Pollster.com released a polling map of various polls including Rasmussen, Zogby, Gallup and others recently. Pollster takes all the polls and averages them. One poll means absolutely nothing but a mass of polls over time tell us where people are going.
The map was profiled on the Huffington Post here. Polls are great, but as we all know they are merely "snapshots of the electorate." The best information polls can provide are trends over long periods of time and that is what pollster.com can provide if you are willing to sift through it. Here is my take on every state's trend, my predictions, and insights into the key senate races around the country.
Alabama - M 50.7% O 35.3% (9EV)
While the trend for McCain has been downright scary, he was above 60% in several polls and averaged at 55% as recently as May, Obama is not picking up the slack.
Prediction: McCain 10%
Alaska - M 50% O: 42.4% (3EV)
Obama might be campaigning in Alaska, but hes not getting anything for it. McCain dipped about 5 points a couple months ago and now has won it all back. In the Alaskan Senate race, Stevens (R) isn't going anywhere and Begich (D) is going up. If a candidate can get above 50% they greatly increase their chance of winning because they don't need to win any more undecided voters, all they need to do is get out the vote. Obama gets out the vote for Begich even if he fails to win.
Prediction: McCain 4%, Begich 3%
Arizona - M 43.8% O 40.3% (10EV)
While it seems impossible to believe that a Presidential candidate would lose their own state, McCain seems destined for that future. From January of this year Obama has gone from 35% to 40% in June and McCain has plummeted from above 50% to just under 44%. If McCain doesn't do something drastic to put out the fire in his own house, Obama will be winning by double digits.
Prediction: Obama 5%
Arkansas: M 47.4% O 40.3% (6EV)
From February until June Obama has added 10 points while McCain has lost 8. Look at the lines on this one because they are striking. Obama will win Arkansas, especially once the Clintons get involved stumping for the campaign.
Prediction: Obama 7%
California M 33.5% O 53% (55EV)
Obama is slowly building a bigger lead in California, probably through his on the ground organizing and voter registration efforts. All of these voters will be key in voting for down ticket Democrats and initiatives even if the state never had a chance of being red.
Prediction: Obama 30%
Colorado M 44.1% O 45.8% (9EV)
Obama has always led this race but the trend line gives some hope of a McCain pickup. The problem for McCain is that he fluctuates between 41% and 44% and never goes over it. There are other factors we can think about. The Colorada Senate race looks solidly Democrat and the convention in Denver should give Obama a boost.
Prediction: Obama 3%
Connecticut M 35% O 53.6% (7EV)
McCain is going nowhere in Connecticut, his numbers have remained essentially flat all year. Obama has been steadily rising and will continue on to an easy victory.
Prediction: Obama 25%
Deleware M 41.9% O 50% (3EV)
Apparently Delaware is too small for anyone to care about. Only one poll has been conducted all year and those are the stats. There is a Senate and Governor's race in Delaware... no polls. Ok.
Prediction: Obama 8.1%
Florida M 45.7% O 44.9% (27EV)
This race appears too close to call if you examine the snapshot poll. But all of the data points suggest that Obama is on his way to victory in the Sunshine State. A few months ago McCain was comfortably ahead by 6 or 7 points and now its down to a tenth of that? I believe that Florida will be close because the Republicans know they need to win it and they will put an enormous amount of resources into doing so. But the trend shows its a lost cause from both directions, McCain is falling and Obama is flying.
Prediction: Obama 2%
Georgia M 48.2% O 42.7% (15EV)
Georgia is the kind of state that makes one wonder, "Could Obama pick up states just because McCain is that boring?" Obama isn't really trending anywhere, he is holding solid in the lower 40s. McCain on the other hand has been losing a couple points a month while Bob Barr has been losing a couple points a month in his home state! The key in places like Georgia is the apathy factor. I have a feeling that on election day many Republicans would rather stay home than vote for McCain. Do you know any Democrats with that feeling?
Prediction: Obama 1%
Hawaii M 31% O 61% (4EV)
Again, no one cares about Hawaii and its 4EV. When a candidate has a 30 point lead maybe its not worth polling.
