New Polls 06.12.08: NC, IA, WA, WI, MA, NJ, OK
We have several new polls today including a few key ones.
— Rasmussen has North Carolina very close. McCain leads Obama by just 2%, 45% to 43%. This is a disaster of a number for McCain in a state that Bush won by 12% in 2004. McCain does not have the resources to put too much into NC and still have enough left for the traditional swing states. If Obama can keep NC this close, even if he doesn’t win, it’s a major loss for McCain who will become weaker in all the other swing states just because he will have to defend what should be an easy Republican state. The dangerous number for McCain here — in this poll Obama is only getting 76% of the Democratic vote. That number will likely end up closer to 85%. There is also another very troubling number for McCain, 54% say the most important goal in Iraq is getting troops out, while 40% say the most important goal is winning the war.
— Rasmussen has Obama ahead in Iowa, 45% to 38%. Last month, Rasmussen had Obama up by 2%, so this is a big improvement for him. Obama is dominating among women in Iowa, holding a 19 point lead, and among independents, holding a 15 point lead. Obama has led over McCain in EVERY Iowa poll taken this year. This is an example of how the primary battle is really helping Obama in some states. Obama spent so much time in Iowa and also built one of the largest operations ever in the state, and not only did that lead him to victory in the caucuses there, it is helping his numbers now against McCain. This is a state George W. Bush won in 2004. McCain has a serious decision to make here. Does he sink some of his very limited resources into this state even though it appears to be solidly Obama at this point, or just accept this red state turning blue and keep his focus on Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and the other big swing states? One other thing to note is that nearly 70% of those polled in Iowa DON’T want Obama to pick Hillary Clinton as his VP. While Hillary polls as a benefit to Obama in some states, she remains very disliked in other states such as Iowa where she finished third in the caucuses in January.
— Rasmussen has Obama up huge in Washington, 53% to 35%. Last month, Obama was up by 11%, so he has increased his lead all the way to 18%. McCain has a major problem with his own party here. He is only getting 75% of the GOP vote. Obama leads strongly among men, women, every age group, and every economic group. This confirms yesterday’s SurveyUSA poll which had Obama up 17 points. This was actually a state McCain planned to compete in, but with back-to-back polls showing him down by over 15 points, you have to wonder if he still plans to allocate resources here when he is in such a money and manpower disadvantage as it is. And in a number that further shows that McCain shouldn’t even bother in Washington, 61% of those polled believe that it is more important to get troops home from Iraq while just 33% believe it is important to win the war.
— In a crushing poll for McCain, the University of Wisconsin has a poll out showing Obama leading in the state 50% to 37%, by far Obama’s largest lead yet. The poll was done by some very reliable people at pollster.com. This is another state McCain is hoping to compete in but may be falling too far behind to catch up in.
— Suffolk has Obama ahead of McCain big in Massachusetts, 53% to 30%. No real surprise here as Massachusetts has been one of the strongest states on the map for Democrats. The one interesting thing from the poll is that 55% say Obama should NOT pick Hillary Clinton as his VP. Keep in mind that Massachusetts is usually thought of as a very pro-Clinton state. She crushed Obama in the Massachusetts primary.
— In the one bright spot for McCain, Qunnipac has Obama ahead by only 6% in New Jersey, 45% to 39%. That is probably closer than Obama would like.
– In Oklahoma, Research 2000 has McCain leading Obama 52% to 38%. This is a state George W. Bush won by 32% in 2004. Not a good number at all for McCain here. States he should have very large leads in appear to be much closer than they should be. Obviously McCain will win Oklahoma, but numbers like this don’t do much to raise confidence in his campaign.
The main things to take away from these polls:
— Obama is not having any problem uniting the Democratic party as well as, if not better, than McCain is uniting the Republicans.
— McCain is basically performing MUCH worse in virtually every state that Bush did in 2004.
— John McCain has serious problems in Iowa, Washington, and Wisconsin. Those are three states he planned to compete in where he seems to be falling out of contention. If McCain goes ahead and gives up on these three states early, which I think he might do, it really creates a tough situation for him where he has basically no margin of error.
— North Carolina could turn out to be a huge headache for McCain. That is a state Bush won easily in 2004 but McCain is basically tied with Obama in now. He cannot afford to spend time and money defending NC, but if he doesn’t, he could lose the state. McCain cannot afford to defend places like North Carolina and Virginia if he wants to compete properly in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, etc., but at this point it appears as if he has no choice as he could easily lose both those states.
— McCain’s decision to align himself so strongly with the war is really hurting him. Even in red states like North Carolina, more people care more about getting the troops out than winning the war.