Where we Start

Although we tend to get constant polling reports, the truth is that the usefullness of polls is limited this far away from an election (remember what Iowa polls looked like 5 months before the caucuses?) But, there is some useful information they can provide; first they show us which states we can expect to be potentially competive, and they give us an idea of where the candidates are starting. Both of these bode poorly for McCain. For the former, most of the comptetive migration seems to be moving from red to purple, or even blue. Colorado almost seems out of McCain’s reach for example. North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana are polling within striking range. And blue states that are competitive, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersry are within historical ranges. As to the latter, if you aggregate polling done since McCain effectively became the nominee on Super Tuesday, the Republican has an effective ceiling of 45%, +/- 3. Obama, on the other hand, has a floor of about 47%, +/- 3. Not a good place to be with the well documented Republican “brand” problem looming large.