No, Wisconsin Is Not A Swing State...But North Dakota Is
by Todd Beeton, Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 12:15:26 AM EDT
Yesterday, Rasmussen Reports released a couple of polls worth mentioning. First up is their Wisconsin poll in which Rasmussen finally catches up to the rest of the world: Obama's up by double digits.
|Candidate||July 8||June 5||Pollster|
Note that the Pollster trend estimate is pre-this Rasmussen poll. Also, when leaners are added, Obama's lead drops to 10 points.
A few weeks ago, I mocked Quinnipiac for including Wisconsin in its "Battleground State" polls. Today it's Larry Sabato who needs scolding. In Sabato's first look at the 2008 electoral map, he breaks states down pretty much as one would expect but then drops this doozy:
Toss-Ups -- The Real Deal
CO, MI, NH, NV, OH, PA, VA, WI (99 electoral votes)
Uh? And this from his analysis:
Wisconsin is traditionally close, as it was in both 2000 and 2004. Obama swept the Democratic primary here, though, and he has to be rated at least a slight favorite; some early polls have Obama well ahead.
I'm not sure what makes Sabato so convinced Obama's lead is so tenuous. As you can see from the Pollster chart, the trend is unambiguous and methinks Sabato is underestimating the adjacent to Illinois factor.
Rasmussen's North Dakota poll has Obama and McCain tied up at 43% apiece (47%-46% McCain with leaners), which tracks almost exactly with the 538.com average (McCan 43%-42%.)
But despite this virtual tie in North Dakota, Sabato decides in McCain's favor here as well, although this categorization at least makes some sense.
Likely -- An Upset is Possible but Improbable
McCAIN - AK, GA, MS, MT, ND (30 electoral votes)
One caution: this poll was taken in the immediate aftermath of an Obama visit to North Dakota, which garnered him some very favorable local press coverage. We still have each of these states tipping to McCain at the end -- but not by such a margin that he can blow them off without risking their electoral votes.
It should not be forgotten that George Bush won North Dakota by 27% in 2004 but Obama is doing something that John Kerry never did: show up, which, Obama likes to say, is 90% of winning. Obama may not ultimately win the state but he's sure going to make McCain spend there.