Prediction: Obama 30%
Idaho M 52% O 39% (4EV)
Another yawner with no data to look at.
Prediction: McCain 13%
Illinois M 34.2% O 51% (21EV)
If McCain campaigns in Illinois maybe he could use Obama's recent 10 point drop. But McCain has other things to do, like campaign in Arizona, so he won't. McCain's numbers in Illinois are flat and even if Obama's trend continues on the same line all the way to November he will still win Illinois.
Prediction: Obama 20%
Indiana M 43% O 42.4% (11EV)
Another striking graph. McCain continues to trend down, down, down. Obama has his ups and his downs but the overall movement is up. The Indiana Governors race is just the opposite. Daniels (R) and Thompson (D) were essentially tied in April. But ever since then its been down, down, down for Thompson and up, up, up for Daniels.
Prediction: Obama 5%, Daniels 8%
Iowa M 38.7% O 45.2 (7EV)
The data looks like a comfortable 7 point Obama lead that doesn't go anywhere or shift. If Obama goes up, McCain goes up, If Obama goes down, so does McCain. If you look at all the data points they seem to be reasonably grouped as well. Iowans made up their minds back in January.
Prediction: Obama 7%
Kansas M 48.7% O 36.9 (6EV)
Kansas is the anti-Iowa. It would take a bold move by either candidate to alter either election dynamic at this point, the trends are just so set. The selection of Kathleen Sebelius as VP could add some Kansas mojo for Obama, but I don't think he'll do it. 6 electoral votes isn't worth it for him. In the Senate race Roberts (R) is on course to defeat Slatterly (D) handily. Roberts has gained 13 points in the last month and Slatterly has lost 5.
Prediction: McCain 10%
Kentucky M 49.8 O 36.1 (8EV)
It looks like McCain's support crested when he won the Republican nomination, since then its been all downhill for him. Surprisingly, its been all uphill for Obama too. My guess is that its because Obama has been on the TV so much. Regular Kentuckians have gotten a chance to see that Barack Obama is not a Muslim extremist hell bent on burning our flag in the oval office. This is going to be one of those bite your nails all night, possibly recount in the morning races. I find it hard to believe that Kentucky could go anything but Republican. However, numbers and trends are hard to argue with.
Prediction: Obama 0.3%
Louisiana M 50.5% O 37.1% (9EV)
Finally! A state where McCain can feel proud to campaign in. See, Obama's numbers are falling. Damnit. McCain's numbers are falling faster? I wonder why people who live in Louisiana mistrust politicians? Well, McCain has an insurmountable lead and all the minorities, poor people, and gays were forced out of New Orleans thanks to the act of an angry god. No? The city is creeping back towards existence and a special House of Representative's election where the Republican attempted to smear his opponent as too close to Obama ended up with the Democrat crushing the Republican? Hmm.
Prediction: McCain 10%. Wait, make that 7% cause I'm doin a heckava job.
Maine M 34.3% O 49.8% (4EV)
Obama is holding pretty steady. McCain, however, has fallen from the high 30s to the mid 30s. Maine is a solid Obama state. On the Senate front Collins (R) has been trending downward for over a year while Allen (D) has been slowly moving upwards. Collins started with a 57-32 lead and has squandered that to stand at 51-42 right now. More recently Allen jumped upwards 10 points in just a couple months.
Prediction: Obama 15%, Allen 2
Maryland M 30.1% O 54.6% (10EV)
A rather sharp divergence here. In January it was a close 42-48 race, probably within the margin of error. But as time wore on it changed to 40-53 (Feb), and 30-54 (June). I think McCain will stop some bleeding here, but not much.
Prediction: Obama 25
Massachusetts M 32.5% O 53.4% (12EV)
Ah good old liberal Massachusetts. WHOA. You guys supported McCain over Obama until after January? Really? Ok, lets just move on. Massachusetts is Democratic. The fun question is how much?
Prediction: Obama 35%
Michigan M 40% O 47% (17EV)
This supposed swing state is anything but. It was Obama's before he was even a front runner back in 2007, then during the bruising primary season he took a slight dip in the polls which McCain never took advantage of. After June when Clinton dropped out Obama has been powering forward and McCain has been dropping like a rock.
