POLITICAL observations & opinions

* MSNBC First Read: late poll analysis

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 3, 2008

From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro

  • Some might be interpreting the latest Mason-Dixon polls as showing weakness for Obama since he has not reached 50%. 
  •  But it should also be pointed out that Obama’s position has actually gotten stronger — when looking at the Mason-Dixon poll trendlines — particularly in states like Colorado, Nevada and Virginia. 
    • In Colorado, Obama has gained five percentage points from the previous Mason-Dixon poll, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, when the candidates were tied at 44%. In the latest poll, Obama leads by five, 49%-44%.
    •  In Nevada, Obama has gained 10 points since August, when McCain led by six, 47%-41%, and two points since their Oct. 8-9 poll. In the latest poll, Obama leads 47%-43%.
    • In Virginia, Obama has gained six percentage points since a Sept. 29-Oct. 1 poll that showed a three-point McCain lead, 48%-45%. In the latest poll, it’s Obama who leads by three, 47%-44%.
  •  As far as the overwhelming majority of the undecided voters being white, keep in mind that black and Hispanic/Latino voters have consistently favored Obama by wide margins in public polling and have already moved toward the Democratic nominee. 
  • In states like Missouri, for example, where the race is within the margin of error, black voters only made up 8% of the electorate, and Hispanics/Latinos 1% in 2004. In Colorado, blacks made up just 4% of the electorate in 2004 and Hispanics made up 8% in exit polls. 
  • That doesn’t mean that McCain might not have an advantage with remaining white voters, since he is winning a majority white voters generally in public polling and focus groups. But it is also telling that many undecideds are Bush voters and have not yet decided on McCain.



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