Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

FINAL US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 47 IND 1 GOP 52

Posted Nov 03, 2014 at 6:23 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47   IND 1  GOP 52

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

 

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AK: Sullivan (R)

AR: Cotton (R)

GA: Perdue (R)

IA: Ernst (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: Results From Iowa Spell Bad News For Democrats

Posted Nov 01, 2014 at 7:51 PM by Maurice Berger

The latest poll out of Iowa from the Des Moines Register has bad news for the Democratic effort to retain control of the U.S. Senate. Given the current landscape of races across the nation, the party that wins Iowa is likely to control the Senate. The Des Moines Register poll, one of the most accurate polls in the nation, has Republican Joni Ernst up by +7. PollTrack's average for the state, while very close, shows momentum moving away from Democrat Bruce Braley over the past two weeks. PollTrack now rates this race Leans Republican. 

 

The other key race in Colorado appears to be slipping away from the Democrats, as well. In PollTrack's average for the state, Democrat Udall trails by over -3%. And according to news reports, the GOP has a 100,000 vote advantage in early balloting. A bad sign for the Democrats. 

 

At this point, it looks like 47 DEM 1-IND 52 GOP according to PollTrack's calculation. The one race that could shift back to the Democrats, Georgia, remains uncertain, the outcome dependent on African American turnout. Another race, Alaska, is hard to gauge, given the paucity of high quality polling. If both races were to break for the Democrats and the independent candidate were to prevail in Kansas and agree to caucus with the Democrats, a 50/50 tie is still possible, with the Vice President securing the upper chamber for the Democrats. 

 

As it now stands, GOP control of the Senate appears likely. More on Sunday and Monday. 

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 47 TOSS UP 2 IND 1 GOP: 50

Posted Nov 01, 2014 at 8:36 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47    TOSS UP 2   IND 1  GOP: 50

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

 

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

 

GA: Open

IA: Open

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AK: Sullivan (R)

AR: Cotton (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 47 TOSS UP 3 IND 1 GOP: 49

Posted Oct 29, 2014 at 11:07 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47    TOSS UP 3   IND 1  GOP: 49

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

 

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Cotton (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 48 TOSS UP 2 IND 1 GOP: 49

Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 48    TOSS UP 2   IND 1  GOP: 49

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

GA: Nunn (D)

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

 IA: Open

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Cotton (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

SD: Rounds (R) 

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 48 TOSS UP 3 IND 1 GOP: 48

Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 1:05 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 48    TOSS UP 3   IND 1  GOP: 48

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

GA: Nunn (D)

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Peters (D)

NH: Saheen (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

 

 

IA: Open

 

 

 

SD: Rounds (R)

 

Leans Independent

KS: Orman (I)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Cotton (R)

CO: Gardner (R)

KS: Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Cassidy (R)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 45 TOSS UP 10 GOP: 45

Posted Oct 14, 2014 at 12:46 PM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 9     GOP: 45

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Open

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

SD: Rounds (R)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 9 GOP: 45

Posted Oct 09, 2014 at 9:03 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 9     GOP: 45

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Open

NH: Shaheen(D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NC: Hagan (D)

SD: Rounds (R)


 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 9 GOP: 45

Posted Oct 08, 2014 at 8:48 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 9     GOP: 45

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken (D)

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

SD: Rounds (R)


 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 8 GOP: 46

Posted Oct 07, 2014 at 11:41 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 8     GOP: 46

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

KY: McConnell (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)


 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

 

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

US Senate Race Chart: DEM: 46 TOSS UP 7 GOP: 47

Posted Oct 06, 2014 at 10:30 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 46    TOSS UP 7     GOP: 47

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

KY: McConnell (R)

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

2014 U.S. SENATE RACE RATING: DEM 47 GOP 47

Posted Sep 30, 2014 at 10:39 AM by Maurice Berger

DEM: 47    TOSS UP 6     GOP: 47

SAFE DEMOCRATIC

DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA

 

LEANS DEMOCRATIC

MN: Franken

MI: Open

NC: Hagan (D)

NH: Shaheen (D)

 

TOSS UP

AK Begich (D)

CO: Udall (D)

GA: Open

IA: Open

KS Roberts (R)

LA: Landrieu (D)

 

LEANS GOP

AR: Pryor (D)

KY: McConnell (R)

LIKELY GOP

AL, ID, ME, MS, MT, NE, OK, OK, SC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY

 

GA Gov: Carter Now Ahead

Posted Sep 11, 2014 at 8:45 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by SurveyUSA poll in Georgia reports that in the race for governor, Democrat Jason Carter now leads incumbent GOP Gov. Nathan Deal, 45% to 44%.

