17 October 2008

Ohio Falls Back to Toss-Up

Three new polls out of Ohio show a very, very close electorate:
McCain 50%
Obama 45%

Obama 50%
McCain 45%

Obama 49%
McCain 49%
These new conflicting figures put the Ohio formulation on Pollster.com at:
Obama 49.0%
McCain 46.5%
Both candidates are under 50% and within three points of each other, so I am moving Ohio to the toss-up category. My take on the current Electoral College map now looks like this...

Obama/Biden: 313 electoral votes
McCain/Palin: 155 electoral votes
Toss-Ups: 70 electoral votes
(270 votes needed to win)

Even with Ohio in the toss-up column, Obama is still in good shape. If the Electoral College broke as I have it above, and if McCain were to pick up all of those green toss-up states, Obama would still have 43 more votes than he needs to win.

While I have previously put Ohio in Obama's column on previous maps, the latest polling out of that state leads me to agree with Sullivan:
I remain skeptical of Obama's real strength in the Appalachian states. Even if the Bradley Effect has waned elsewhere, among the older whiter voters in Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania, it still matters. You watch. That's why Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Virginia and Florida are key.
Just the other day I was telling Ben (who hails from West Virginia) the same thing; that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if a hugely racist reaction comes out of the Appalachian areas of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. I think Pennsylvania has enough urban and suburban areas to off-set such a "Bradley Effect" in that state to keep it in the Democratic column, although it's no sure thing. I really do think Ohio could go either way and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it stays red on Election Day. West Virginia, despite the recent ARG poll, will definitely stay in the Republican column.

I'm sure we'll need to watch for a "Bradley Effect" in other states as well, but if it exists elsewhere I do not believe it will be as deep and pronounced as it will be in the Appalachians.

Update: A new Insider Advantage poll shows McCain on top in West Virginia:
McCain 49%
Obama 47%