Rasmussen has released a series of five new polls detailing presidential ballot questions in the five most sought-after swing states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado. The results are not at all good for Obama, but no reason for McCain to take any great joy, either.
The last time these five states were polled, the candidates came away with an equal number of states in their column: Obama held PA and CO, McCain led in OH and VA, and FL was tied. This time around, PA and VA have moved into the push column, FL has tipped to McCain, and CO has flipped to McCain, who hasn’t lost any states to Obama in return. In short, the McCain-Obama-Tossup count among the swing states has gone from 2-2-1 to 3-0-2.
Numbers, trends, and analysis below the break.
Sept 07 Sept 14 JSM BHO Net JSM BHO Net PA 45 47 Obama +2 47 47 Tied OH 51 44 McCain +7 48 45 McCain +3 VA 49 47 McCain +2 48 48 Tied FL 48 48 Tied 49 44 McCain +5 CO 46 49 Obama +3 48 46 McCain +2
Immediately apparent is that, unlike last week, Obama no longer leads anywhere. This is especially surprising in Pennsylvania, which has been pretty reliably blue in recent presidential elections thanks in no small part to the Philadelphia machine mastered by former mayor and DNC chairman, now Governor, Ed Rendell. (In addition, I think Obama would have trouble saying honestly that he wasn’t thinking of PA’s electoral votes when he tapped Scranton native Joe Biden as his running mate.) Last week’s other Obama state, Colorado, has executed a five-point swing in McCain’s direction in one week, a hairpin net shift matched only by Florida (also in McCain’s direction).
That’s the bad news for Obama. The bad news for McCain (or at least a cautionary note) is that his states from last week are nearly as volatile. Ohio and Virginia, in both of which he led last week, have both tightened (one of them to a dead tie). He hasn’t lost any swing states to Obama in the past week, but the only state of these five on which he appears to have anything more than a tenuous grasp is Florida, and even that was teetering on the edge last week.
McCain can take some comfort in the fact that the overall swing-state momentum seems to be tilted more in his direction than in Obama’s. He can also make a reasonable assumption that his progress comes despite the recent fading of Sarah Palin’s initial post-convention glow, and despite the beating she’s taken from the media and left-leaning blogs since she joined the GOP ticket. However, he may want to pray that his current standing and momentum are not largely driven by anti-media backlash, which will fade the same way the post-convention glow did before the election’s over.