Prediction: Obama 9%
Minnesota M 37.7% O 50.2% (10EV)
Obama crossed the 50% threshold back in March and has been hovering there ever since. Meanwhile McCain is heading downriver. The focus in this state, however, needs to be on the Senate race. While many believe Franken (D) can defeat Coleman (R) and help ensure a 60 seat majority, the trend lines paint a different picture.
Prediction: Obama 15%, Coleman 6%
Mississippi M 50.3% O 42.8% (6EV)
Well, the lines look like they're moving but really a couple of points here and a couple of points there aren't much. At the end of the day 54-41 in Feb and 51-42 in June is the same. There are two Senate races in Mississippi this year. But only one of them is competitive. Wicker (R) has been holding steady for the past year while Musgrove (D) has been steadily moving up in the polls. The polls have been arguing recently as to who is winning, so basically its a tie right now but Musgrove has the momentum.
Prediction: McCain 5%, Musgrove 2%.
Missouri M 44.6% O 43.9% (11EV)
Another race where McCain and Obama were tied in January at around 45-45, McCain jumped out ahead during the Clinton-Obama showdown, and now that its Obama-McCain things are sharply turning around. Thanks to all the infrastructure the Dems put in place due to the long primary season races like this will just breeze on through to an Obama victory. McCain will have to pick which ones he wants to win, which ones he can win, and which ones he can't. Is he savvy enough to cede victory in places and accept strategic withdraw?
Prediction: Obama 4%
Montana M 46.1% Obama 43% (3EV)
While pollster.com hasn't drawn their line of best fit yet I can see where the winds are blowing. Feb 26, McCain 47-Obama 37. April 6, McCain 48-Obama 43. July 1, McCain 43-Obama 48. The Governor's race, also not very well covered, appears to be going Democrat as well. Schweitzer (D) is beating Brown (R) by between 20-30 points.
Prediction: Obama 7%, Schweitzer 26%
Nebraska M 53.8% O 34.4% (5EV)
This is McCain's best state. Obama is dropping like a stone and McCain is soaring like an eagle. There are no gays, blacks, or poor people to hope for a better future. I say McCain should do some exhilarating campaign speaking in front of roaring Nebraskan crowds just to get some buzz going. Yes! We! Can!
Prediction: McCain 25%
Nevada M 44.9% O 41.3% (5EV)
Another good state for McCain. Obama and McCain's numbers have switched since March. McCain needs to be careful though, he appears to be cresting and Obama's fall looks like its mellowing out. This state, a caucus, went for Hillary back in the primaries so its really not Obama's kind of place no matter what the prevailing winds are.
Prediction: McCain 1%
New Hampshire M 41.9% O 48% (4EV)
Going back to 2007 these numbers have crossed paths three times already. The people of New Hampshire are very much John McCain supporters, and not very much Barack Obama supporters. More recently the trend indicates that if Obama can just keep his own momentum going New Hampshire will be voting big for Obama. Once again, the Senate race can provide some more insight. Sununu (R) is getting killed by Shaheen (D) by 9 points and the trends are quite solid.
Prediction: Obama 7%
New Jersey M 36.6% O 48.1% (15EV)
Its looks like people in New Jersey didn't care about either candidate until after both became major contenders back in the spring. Once McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination and Obama looked like a strong possibility on Super Tuesday McCain went down and Obama went up. It started then and hasn't stopped.
Prediction: Obama 15%
New Mexico M 41% O 49.2% (5EV)
Another state, another graph showing that people are moving away from McCain and towards Obama. Its not just that undecideds are deciding. But look below the graph at the different poll results. Notice how only one poll includes Barr? And when Barr is included McCain falls to 33%? Yikes.
Prediction: Obama 18%
New York M 33.2% O 51.2% (31EV)
Surprisingly New Yorkers never got too angry about Obama defeating Clinton. Certainly there were outliers, check out the graph and all the data points. But the main body of polls suggests that New Yorkers are not as loyal to Hillary Clinton as she hoped they would be. Anyway McCain's only shot of winning New York is to convince every undecided voter there to vote for him and then pull away a percentage or two of Obama's base.