GA US Senate: Is Perdue In Trouble?

Posted Sep 10, 2014 at 9:48 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by SurveyUSA in Georgia reports that Republican David Perdue's lead over Michelle Nunn in the race for US Senate has declined -6% over the past three weeks, and is now 47% to 44%.

Georgia US Senate: Conflicting Polling

Posted Aug 21, 2014 at 9:10 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Hicks Evaluation Group poll in Georgia reports that Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Michelle Nunn in the U.S. Senate race by six points, 48% to 42%. But a Hicks Evaluation Group poll in Georgia reports that Deal and Carter are deadlocked at 45%.


GA US Senate: Democrat Nunn Ahead

Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:24 PM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Rasmussen in Georgia reports that Democrat Michelle Nunn leads both possible GOP candidates in the U.S. Senate race. She leads Jack Kingston, 47% to 41%, and is ahead of David Perdue, 45% to 42%.

Georgia Governor: How Far Ahead Is The Incumbent?

Posted Jan 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM by Maurice Berger

Two conflicting views of this years Gubernatorial race in Georgia. A poll by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Republican Gov. Nathan Deal leads Democrat Jason Carter, 47% to 38%--a +9% advantage. A new Insider Advantage survey finds Deal with a huge lead over Carter, 44% to 22%.

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."

 

Super Tuesday Updates

Posted Mar 05, 2012 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

Here are polling updates from PollTrack on the upcoming GOP primary and causes race for tomorrow's Super Tuesday sweep.

Georgia: Landmark/Rosetta Stone shows a possible Newt Gingrich romp in the state, with the former house speaker way ahead of the GOP presidential field in his home state with 42%, followed by Mitt Romney at 22%, Rick Santorum at 16% and Ron Paul at 5%. Interestingly, YouGov show a much closer race, with Gingrich at 32%, followed by Romney at 27%, Santorum at 17% and Paul at 10%

Massachusetts: According to YouGov, it's a Romney romp in the former governor's home state. Romney leads with 56%, followed by Santorum at 16%, Gingrich at 5% and Paul at 5%.

Ohio: In the all important--and perhaps make or break race for Rick Santorum--in Ohio, a survey by NBC News/Marist reports that Santorum is just ahead of Romney among GOP primary voters, 34% to 32%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 15% and Ron Paul at 13%.

Oklahoma: American Research Group reports that Santorum leads the GOP presidential field in next week's primary with 37%, followed by Mitt Romney at 26%, Newt Gingrich at 22%, and Ron Paul at 9%.

Tennessee: Rasmussen survey finds Santorum just ahead of  Romney, 34% to 30%, with Newt Gingrich at 18% and Ron Paul at 8%. Similarly, American Research Group shows Santorum leading Romney, 35% to 31%, with Gingrich at 20% and Paul at 9%.

Georgia GOP Primary: Gingrich In The Lead

Posted Feb 29, 2012 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

A poll by Landmark/Rosetta Stone poll in Georgia reports that Newt Gingrich holds a considerable, a double-digit lead over Rick Santorum, 38% to 25%, followed by Mitt Romney at 19% and Ron Paul at 4%.

