Arrggh, don't know what's going on with the weird spacing issues - Todd
Two new Rasmussen Reports surveys out today show Barack Obama performing extremely well in Minnesota and Oregon with our senate hopefuls slightly behind, in need of some of that Obama down-ticket love.
In Minnesota, Obama is just crushing McCain, although notably has gotten no post-primary bounce in the state. They've been loving him for a while.
This is a far cry from 2004 when John Kerry beat George Bush by just 3 points.
As for the senate race, despite his recent troubles, Al Franken is hanging in there in his tight race against Norm Coleman.
No post-DFL endorsement bounce for Franken but no post-controversy free-fall either. Glad to see Coleman below 50%. There is some danger here for Franken, though, in the form of Jesse Ventura who has threatened to get into the race (the deadline for doing so is July 15.) According to this poll, despite a 62% unfavorable rating, Jesse Ventura would still draw 24% of the vote, handing Coleman a 7 point victory. Franken showed that he has the rank and file of the DFL party behind him when he received their endorsement on the first ballot but there is clearly still some real anxiety about his candidacy. The good news is that there is no sign of any erosion of support in these poll numbers, so hopefully Franken can restore confidence in his candidacy and shake any intentions another Democrat or even Ventura might have toward jumping into the race. If Franken can unite the anti-Coleman forces behind him as the standard bearer, he just might be unstoppable.
In Oregon, things are looking good for Obama as well, but, oddly, if anything, he has seen a post-primary dip in support.
On some level, this 6 point drop makes sense, since last month's poll was taken in the midst of the primary campaign in Oregon. The good news is that McCain remains stuck at 38% and, as for the volatility of the numbers, there's actually more consistency than there appears.
McCain's support remains stalled at the same level this month as in May. In fact, he has stayed between the 38% and 42% level of support in four Oregon polls conducted this year. With the exception of last month's poll, Obama's support has stayed in the 46% to 49% range.
Also, it bears mentioning, that in 2004, John Kerry beat George Bush by a paltry 4%.
In the Oregon senate race, Democratic candidate Jeff Merkley is seeing a post-primary victory drop in support as well, contrary to other polls showing him shoring up support against Smith in the wake of his primary victory against Steve Novick.
The good news is that Smith is still under 50% and Merkley has just barely begun to introduce himself to people in the general election. A full 20% of respondents didn't know enough about Merkley to have an opinion of him. There is still great room for growth for Merkley.
Looking at just the presidential numbers in these states, I think it's pretty clear what we're seeing here: what were swing states in 2004 are now solid blue in 2008. Which means we have a whole new batch of swing states:
The Obama campaign names a few more state directors today: Buffy Wicks in Missouri; Ray Rivera in Colorado; and Mitch Stewart in Virginia.