Prediction: Obama 15%
North Carolina M 45.2% O 43.6% (15EV)
In another what the hell is happening kind of race Bob Barr and John McCain are both losing support while Barack Obama gains it. As soon as someone explains how that works I will be on planet Earth, enjoying a day at the beach. North Carolina is another apathy factor race, which means if you live there and want your candidate to win make sure you vote on November 4th. There is also a Senate race that appears trending away from Hagan (D) and towards Dole (R), and a Governor's race that is super close. Perdue (D) has been trending upward all year while McCrory (R) rose, fell, and leveled off about 2.5 points back recently. North Carolina is one of the most important states in November.
Prediction: Obama 5%, Dole 3%, Perdue 1%
North Dakota M 44.3% O 41.9% (3EV)
The undecideds will turn this election, not the apathetics. With Obama and McCain polling relatively close to each other - within 5 points - in all polls and undecideds making up about 15 percent of the electorate someone needs to reach them. North Dakota will be a state that hinges on the debates, and John McCain is worse at debating than Barack Obama is. North Dakota also has a Republican machine that will guarantee more than a few votes for McCain
Prediction: McCain 3%
Ohio M 42.4% O 45.9% (20EV)
Another mythological swing state. Ohio has been moving away from John McCain for six months now, and towards Obama for seven. And while all of these statistics are based on the fact that nothing huge happens between now and November, that much should be obvious. The likelihood of a gamechanging moment is equal for both sides. Allow fate to be fate.
Prediction: Obama 6%
Oklahoma M 48% O 35.7% (7EV)
I looked at the graph and my eyes popped out of my head for a second. McCain falls from just below 70% to below 50% in the span of 6 months? Obama gains some of that by going from 25% to 35% in the same time? Once again I have a hard time believing that Barack Obama can win in a place like Oklahoma. Info on the Senate race is literally all over the map. All I can figure is that Oklahomans are not sold on McCain yet. If he campaigns here he will hold on to win it, if he continues to ignore it he will lose it.
Prediction: McCain 7%
Oregon M 38.2% O 48.3% (7EV)
Obama and McCain appear to be trending downward at the moment. I'd say that if McCain really wanted Oregon he could have it, but then he would lose a myriad of other states (see Oklahoma). There is a Senate race here, and Smith (R) is running scared from Merkely (D), his challenger. Smith recently ran an add saying he worked closely with Barack Obama to break a 20 year deadlock in government across party lines, even though Smith is one of the most partisan Republicans available. Smith should be running scared, Merkely has gained 15 points in 4 months.
Prediction: Obama 13, Merkely 4%
Pennsylvania M 40.1% O 50.1% (21EV)
This race was close with many flips until March when Obama, well, surged. As you can see from the graph the race was never more than a couple points apart, a statistical tie, and it hovered in the low 40s. Recently though, more undecided Pennsylvanians made up their minds and a few McCain supporters switched.
Prediction: Obama 12%
Rhode Island M 29.2 O 52.9 (4EV)
This state was always going to vote dem. How is the Senate race shaping up? Reed (D) is whopping Tingle (R) 72-20. Its so bad they have only done one poll.
Prediction: Obama 26%
South Carolina M 46.9% O 39.4 (8EV)
Another island of hope for McCain. Obama has nothing good to report and lots of bad. Right after he won the primary here he was close to McCain but he has let that enthusiasm dwindle, I suspect it won't come back so easily. In the Senate race, Graham (R) is rolling onwards towards easy victory over Conley (D). South Carolina looks to remain solidly Republican.
Prediction: McCain 7%
South Dakota M 44.8% O 38.7% (3EV)
In a unsurprising bit of comedy the Dakota that is accepted as a toss up is the one trending away from Obama, while the one that is on the McCain side of the equation is trending toward him. They should both be toss ups. McCain has lost 5 points in 3 months here. If Obama just gains 3 or 4 points and lets McCain keep doing his thing the state is his. The Senate race gives us more numbers to work with. Johnson (D) is smashing his opponent, Dykstra (R), by about 25 points. There is obviously no antipathy towards Democrats in the Dakotas. Again though, where does McCain want to win?