GOP Advantage: States Slated To Gain or Loose US House Seats

Posted Dec 21, 2010 at 7:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Based on the 2010 census, which states are now slated to gain or loose U.S. House seats (and well as electoral votes, one per house seat lost). Next week, the Census Bureau will release its official state population totals and the allotment of House seats for the next decade. The Waal Street Journal reports that  "Republicans tightened their grip on the U.S. House with the release of new population figures that show GOP-leaning states in the South and Southwest will add congressional seats in the next election. . . . The big winner in 2012 and beyond is Texas, which will add four seats. Ohio and New York will each lose two seats. Elsewhere in the South, Florida will add two seats, and Georgia will add one . . .
The population count "confirmed long-held assumptions that the balance of power in the country is tilting away from Democratic strongholds in the Northeast and Midwest to warmer states in the Sunbelt, where Republicans hold sway."

Obama Wins North Carolina

Posted Nov 06, 2008 at 4:54 AM by Maurice Berger

AP's analysis of vote tabulations in North Carolina concludes that Obama has won the state by less than one-half of a percentage point. Polltrack will now call its final outstanding state in the presidential race for the Democrat. The state has not gone Democratic in a presidential cycle since 1976, when Georgia native Jimmy Carter won the state over incumbent Republican president Gerald R. Ford.

McCain Wins Georgia . . .

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 1:16 PM by Maurice Berger

A highly elevated African-American vote in Georgia was not enough to carry Obama over the top in that state. With McCain keeping Georgia in the Republican column, the South may give the Republican his strongest regional showing.

States NOT Called: Could Just Be Unavailable Data

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 11:05 AM by Maurice Berger

Be Careful not to read too much into the states NOT called: GA, IN, SC, VA. They may be close . . . or actual precinct numbers may not be available to back up exit poll data.

Waiting For The First State Closings . . .

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 10:18 AM by Maurice Berger

Nothing to report for the next hour or so. At 7:00 we will have three crucial poll closings (and potential deal breaker for McCain): Georgia, Virginia and Indiana.

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?

Today's Map: Changes To MT, ND, GA, and VA

Posted Nov 03, 2008 at 11:11 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack redesignates the following states, all "Too Close To Call," on Today's Map: Virginia: "Leaning Democrat"; Montana, North Dakota, and Georgia: "Leaning Republican"

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

Posted Nov 02, 2008 at 2:55 PM by Maurice Berger

With McCain's numbers tightening in Georgia (his PT lead is +3.0%)--and African- American early voting breaking records in the state--PollTrack moves GA from "Leaning Republican" to "Too Close To Call" on Today's Map. Additionally, the state moves from "Safe" to "Leaning Republican" on Tomorrow's Map.

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.

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.

Today's Map: Georgia Moves from "Safe" To "Leaning Republican"

Posted Oct 10, 2008 at 7:11 AM by Maurice Berger

In another sign of McCain's troubles, reliably red Georgia is growing closer by the day. With a new Insider Advantage/Poll Position survey reporting that the race is down to a very modest +3% lead for McCain--and the candidate's overall statewide average shrinking to just under +7%--PollTrack moves Georgia from "Safe" to "Leaning Republican" on Today's Map.

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?

Today's Map: Georgia Moves from "Leaning" to "Safe Republican"

Posted Sep 11, 2008 at 3:29 AM by Maurice Berger

Georgia was one state the Obama campaign believed it could pick off from the Republicans through a marked increase in African American voter enthusiasm and statewide support for Libertarian candidate and native-son Bob Barr. It looks like Obama's strategy is not paying off, with several polls in the state showing a widening lead for McCain. PollTrack moves Georgia from "Leaning" "to "Safe Repubican" on Today's Map.

PollTrack: Close But Trending McCain's Way

Posted Sep 09, 2008 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger

Looking at the bulk of national polling completed entirely after the Republican National Convention, PollTrack now sees the race as statistically tied but trending in McCain's direction. It appears that the RNC was successful in erasing Obama's "bounce," increasing voter party identification for the Republicans, and improving McCain's numbers in a range of categories, from his potential as leader and commander in chief to his handling of Iraq and the economy.

The thing to watch: state polls. Are national numbers translated into an improved performance for McCain in battleground states? The earliest signs suggest an up tick in support for McCain in some of these states.

Another thing to watch: the media's vetting of Palin. Will the luster wear-off her candidacy? If so, will races that now favor McCain--Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, all states with significant Evangelical populations--become closer?