Democrats, like VA, which has gone red in every presidential cycle since 1964) or have a demographic that gives the Dems a fighting chance to flip the state (CO, NV, NM, FL). Will competing in states that are not winnable make it more difficult for the Obama campaign to pick off states that are?

Independents Trending Towards McCain

Posted Sep 09, 2008 at 5:49 AM by Maurice Berger

In an observation with possibly serious implications for the Obama campaign, Gallup now reports that independent voters have shifted dramatically towards McCain. He now holds a 15% advantage with these voters according to Gallup.

Palin has helped McCain consolidate the Republican base. The question, if Gallup is correct: Why are independents moving in the Republican's direction?

I another poll released today, Public Policy Polling (PPP) reports that McCain has a statistically significant lead in Florida: 50% to 45%. (PollTrack continue to call the state "Leaning Republican."). In a telling detail--which tends to confirm Gallup's results-- undecided or unaffiliated white voters are now almost all breaking for McCain. Over the past few months, McCain's share of these voters in Florida has gone from 53% to 55% to 61%

New Swing State Analysis: FL, IW, MN, MO, OH, PA

Posted Aug 13, 2008 at 3:15 AM by Maurice Berger

Why is it so close? Indeed, since Obama's widely reported overseas trip--and the rush of anti-Obama ads and videos that paint the candidate as elitist and out of touch with most voters--McCain has shown signs of closing the gap further. In a few key swing states, such as Missouri and Florida, McCain is actually pulling ahead by a modest margin. While my polling average for Florida (for the past month) shows the election extremely close (+1.8% REP), the most recent round of polling indicates a modest surge for McCain, thus the state is now "Leaning Republican." In the mother of all swing states, Ohio, McCain has pulled even to an absolute tie (45.3% to 45.3% poll average). And the race has narrowed slightly in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Minnesota, although the Democrat retains his lead in all three states. The candidates' inability to break the 50% mark in any swing state, suggests that neither is walking away with this race.

Terry Madonna, poll director of the Franklin & Marshall organization, says of the narrowing of the race in Pennsylvania: "[Obama's] on third base, but so far he can't seem to find a way to get home. Look at the underlying trends. The economy is a huge issue. Bush's ratings are terrible. But too many voters are concerned about Obama's experience, and don't yet have enough confidence in his ability to lead."