Prediction: McCain 2%
Tennessee M 50.2% O 35.5% (11EV)
Thank you Tennessee for being super boring. No trends at all, those lines are flat. There is a Senate race, but no one is polling it.
Prediction: McCain 14.7%
Texas M 43.3% O 38.9% (34EV)
In the span of about a month McCain went from about polling at about 52% to polling at 43%. Something is up in the Lone Star State and his name is Bob Barr. Ron Paul, the other libertarian king, is from Texas. Obama isn't just playing dead and waiting for McCain to blow this one, he has been creeping towards that 40% mark for some time. If Obama can get to 45% on election day Texas is his. In the Senate race we have Noriega (D) who has remained flat at around 35% running against Cornyn (R) who has been steadily falling. Cornyn moved from the low 50s to the mid 40s in the last nine months. The senate race could hinge on the apathy factor, the Latino vote, and Obama's coat tails.
Prediction: Obama 0.5%, Noriega 0.5%
Utah M 56.9% O 29.3% (5EV)
Another excellent state for McCain to campaign in and rally the troops in. Obama is falling, McCain is soaring. Some polls in the governors race have the Republican polling near 80%. My advice to McCain: fill up a stadium and find somebody to get them excited to see you. Then learn how to make a good speach. This is Utah, they are probably Mormans. The bar is not that high! A youtube video with 20,000 adoring McCain fans would be really helpful right now John.
Prediction: McCain 30
Vermont M 31.7% O 60.7% (3EV)
Another race too far apart to poll consistently.
Prediction: Obama 29.0
Virginia M 44.1% O 46.7% (13EV)
Another non toss up state that will be talked about as if it were. Looking at the trend lines McCain has been dying a slow painful death in Virginia for over a year and a half. Obama has been slowly building steam for the same amount of time, its like their trend lines are the same... but flipped. Another factor not taken into account, except by one poll in that entire slew is Barr. So subtract 5 points from every McCain dot you see on there. There is a Senate race. Warner (D), a former governor, is romping about the state destroying Gilmore (R).
Prediction: Obama 9, Warner 30
Washington M 37.8% O 50.9% (11EV)
McCain and Obama were close until people in the Evergreen state began hearing what McCain had to say. McCain went from hanging out in the 45 point range to chilling in the 35 point range in the span of a few months. Obama has moved above the 50% threshold. Unless something different happens this race will not be competitive. There is a Governor's race, Gregoire (D) moved away from Rossi (R) recently and bumped up in the polls. Rossi trended downward and then Gregoire followed. Rossi needs to make some kind of big move soon or incumbency and coat tails will ruin his shot at election.
Prediction: Obama 12%, Gregoire 6%
West Virginia M 49.4% O 35.9% (5EV)
While there is not enough data here to make a strong case for anything, it appears that West Virginia is more malleable than it was given credit for. McCain lost 8 points here between Feb and June and Obama is running a respectable 8 points back in the most recent poll. We really need more info to know whats happening in West Virginia.
Prediction: McCain 5%
Wisconsin M 38.3% O 50.6% (10EV)
Going back seven months, to January, McCain has been steadily dropping and Obama steadily rising. Remember, this is going all the way back to before either of them were the presumptive nominees. The split accelerates as the race heats up. It seems that the more they get to Obama they more they like him, and the more they get to know McCain the less they do.
Prediction: Obama 16%
Wyoming M 53.5% O 37.6% (3EV)
Home on the range, where nobody does no polls.
Prediction: McCain 15.9%
These polls are striking because the vast majority of them paint the same picture. Many voters across many regions favored McCain and were unsure of Obama just 6 months ago. As time went by Obama introduced himself to the nation and people realized that maverick McCain had been replaced by McBush McCain. Look at the trends, not just the snapshot polls. McCain's goose is cooked and cooked big.
McCain -- 96
Obama -- 442