All one has to do is read the recent releases from Rasmussen, SurveyUSA and Quinnipiac to see that McCain has been gaining considerable ground, even in Democratically “safe” states.Hes now up again in Nevada as the trend average moves back nationally in his favor, he’s managed to cut Obamas leads in Colorado, Michigan and New Hampshire, and has strengthened in several key red states.
As the national data shows a tightening race (Rasmussen gives McCain the lead including leaners for the first time in well over a month), state races are tightening as well.
FiveThirtyEight.com had been using what I felt was a bit of a stretch- a trend-adjustment to their polling to reflect the movement in the national polls. But as we’ve seen in the last two months, when Obama expands nationally, he expands leads/takes over in the swing states; and when Obama’s lead contracts, there goes his leads. Its impossible to ignore now.
If McCain continues to do better in the national polling over the next week (as the war continues to improve, gas prices drip down but the demand for drilling increases, etc), I would be shocked to see McCain still stuck @ 265 come Tuesday. McCain is currently 2pts down in the average at FiveThirtyEight.com and 2.5 down @ RCP. I have him clocked @ 2.4.If that gap narrows to within a point, or goes into a lead for McCain, we’re looking at an EV of at least 274. Tiny. But enough to win.
Polling data from here through November should come rather regularly now, particularly since we are now within the last 100 days. The Olympics may overtake the election briefly in the news, but come the end of August/beginning of September, the fun really begins.